FACTOR

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FACTOR (Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings) was founded in 1982 by a partnership of the private radio broadcasters CHUM Limited, Moffat Communications and Rogers Broadcasting Limited, in COMMENT with the Canadian Independent Record Producers Association (CIRPA) and the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA). In its early years, FACTOR had a budget of $200,000 and one mandate: to fund albums by Canadian artists that had potential for commercial radio success.

In 1985, FACTOR merged with the Canadian Talent Library (CTL) development fund, a private trust created by Standard Broadcasting Limited that had been producing Canadian recordings since the early 1960s. The move increased FACTOR’s funding budget and created funding room for a diversity of genres. In 1986, FACTOR took on the administration of federal funds upon the inception of the Sound Recording Development Program (SDRP). The SDRP, created under the then Department of Communications, came about as the result of lobby and consultation with the recording and radio industries. It proposed to invest $25-million over an initial five years into the Canadian independent music industry. FACTOR would administer sixty percent of those funds, while the remaining forty percent would support French-language music through Musicaction, our Francophone counterpart based in Montreal.

Meanwhile, under the Canadian Content Development (CCD) policies of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), FACTOR became a major beneficiary of annual contributions made by private radio broadcasters as a result of licenses and license renewals. FACTOR also redistributes a percentage of the benefits resulting from the change in ownership and/or control of commercial radio stations.

Today, FACTOR administers two components of the SRDP’s successor, the Canada Music Fund: the New Musical Works Component and the Collective Initiatives Component. These two components provide approximately $8.6 million in program funding. In 2014, radio contributions added another $12 million.[1]

The merit-based approach of monetary distribution used by FACTOR and Canadian music video funding organization VideoFACT, is not without critics. In 2009, the organizations came under public scrutiny when a letter written by Unfamiliar Records founder Greg Ipp was republished on the internet[2] - in turn promoting the idea that bigger image-based bands shouldn’t be getting such a huge amount of those finite funds as it leaves relatively little, if any, funding for the smaller up-and-coming bands.[3]

Notable recording artists who have received FACTOR grants include:

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