Back to all news

2017-2018 Changes to Program Guidelines & Business Policies

Business Policies

The Business Policies have been reorganized, amended and restated. The major changes are:


The FACTOR Board of Directors has cancelled the loan repayment policy.  Only grant funding will be offered as of April 1, 2017.

For projects funded any time prior to April 1, 2017, the recipient of the funding is obligated to submit the loan repayment report along with FACTOR’s repayment share up to and including the period ending December 31, 2016.  Those reports were due on March 31, 2017.  Recipients who missed the deadline will be held to the loan repayment policy in place at the time the report was due.  Please submit those reports and payments to maintain your good standing.  All future reporting is cancelled.

Eligible Costs – General
  • There is now no limit on cash payments in Tour, Showcase & Business Travel provided that the expense is adequately documented. In all other components, limit remains at $500.
  • We have clarified the policy for shared Airbnb-type accommodations, to allow a pro-rata share of the cost based on number of bedrooms.
New Program:  Support for Eligible Music Companies

The Business Development and Business Travel programs have been merged and restructured as the two components in a new program called Support for Eligible Music Companies. All Eligible Music Companies rated 2, 3 and 4 are eligible for the program. The program offers a FACTOR contribution of 50% of the eligible costs to an annual maximum of: $7,500 per year for level 2 companies, and $20,000 per year for level 3 and 4 companies.  All companies can apply for both components, to the annual maximum. There will be only one deadline this year for the business development component: April 27, 2017.  Multiple applications in the business travel component can be made throughout the year. Companies will have to decide in advance how much business development funding they intend to draw down; the remainder can be used for business travel.

With the application for the business development component, companies are required to submit a Business Development Plan in the form of a template provided by FACTOR. This document outlines the company’s intended business development project for the upcoming year, describing how the project enhances or expands the core competence and reach of the business, and what the company’s intended goals are. The company is also asked to describe how its existing staff will be deployed, how it intends to use reporting and database services, and how its travel plans relate to the development of the business.

The eligible costs for the business travel component have not changed significantly from the outgoing Business Travel program; however, we have added a 15% administration fee, which represents a contribution to company overhead.

FACTOR will continue to recognize a wide range of third-party costs, including personnel and contractor costs when those people have been hired specifically to work on the business development project.

Other eligible costs for business development have changed significantly:

  • We will also recognize the company’s existing in-house staffing costs to the extent that those people are working on the business development project. Those claims must be detailed in an Employee Time Allocation Form, which FACTOR will provide.
  • Access to memberships, subscription, reporting services and media database costs has been limited. FACTOR will no longer recognize the cost of memberships and professional affiliations, magazine and other subscriptions. We will recognize a portion of the costs of reporting services and database subscriptions (e.g. Nielsen SoundScan, Music Connect, BDS, BuzzAngle, Mediabase), but only to the extent that such services are connected to the business development project. You must set that purpose out in the Business Development Plan.
  • We have added a 15% administration fee to the business development budget, which constitutes a contribution toward the company’s overhead costs.
New lower tier for Comprehensive Music Company Program

Record labels rated 2 and 3 may be eligible for funding under the Comprehensive Music Company program.  The annual amount available is $35,000 in Phase I/ $40K in Phase II for all artists. The funding amount can be used for one or more projects to a maximum of $35,000 per company per year.  Eligible applicants are the top-earning record labels that have the eligibility criteria for Eligible Record Labels rated 2 and 3 at the Annual Review.  These companies may continue to apply to the Juried Sound Recording Program.

Marketing Component (Juried Sound Recording, Comprehensive Artist, Comprehensive Music Company, Marketing & Promotion for non-FACTOR-funded Sound Recordings):

Generally, and unless otherwise explicitly allowed by FACTOR, In-house and/or Related Party Transactions are capped at a maximum of 25% of the total Eligible Costs.  We have changed the policy for marketing projects where the applicant is a record label. New this year:

  • When the Applicant is a record label, personnel and salary costs for existing/regular employees and contractors of the company working on the approved sound recording project will be accepted as Eligible Costs and not capped as in-house costs provided that the services are directly in support of the sound recording project and fall into the category of: Marketing, Publicity/PR, Social Media/Online Marketing, Graphic Design/Artwork/Photography, new website design/development (not web maintenance).  All such claims must be supported by a detailed Employee Time Allocation Form. FACTOR may at its option request additional information including the employment agreement and/or job description.
  • Artist members may provide services including those set out above; however, artist member fees for any work other than graphic design/artwork/photography if claimed in a marketing component will be capped at 25% of total Eligible Costs.
Tour & Showcase Support – All Programs

Thanks to an additional contribution by the Government of Canada, FACTOR is able to offer additional funding for international tours and showcases for all eligible artists.  The funding levels for this fiscal year are:

Artist 3:  $37,500 in combined tour and showcase support. The Tour component maximum is $35,000, of which a max of $15,000 can be used for domestic tours, and up to the full $35,000 for international tours. The Showcase component maximum is $7,500, $5,000 of which can be used for domestic showcases, and up to the full $7,500 can be used for international showcases.

Artist 2 and General (see Note): $32,500 in combined tour & showcase support. The Tour component maximum is $30,000, of which a max of $15,000 can be used for domestic tours, and up to the full $30,000 for international tours. The Showcase component maximum is $7,500, $5,000 of which can be used for domestic showcases, and up to the full $7,500 can be used for International showcases.

Note: General Artists may not apply for Tour Support in the Live Performance Program; however, the Tour Support Component is available to General Artists through all full-length sound recording and marketing programs.  If you are a General Artist and you have an ongoing FACTOR-funded full-length sound recording project, you are likely eligible for tour support in the program supporting your project.  If your record label is the applicant for that funding, please speak to your record label about making an application for the Tour Support Component.

These limits include the Showcase Component maximums and apply across all Programs. This means that regardless of what Program you apply under, or which Applicant applies, the amount of Tour Support funding available for the Artist will not exceed the above limits in each FACTOR fiscal year.

Radio Marketing Component

We’ve removed the “one per applicant” restriction.  It’s now once per funding phase of the project.  Applicants can use up to $5000 in Phase I, and up to $5000 in Phase II. There is a qualifying sales threshold to hit Phase 2 (excluding MPN which is a one-phase project).

Qualifying Sales Thresholds

We have dropped the qualifying sales threshold for Phase II funding in Juried Sound Recording, Comprehensive Artist, Comprehensive Music Company.  It is now:

  • Genre A (Pop, Rock, Adult Contemporary, Alternative, Christian Rock, Hard Rock): 5,000 units
  • Genre B (Country, Roots, Folk, Blues, Traditional, Dance, Electronica, Soul/R&B, Urban, Hip hop): 3,000 units
  • Genre C (Aboriginal, World, Classical, Jazz, Children’s, Specialized, Experimental, Reggae, Heavy Metal, Punk): 1,500 units

NOTE that the qualifying sales threshold to be eligible for Marketing and Promotion for non-FACTOR-funded Sound Recordings remains where it was.  Please see those guidelines.