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Grimes Got Over $90,000 In Funding As A Canadian Artist & People On Twitter Have Questions

They argue funds should go to artists who need it more.
Grimes Got Over $90,000 In Funding As A Canadian Artist & People On Twitter Have Questions

You probably know Grimes, the Juno Award-winning alt-pop artist who came up in Montreal and whose baby daddy is tech billionaire Elon Musk.

But you might not know she received $90,525 in financial support this year from FACTOR, a non-profit that funds Canadian musicians, partially through the Department of Canadian Heritage.

A recent Twitter thread by Niko Stratis, a Toronto-based consultant & artist manager, reveals that this has some folks raising eyebrows.

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Reason 1: She doesn't live in Quebec 

Why are people upset?

The applicant listed on the fund recipient list that includes Grimes' name is Quebec-based Crystal Math Music Inc.*

Grimes, herself, does not live in Quebec.

According to news reports, she recently bought a home in Pasadena, California where her boyfriend, Musk, reportedly lives.

It's also the state where their baby was born.

For all intents and purposes, Grimes doesn't live in Quebec or even in Canada anymore.

Reason 2: She doesn't need the money

Twitter users also pointed out that the money could have gone to marginalized, or struggling Canadian artists who do reside here.

Grimes' net worth is $3 million, according to

"It’s not right that she’s taking in this much funding, and I know it’s hard for a lot of Canadian artists to see and hear and know that they are passed over for established rich artists and businesses," wrote Stratis.

FACTOR: She met eligibility criteria

FACTOR's list of funding recipients is publicly available on its website, and it includes some big names in the Canadian music industry, though many — such as The Weeknd — stopped receiving funding in recent years, possibly correlating to amassing more fame and wealth.

A communications manager for FACTOR, Karina Moldovan, told MTL Blog that it was Grimes' record label rather than Grimes who applied for and received the funding granted.

Moldovan said Crystal Math Music Inc. "met eligibility requirements" for the Comprehensive Music Company program, which is a "full-length sound recording program accessible to eligible record labels."

She also explained that "the eligibility requirements for FACTOR do not require Canadian citizens to live in Canada. Various artists who maintain Canadian citizenship live abroad and access FACTOR programs."

"FACTOR’s mandate is to provide assistance toward the growth and development of the Canadian music industry [...] with a focus on commercial success. In this way, FACTOR greatly differs from an arts council and should not be regarded as such," she said.

A bigger conversation is taking place on Twitter

Even though Grimes meets eligibility criteria, the allocation of these funds is raising questions on Twitter about how resources are distributed to Canadian artists.

Stratis' initial tweet has more than 500 likes.

By comparison, Montreal's Kaytranada received $20,000 from FACTOR this year.

"That amount of $ going to an established successful artist while there are so many struggling artists living HERE that are rejected or given tiny tiny grants because of their factor tier rating," tweeted Breanna Johnston, who makes music as Pallas Athene.

"My mind was blown at what that $$ could have done for someone else..."

*This article has been updated.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article's headline stated that Grimes received funding as a Quebec artist. It has been updated with more accurate information.

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