How To Apply

Every FACTOR-funded project follows the same basic process from start to finish. Whether you’ve already been awarded funding and you’re wondering about your next steps, or you’re just starting out and looking to see what funding options exist, this guide is for you. We’ve made it easy to find out where you are in our application process, and to jump ahead or backwards if you are feeling a little lost.

As a rule of thumb, we highly suggest you review FACTOR’s business policies before starting any project.

Our Step-by-step Guide to Applications

  1. A user profile is your personal login for the FACTOR online portal. Your user profile represents you as an individual person in our system. Each person will only ever need one user profile, even if you play in multiple bands, or work for more than one music company. Any one user profile can be linked to as many artist and applicant profiles or projects as is needed.

    In your user profile, you’ll need to enter some basic information like your email address, a password, your address, and your phone number.

  2. Browse our Programs

    At this stage, you should think about why you’re coming to FACTOR for funding. Are you a band planning to record an EP or full length album? Take a look at our Demo and Juried Sound Recording programs. Are you a label or manager hoping to get some funding for a trip to a conference? You’d be interested in our Business Travel program.

    The most common programs for artists are: Demo, Juried Sound Recording, and Live Performance (showcase component).

    Each program has certain eligibility requirements, mostly linked to the artist and/or applicant rating (see #3 & #4 below). To learn what programs are available to artists and applicants with different ratings, have a look at the Profile & Ratings page.

    When you are ready to create an application, that application as a whole will be referred to as a project. Some of our programs contain multiple parts that allow applicants to apply for funding to go towards different but related activities in one project. These different parts are called components. Every project will have one or more components. For example, in the Juried Sound Recording program, there are 6 possible components (sound recording, marketing, video, tour support, showcase and radio marketing), but only sound recording is mandatory.

    When you’re deciding which program is right for you, it’s important to look at what components are available and to read the program guidelines to determine your eligibility.

  3. An applicant is the individual, partnership, or corporation that will enter into a contract with FACTOR if funding is offered. The applicant name should be the same name on the bank account into which you want any future funding to be paid. If you’re in a band and you don’t have a formal company structure, FACTOR will need to know which individual band member is taking responsibility for the funding. If you have a company, FACTOR needs to know who owns it and who is designated as the signing authority for that company. All those details form part of the applicant profile.

    After you submit your applicant and/or artist profile for review, you will be assigned a project coordinator. They are your go-to person at FACTOR who will review the profiles and projects you submit, and can answer any FACTOR-related questions you have.

  4. Create and Submit Your Artist Profile

    Please note: businesses that aren’t artists can skip this step.

    If you’re a solo artist, band or other ensemble and you want to apply for funding, you’ll need an artist profile. Your artist profile gives FACTOR a picture of your career as an artist. The artist profile contains all the information used to determine your artist rating, and our artist rating determines which programs you are eligible for.

    Check out our artist profile instructions for more details on how to create and submit an artist profile.

    After you submit your artist profile or applicant profile for review, you’ll be assigned a project coordinator. That’s your go-to person at FACTOR who will review the profiles and projects you submit, and can answer any FACTOR-related questions you have.

  5. Create and Submit Your Application

    Your application will be reviewed by your project coordinator, the FACTOR board, and in certain cases a jury, to determine whether your project will be awarded funding or not.

    Every project will be given a project number and must contain at least one component. Each of those components contain a number of sections that need to be completed: Home, Goals, Component Information, Public Funding (if applicable), and in some components, Budget.

    In most programs, the day you submit your application is the day you can first incur and pay for eligible goods and services that you can later claim in your completion budget if your application is successful (see below).

    If you’re having trouble with your application, have a look at our instructions on how to create and submit an application

  6. Congratulations! You’re now FACTOR-funded.

    After your application has been approved by FACTOR, you’ll be sent an offer of funding. Anyone listed as a signing authority in the applicant profile will receive an email with information on how to accept the offer of funding. This offer will include the general agreement (which is the legal agreement setting out the terms of funding), the earliest completion deadline of any of the components that have been approved, and the amount of funding that’s being offered.

    In some programs (including Juried Sound Recording and Comprehensive Artist), new components can be added at a later date if your initial application is successful.

    When an offer of funding is made, the applicant will need to provide their project coordinator with their direct deposit information, in the form of a void cheque plus FACTOR’s direct deposit form. Once we have your direct deposit information, an advance payment (generally 50% of the offer) will be paid out.

    Check out our offer instructions for more information on accepting an offer of funding.

  7. Do Your Thing

    Now you’re at the point where you’re actually doing your project and fulfilling the goals you laid out in your application.

    Record your album. Go on tour. Film the video. Travel to that conference abroad.

    Remember to keep all of your receipts and avoid paying for things in cash so you’ll be able to claim them in your completion budget.

    If you’d like to request an extension on your completion deadline, contact your project coordinator.

  8. In most programs, there are certain places where you’ll be required to include FACTOR’s logo, the Canada wordmark, and an acknowledgement credit (e.g. album artwork, website, music video). Exactly what that credit must say is determined by the program of your project.

    Make sure the correct logos and credits are included as you’re designing and creating these items and materials. It’s a good idea to have your project coordinator review your artwork to be sure the logos and credits are correct before you go to print.

  9. Completion Report and Documentation

    Once you finish the work for your component, you can submit a completion report for that component. This should be done before your completion deadline.

    Your completion report shows FACTOR how your funding was spent and what was accomplished. When you submit your completion report, all work should be done and all expenses both incurred and paid should be accounted for.

    The completion report is very similar to the application you submitted. At this point you’ll need to complete the Home, Goals, Component Information, Public Funding (if applicable) and Budget sections. In the Budget section you‘ll find a Cost Report spreadsheet which will need to be filled out and submitted with your completion report.

    As a condition of funding, FACTOR is entitled to verify all of the costs that you claim in your completion report.  You will be asked by your project coordinator to provide one or more pieces of documentation, such as the invoice, receipt, and canceled cheque or credit card statement, for each and every cost you claim.  If that documentation doesn’t match what you are trying to claim, the cost will be reduced or removed.

  10. Final Payment

    Once your completion report and all completion documentation have been reviewed by FACTOR, your component will be set up for final payment.

    If FACTOR has made any changes to the costs you have claimed, you’ll find an explanation of those changes in the Home section of the component. If those adjustments result in money being owed back to FACTOR because the advance payment was larger than the total amount of funding available, then a notification of the amount owed back will be sent to you by email.

  11. Loan Repayment (all full-length sound recording projects)

    For all projects in the Juried Sound Recording, Comprehensive Artist and Comprehensive Music Company programs, 25% of the funding awarded is a loan. The remainder is a non-repayable grant.

    The loan repayment period for any FACTOR-funded sound recording is two years after the first commercial release of the album.

    Loan repayment reports are due every 6 months over that two-year period. Applicants are required to fill in a loan repayment report in their project, showing the sales and revenue generated by the sound recording since the prior loan repayment period. 5% of that revenue is then payable to FACTOR as your loan repayment.

    If, at the end of those two years, there is any of the loan portion of the funding remaining, that amount is converted to a grant and does not need to be repaid.  There is no penalty to not repaying the full amount of the loan as long as you have met your obligations to report your sales and revenues honestly and on time.

  12. Closing a Component

    Once all obligations to FACTOR by the applicant on a component have been met, the component will be marked as closed.