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Grants For the Touring Musician 

By Lukas Cheung 

Musicians are faced with an ever growing list of challenges when it comes to touring. Visas, changing restrictions, financial obstacles, rising gas prices and more. With all this working against you, you can use every advantage you can find. The grant systems that support travel and provide support are an essential well and resource that you need to know about!

In this article we will be bringing your attention to several grants that can make your tours, and out of town showcases possible and hopefully profitable.  We will also explore some strategies that may aid in your success in receiving funding / making the most of your resources when you do.

Canada Council Arts Across Canada Travel Grant 

 The Canada Council Arts Across Canada Travel Grant provides funding for travel within Canada or from an international departure to a Canadian destination by invitation. The travel must be at least 300 kilometres from the place of departure. The grant can be used to visit single or multiple destinations within one trip, for various purposes such as developing markets and networks, presenting artistic work, exploring future collaborations, building on an existing tour, or participating in significant events. The grant is available for individual artists, groups, and organisations in the arts sector. This grant has a rolling deadline, as long as your application is placed before the event you can apply for funding.


Factor Tour Support and Factor Showcase Support

Another granting body to look into is Factor. There are two grants specifically that may aid you in your out-of-town endeavors. The Factor Tour Support grant and the Factor Showcase Support Grant.

Factor has a rating system, so you will have to go through the necessary sign up process. Once you have done this your eligibility will be conditional on your citizenship status, only Canadians are eligible for funding. You can apply for multiple showcases, however there is a cap at $7500 per fiscal year. ($5,000 for domestic showcasing and up to $7,500 for international showcasing.)

Another factor with the Factor grants is that the showcases must fall under an approve list by Factor. That can be found here:

Eligible showcase link 


Socan Foundation

A lesser-known granting body is the Socan Foundation.  Socan also has a branch of their grants dedicated to composers, writers, and music publishers with the purpose to help cover travel costs for career-building or career-defining activities in Canada or abroad. Priority is given to applications that demonstrate the importance of the activity to the applicant’s career. Examples of eligible activities include award presentations, important performances, residencies, showcases, and workshops. The maximum grant amounts are based on the one-way travel distance and range from $400 to $1000. Applicants can only receive one Travel Assistance Grant per calendar year. To be eligible, applicants must provide a letter of confirmation or invitation to the event or project activity, and music publishers must represent works by at least four SOCAN members. 


In applying to these festivals, it is advisable to have your support materials ready and available. This could include information and documentation for your support musicians, invitations from showcases and festivals, proof of expenses such as flights or accommodation. This can also include an up-to-date CV and bio! These bodies may receive lots of applications, you need to communicate the value of your work and experiences. Be thorough in your expenses as many of these granting bodies can be quite picky! Keep good records to make your life easier later.

It is worthwhile to note that you can often apply to one or several of these grants for the same showcase. This can drastically aid in your ability to accept and perform at events that otherwise might be impossible without the support provided by these granting bodies. Furthermore, it is advisable to strategically structure your tours around Grant approved showcases. Perhaps you are getting a grant from Factor that covers your travel to Sled Island in Calgary, why not plan some shows around there now that you have some gas in your tank!

In closing, there are a variety of resources out there that can make touring and sharing your music much more feasible. The sooner you take advantage of them the sooner you can get on the road. 


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