Since 1986 the government has offered a public-private partnership called the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR) that provides financial support to Canadian Artists.
Funded through the Canada Music Fund (CMF), the purpose-built program dished out $25,238,117 in funding during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. 2,535 different projects from sound recordings to international tours were financially supported through FACTOR. The primary focus of FACTOR is to support English-language independent sound recordings, but there exist programs in place for anyone from songwriters to event producers and even a separate entity for francophone music called Musicaction.
Government funding no matter the size is a huge help for artists. Before the release of his major-label debut album Kiss Land, Toronto-born music icon The Weeknd and his team received $150,000 from FACTOR. The money went mainly towards marketing and promotion and was a huge help for his career. Other Candian such as Carly Rae Jepsen and Grimes have taken advantage of the financial benefits offered by the Canadian government at a certain point in their careers. Canada is not the only country that supports its artists in this way. Sounds Australia is a non-profit organization that showcases the best talent from down under and brings them to festivals across the globe like SXSW in the US and The Great Escape in the UK. Other countries like Sweden, France and Norway all have their form of financial support that they give out to up-and-coming musicians.
Needless to say, if you’re an up-and-coming musician in Canada the government can provide you with financial assistance, and for good reason. A cash infusion coming from the government can help relieve the financial strain forced upon by music labels, thus allowing the artist to solely focus on the body of work without having to worry about sacrificing artistic vision due to money restraints. How the nation benefits from supporting its artists and musicians is stated best in a 2009 law passed in Sweden that says “Culture is to be a dynamic, challenging and independent force based on the freedom of expression. Everyone is to have the opportunity to participate in cultural life. Creativity, diversity and artistic quality are to be integral parts of society’s development.”. Canada providing its artists with financial support is one of the reasons why the country has such cultural depth.