Diversity and Inclusion

With funding and services designed to assist the spectrum of musical expressions and talent, FACTOR is committed to reflecting the diversity of the Canadian population in its programs and operations while also promoting inclusiveness within the broader Canadian music sector.


Diversity & Inclusion Committee

To enhance our commitment to reflect the diversity of the Canadian population in our programs and operations, FACTOR created our first Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee to examine our policies, programs, and outcomes in this area. The members represent a variety of groups and music industry professionals from across the country.

Committee Members

Ashley Au


Dana Beeler

Festival Director/Artist

Ila Barker


Jade Harper

Manitoba Music Indigenous Music Export Coordinator

Jarrett Martineau

RPM/Vancouver Cultural Planner for Music

Jay Devonish

eOne Entertainment

Joni Daniels

Treefort Artists

Kyria Kilakos

Indica Records/Montreal Women in Music

Marek Tyler


Masani Montague

Rastafest/Canadian Reggae Conference

Sam Slattery

Women in Music Canada

Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais

Manitoba Music

Tarun Nayar

5X Festival/Artist

Tony Sutherland

Durham College

Victoria Lord

VPL Publicity

Action Items

We are always working on our Diversity and Inclusion plan with our fellow committee members and understand that we need to be constantly and consistently taking actionable steps forward.
Please see below an overview of the changes we have taken in our programs and operations in the past several years.


  • • Collecting ethnicity- and gender-based data on all applicants (2017 – ongoing), as well as information on disability and sexual orientation (2019 – ongoing) to better understand and address systemic gaps and barriers where we find them.
  • • Actively recruiting jurors from diverse communities to ensure proper representation in judging (2017 – ongoing).
  • • The Sponsorship program is focused on funding workshops, mentorships, and events targeting and/or organized by Black, Indigenous, Persons of Colour, women, LGBTQ2 and people with disabilities (2016 – ongoing).
  • • The budget for the Sponsorship program increased from $250,000 in 2017 to $1,000,000 in 2020.
  • • After discussions with the Indigenous communities, created the Remote Communities Allowance to provide additional travel support (2018).
  • • After discussions with the Disability community, created two Accessibility Support Funds. One to support applicants with their application to FACTOR (2019) and one to support applicants who received a grant from FACTOR (2020).
  • • Applicants for the Collective Initiatives program are required to commit to a Diversity and Inclusion plan and demonstrate that they have implemented their plan (2019).
  • • We have made an amendment to FACTOR’s General Agreement to enforce policies and practices that ensure a healthy and respectful workplace environment. All recipients of FACTOR funding, including but not limited to employees, contractors, and artists, have a right to working conditions that are free from harassment, abuse, racism and discrimination.
  • • Committed up to $350,000 over 4 years to assist Canadian women and people who identify as gender minorities, including trans individuals (AMAB and AFAB), agender and non-binary people, participate in the European Keychange program.

Board of Directors

  • • Created the Diversity & Inclusion Board Committee that reviews diversity and inclusion policies and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors (2018).
  • • Created the Diversity & Inclusion Board Observer position with a goal to reflect the views of Canada’s diverse music communities with respect to FACTOR’s programs and policies and put them through a “diversity and inclusion” lens to make sure we are taking this important dimension of our work into account (2019).


  • • Created a new Outreach Project Coordinator position to better connect FACTOR to the Canadian music industry’s underserved communities and support their efforts (2016).
  • • Created Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee that meets annually and are part of ongoing discussions through the year. Committee members reflect many different groups from across the country including: Indigenous, Black, Persons of Colour, LGBTQ2, women, and disability communities (2019).
  • • Created FACTOR’s first dedicated Outreach Plan that outlines our diversity and inclusion framework and sets actionable goals for the fiscal year and it will be updated every year (2019).
  • • Hosted and funded dedicated International Women’s Day’s events across the country to celebrate and empower women and non-binary artists in the music industry (2019 and 2020).
  • • Hosted and funded dedicated National Indigenous Day’s events across the country to celebrate and uplift Indigenous voices and connect Indigenous communities (2019 and 2020).
  • • Hosted specific information sessions for the diverse underrepresented communities
  • • Increased funding to Regional Education Coordinators in the provincial Music Industry Associations to dedicate more resources to diversity and inclusion programs and outreach in their area.
  • • The Client Services Department implemented client facing meetings to conduct one-on-one meetings with applicants (2020). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this initiative now takes place in the format of virtual meetings.

Website & Communications

  • • The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities department of the Ontario government did an accessibility audit of factor.ca, looking at the text and attachments. We are making changes to make website documents easier to access (2019).
  • • FACTOR has partnered with Independent Living Canada to support our applicants and recipients with disability related barriers within the application and fulfillment process.
  • • FACTOR’s 2020 Business Policies has been converted into a fully accessible document.
  • • We are actively promoting underrepresented genres and artists, as well as different resources for them on social media and our monthly newsletter (2018 – ongoing).

Staff Training

  • • Had lunch and learn sessions for staff to learn about specific genres (2019).
  • • All staff attended 2 half-day sessions “Diversity and Inclusion Bootcamp” and “Respect in the Workplace” held by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (2019).
  • • All staff attended a half-day session “Respect in the Workplace” held by Miller Thomson (2017).
  • • Every new staff is required to complete accessibility training on The Code and AODA developed by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, as well as customer service training.
  • • Staff are encouraged to take courses on diversity and inclusion.

Next Steps

  • • Improve our demographic data collection to evaluate the current state of program access with respect to diversity and inclusion.
  • • Organize 8 to 10 info sessions over the coming year specifically for diverse communities such as Indigenous artists, Hip hop / R&B artists, Latin Music artists, Women & Gender minorities, Black artists, and more.
  • • Create a Human Resources plan for hiring of and support for diverse staff.
  • • Convert program guidelines into a fully accessible format.
  • • Create infographic resources on programs for diverse communities.