FACTOR sets the record straight on the whole Grimes-got-a-grant controversy

You may remember a brouhaha from earlier in the month when a Montreal blog opined on a $90,000 FACTOR grant given to Crystal Math Music. At issue is the fact that the label is home to Grimes, whose baby daddy, Elon Musk, is now the second-richest man in the known universe. He’s worth US$128 billion. Twitter became very angry that the FACTOR money went to someone who obviously didn’t need the money. I tried to sort through the misinformation here.

FACTOR has now responded. (Emphasis mine.)

In light of recent threads on social media and mainstream media coverage of same, we at FACTOR think it prudent to repost available information about who we are, how we operate, and how our disbursements are made – and to address the persistent inaccuracies within online discussion.

FACTOR differs significantly from a traditional arts council model and should not be regarded as such. FACTOR is a public/private partnership, administering funds from the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Music Fund, and from Canada’s private radio broadcasters. FACTOR has a variety of programs for artists, songwriters, artist managers, record labels, music publishers, distributors, event producers, and other industry organizations. FACTOR’s mandate is to provide assistance toward the growth and development of the Canadian music industry both domestically and internationally, with a focus on commercial success.

Crystal Math Music Inc., an independent Canadian record label who works exclusively with Canadian artists across their robust and diverse roster, is the FACTOR applicant who received the funding presently at issue, through the Comprehensive Music Company program, in the last fiscal year. This program is not an artist program, it is a full-length sound recording program accessible to record labels, with eligibility requirements found in the program guidelines. Crystal Math has met these eligibility requirements and they are the sole recipient of the funds in FACTOR’s support of a vibrant independent label. Crystal Math holds the rights to Grimes’ recordings for Canada. Grimes is not an owner of Crystal Math and Grimes did not receive these funds.

As to points made concerning eligibility for individual artist applications with regard to countries of residence – which is not germane to this application – to meet eligibility requirements for FACTOR, applicants need not reside in Canada but must maintain Canadian citizenship. An artist’s household income and relationship status are not among FACTOR’s criteria.

You can access our annual reports on our website, which include a list of jurors, the funding amounts offered by program, region, and genre, and the number of applications received and funded by program, region, and genre. You can access the list of companies who received funding on our Recipients page. For a full look at FACTOR’s rules, we encourage all applicants, potential applicants, and recipients to refer to the Business Policies Handbook and ensure they are familiar with our policies.

FACTOR does not consider itself above scrutiny, operating in a transparent manner and in accordance with the criteria of our mandate. Naturally, we’d rather be praised for the countless successes we have achieved in our mission – but must also in good grace accept there may be occasional criticism, provided it is fair and free of speculative distortions or gross misrepresentation. FACTOR remains openly accountable and available for journalists and editors willing to verify their claims before going to press.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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