One of the cool things about Canada is FACTOR, the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings.
From the FACTOR website...
"Support is provided to Canadian recording artists, songwriters, managers, labels and distributors through various programs which all aid in the development of the industry. Whether an artist is looking to record a demo, full length sound recording, market and promote an already existing album or showcase and tour domestically and internationally, funding is available. FACTOR supports many facets of the infrastructure which must be in place in order for artists and Canadian labels to progress into the international arena."
And that's when the shit hit the fan...
Heritage Minister James Moore is pissed. "It's one thing for art to be edgy," he said. "It's another thing for art to be deliberately attacking a group of Canadians based on their faith."
So the band is pulling the album and giving back the money...
"We regret the negative attention that this matter has brought to FACTOR," was what they said about the decision.
The album will be released later as a non-FACTOR project.
I like that Canada has something like FACTOR. Not only is it good for upcoming artists, it's also good for the country. Being so close to the United States, which is the #1 producer of "entertainment" in the world, it would be easy to be run over, and things like FACTOR grants and "Canadian Content" laws have helped to make sure that hasn't happened...at least not as much.
I think it was a classy act for the band to give back the money.
What I find frustrating is that this is even an issue. Even the United States, which has been marketed as the beacon of "freedom" and expression, has seen similar issues involving the National Endowment for the Arts.
What Makes "Good" Art?
I don't know, but I do know what makes for boring art that doesn't matter...
Art that everybody likes doesn't exist and art that everybody ignores doesn't count.
Art that doesn't offend at least somebody doesn't count.
Art that plays it safe doesn't count.
What Counts As "Canadian" Content?
There is a "technical" of getting art on tape as well as the "creative" side. Shouldn't "Canadian Content" have both? If so...
"Canada's Next Top Model" is a ripoff of the United States and it doesn't count.
"Canadian Idol" is a ripoff of the United States and it doesn't count.
"Dragon's Den" is a ripoff of England and it doesn't count.
The Bottom Line
If you want "Canadian Content" to exist, you have to embrace all of it, even if you don't like it.