The Experimental Stream supports the creation of ground-breaking, interactive, digital media content and software applications. Innovation in user engagement is one of the consistent strengths of projects submitted. Projects are supported at the development, production and marketing stages, through acceleration partnerships, and with international co-venture incentives. Funding in the main activities (Development, Production, and Marketing) is allocated according to a selective process using an evaluation matrix. Projects at the production stage are assessed by a jury of Canadian and international industry experts. Their biographies can be found on the Canada Media Fund (CMF) web site. The CMF thanks jury members for their contribution to the success of this program.
$39.0M was allocated to the Experimental Stream’s main activities and saw $38.6M going to 108 projects1. Total budgets supported stayed stable compared to last year at $60.2M. Successful projects came from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Ontario, and Quebec. Development received a 27.3% share of Experimental Stream funding in 2014-2015. Marketing applications received a 10.9% share of funding.
1Although requests to the program greatly surpassed the available funds and the decisions fully spent the allocation, one application was abandoned after approval.
Production received 61.8% of funding in 2014-2015, with each project receiving an average of $0.5M in CMF investment, down from $0.7M in 2013-2014. CMF funding to production projects ranged from $60K to $1.0M, the maximum contribution. The number of projects funded increased greatly in 2014-2015, reducing average production budgets to $0.8M, down from $1.2M last year. The CMF provided 68.0% of financing to production projects in 2014-2015, similar to 2012-2013 support.
The majority of production support in 2014-2015, at 66.6%, went toward games that were created for various platforms, rising to two-thirds from around one-half in previous years. Rich interactive media received the next largest share of production funding. Rich interactive media refers to content that requires the viewer’s interaction, as the viewer navigates through the numerous options that were made available in order to reach one of several outcomes. Interactive web series is one example of rich interactive media. Social media projects have grown to receive 8.8% share of funding, from 2.7% two years ago.
There were 376 applications to the Experimental Stream in 2014-2015, and 28.7% were supported. While the CMF provided the majority of financing, producer self-investment at 18.1% was the secondary source of financing for experimental production, at a level that has been typical in all years of the Experimental stream. Other financing includes broadcasters, private investors, foreign financiers, and crowdfunding campaigns, totaling 6.7% of production budgets. The CMF allowed 11 applications to convert development advances to production investments in 2014-2015. This has added an additional 7.1% to what was originally a 60.9% share of financial support for 2014-2015 Experimental production.
Accelerator Partnership Pilot Program - List of Accelerators
|# of projects||Location|
|Canadian Technology Accelerator in the UK - CTA@UK||1||United Kingdom|
|Centre d'entreprises en innovation de Montréal (CEIM)||2||Quebec|
|Canadian Technology Accelerator in New York City - CTA@NYC||1||USA|
|George Brown Digital Media and Gaming Incubator||1||Ontario|
|Québec International - Propulsion||1||Quebec|
|The Generator at One||1||Ontario|
|Victory Square Labs Inc.||2||British Columbia|
|York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI)||1||Ontario|
The Accelerator Partnership Pilot Program targeted producers of digital media projects funded through the Experimental Stream, to provide better access to mentorship, market intelligence and capital. The Accelerator program budget was set at $360K, which was fully committed to 12 producers. In 2014-2015, the accelerator partners expanded internationally. Ten partners, from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, New York (USA) and the United Kingdom, signed agreements to work with producers.