6 Tips for FACTOR and Manitoba Film & Music Grants

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Photo: J.Senft Photography

With a September 29 deadline quickly approaching for FACTOR’s Artist Development and Juried Sound Recording programs, as well as Manitoba Film & Music’s Music Recording Production Fund, we’d like to share some helpful tips…

1. Set up your FACTOR profile now

Getting yourself registered with FACTOR in order to apply for funding is a relatively simple process and there are some serious benefits to getting it out of the way early:

It can take up to a week to get your artist profile verified and you don’t want to miss those funding deadlines because you didn’t leave enough time to get your profile reviewed. (Hint: This means that you have to have your new / unrated profile submitted by September 22 in order to apply for the September 29 deadline.) Once you have registered an Artist Profile with FACTOR you’ll be assigned a project coordinator, who will become a very important resource for you. When you’ve got a nagging question or need guidance on the programs, they’re a great place to turn to. Nobody knows these programs better than they do.

For a really great step-by-step on registering check this out: FACTOR - Application Details

2. Know your resources and use them

Both FACTOR and Manitoba Film & Music have published comprehensive guidelines for all of their programs on their websites. FACTOR also has a great FAQ that addresses most of the common questions that applicants have. All the information that you need at every stage of the process is somewhere online. Get familiar with the program guidelines, the business glossary, and the FAQs. They might not be the most exciting read, but knowing these programs and how they work could be the difference between receiving funding for your next project or not.

FACTOR - Program Details

FACTOR - Frequently Asked Qs

Manitoba Film & Music - Programs

Aside from the materials online there are some really great people you can talk to. Again, your FACTOR project coordinators are an excellent source of guidance. As your FACTOR Regional Affiliate, we here at Manitoba Music are more than happy to help you with any questions you may have (regardless of membership). Similarly, the folks at Manitoba Film & Music are the best place to turn if you’re uncertain about any part of their programs. They also require that you sit down with them before submitting your first application. All of these people want to help you create strong and comprehensive applications and have a vested interest in seeing you do so.

3. Have someone look over your application

Need a second opinion? Of course you do. Before submitting your applications, have someone you trust take a good luck at what you’re handing in. It’s a great opportunity to get some feedback, point out any missed points, obvious mistakes, or suggest some helpful edits. Run them past your peers and any folks you work closely with in the business. You shouldn’t send apps to FACTOR project coordinators, but you could have somemone at Manitoba Music look at them (training@manitobamusic.com). Manitoba Film & Music is also a great resources for a second set of eyes on the MFM applications. In case you’re wondering, yes, that means that the very same people who go through your final applications are interested in looking over your apps before you submit them.

4. Schedule your grants and know your deadlines

As grants have the potential to be such an important piece of putting together a project you should always be planning and scheduling your grant applications into your timelines. Be aware of all the various deadlines. FACTOR and MFM have three deadlines a year where they accept and jury applications. Take the amount time it requires to prepare a strong application into consideration and give yourself a comfortable window to get it done before the deadline. Allow for some peer review, editing, and extra time to adjust for any unforeseen changes to your plans. Your first grant application will take the longest and it’s ideal if you don’t have to rush. A month to six weeks is a great starting place.

Frequently, applications get submitted at the last minute and projects are begun without knowing if they’re going to be successfully funded. Though this is the reality for a lot of situations, it can be avoided by planning ahead and building in the time to prepare grants well in advance. If you can do this, you may even be able to get some of that funding before you begin, allowing you to avoid having to fund the entire project out of pocket. 

5. Don’t spend any money until you submit

Speaking of spending money: both FACTOR and MFM need to have an application submitted before you begin work on a project. Any expenses paid will not be eligible until you have either handed in your application at the MFM office or submitted your FACTOR app online. To be clear: You don’t have to wait until after the deadline to begin your project. You only need to have submitted it.

6. Become a FACTOR juror

If you can show five or more years of experience in the music business you could be eligible to sit on a FACTOR jury for a genre that you have some expertise in. Despite being a great asset to the musical community, jurying the applications is an invaluable learning opportunity. It’s a win-win.

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