So Grimes, who doesn’t live in Canada, who is successful on a level most Canadian artists can only dream of, and who is currently attached to one of the richest people on the planet (who ironically wants to haul-ass off this planet), took $90K of arts money from FACTOR. Saw this story go by and rolled my eyes, but here is FACTOR’s response. Looks like people are understandably skeptical. What are your thoughts on this? When I’m on a CC or provincial jury I tend to frown even when finding tenured profs (surely making $120K+ a year) applying for a $25K grant that would make a real difference in the life of a working artist without a job (IE: currently ME, these days.) It’s certainly bad optics, at the very least.
During the last few weeks, FACTOR has been at the centre of an increasingly ugly controversy surrounding Grimes. Now the non-profit Canadian music fund has responded in attempts to set the record straight.
Earlier this month, stories with headlines like “Grimes Got Over $90,000 In Funding As A Quebec Artist & People On Twitter Have Questions” and “A $90,000 Canadian arts subsidy for Grimes, who lives in California with Elon Musk” began circulating online. This led to more than a few raised eyebrows, as well as some pretty heated online conversation.
Apparently, things have got so bad that FACTOR has now issued a statement trying to clear things up, explaining that the label Crystal Math — home not only to Grimes in Canada, but also Metric, Half Moon Run and Emily Haines — was the applicant for the grant, not Grimes herself. As the 2020 FACTOR recipients list shows, however, Grimes is indeed listed as the artist connected to the grant money in FACTOR’s public records.