For musicians across Canada, making a living is more challenging than ever these days. And it’s never been easy.

“Let’s be honest: Canada is a beautiful, diverse, peaceful, free country, but it is not an easy place to be a musician,” says vocalist Ori Dagan. “Due to its vast geography and small population, this has always been a challenging market. And with the 21st century challenges of dwindling revenues from sales, grants have become all the more crucial to the survival of this ecosystem.”

The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings — more commonly known as FACTOR — is one of the major ways of securing the funding they need to bring their projects to life. The public/private partnership has a number of different grants that are designed to help Canadian musicians record an album, market their music, tour nationally and internationally, and more.

Since the 1980s, the organization has funded hundreds of artists as its budget has grown to more than $11.5 million annually. Some of FACTOR’s success stories include Polaris Prize winners Cadence Weapon, Haviah Mighty, Jeremy Dutcher, Lido Pimienta and Tanya Tagaq, along with many of the major players in Canada’s jazz scene such as Laila Biali, BADBADNOTGOOD, Dominique Fils-Aimé and Ernesto Cervini.

“I believe that Canada is so incredibly fortunate to have a funding body like FACTOR,” says oboist Colin Maier, who has released a total of five albums with the help of the foundation. “There is so much music produced from the beginning stages to mega stars and from indie to large record labels that could not have been done without [it].”

Below, we highlight 10 artists in Canada’s jazz and blues scenes who are making use of FACTOR in the hopes of taking their careers to the next level.