So, in Canada, they’ve got this crazy set-up where the government actually gives a fuck about art and offers financial support to artists, even if they’re just into pop music, which obviously has nowhere near the far-reaching effect of, say, musical theater. But according to Greg Ipp of Unfamiliar Records, who published an open letter on the Daily Swarm, their system isn’t quite working either. He argues that too much money is being given to established artists on established record labels, citing Metric and MSTRKRFT as examples.
So today, as I looked over the latest round of VideoFACT grants, I was struck by a thought that has cycled through my head on so many occasions: Why the hell are these bands getting the money? Metric? They have now received two successive video grants in the last three months—one from FACTOR, the other from VideoFACT, for a total of about $60,000. On top of this, they have received various other grants, and have sold over 50,000 units of their new album. MSTRKRFT, who work out of their very own recording studio, and have how many videos now? Dragonette?!
He brings up an interesting point, for sure, but I won’t hold it against you if you can’t find it in your heart to sympathize with him. Especially given this part:
Prior to launching the label, one aspect of the industry I’d heard so much about were grants: The government’s desire to help Canadian artists by providing funding to help them achieve international success. Enthusiastically, we made applications to VideoFACT (who are not a government entity) and to FACTOR, and waited expectantly for help in providing our artists with the kind of support they deserve. Over the years, that support has never materialized; for all the applications submitted, we have only ever received a couple thousand dollars to partially cover showcase travel expenses for one of our bands.
As they say, mo’ government subsidized arts, mo’ problems.