Digital media is no longer the future; in fact, we are living through a period of time where digital media content is becoming so commonplace that it would be difficult to imagine the world without it. The rise of Netflix, online social games, and newly emerging engineering & design technologies all lend themselves towards the rise of highly innovative digital companies who are ready to usher consumers into the future of digital technology.
In response to this wave of global digital media innovation, the Canadian government has created the Canada Media Fund (CMF) as a way for Canadian content designers and developers to receive the cash flow necessary to develop, produce, and market technologies to remain competitive in the global market. CMF is a repayable small business funding program which aims to fund innovative and leading edge digital media content and software applications. Recently, the Canada Media Fund has given $14.1M to successful applicants of the program’s Experimental Stream, which aims to support innovative original digital media content for the general Canadian public.
Recipients of Canadian Government Loans through CMF
CMF has announced the 22 projects awarded funding in their first round of support in this year’s (2015-2016) Experimental stream’s Production substream. This article will highlight some of the most innovative projects currently being worked on, although the 22 awarded projects ranged from 16 games, 1 virtual reality platform, 2 applications, and 3 ground-breaking websites from provinces around the nation. These technologies will help to further establish Canadian designers as some of the best in the world.
Spearhead Games’ $1.2 Million Win for the Production of ‘Legends’
Receiving $1.2 million from CMF, Spearhead Games will produce an action role playing game (RPG) for PC and console (PS4 and Xbox One) platforms. People playing the game will be immersed into a dynamic living game universe where all of the user’s actions will cause twists to the story. This innovation allows for a story line with nearly infinite possibilities and will invite users to replay the game multiple times.
Secret Location Inc. Receives $1.2 Million for ‘Insomnia VR’
Secret Location Inc. will also receive the maximum government funding amount of $1.2 million for their production of ‘Insomnia VR’, a 9-part virtual reality narrative based on Stephen King’s novel Insomnia. This simulation will be available on Samsung’s Milk VR, Oculus Share, and the more affordable Google Cardboard. Users will have the ability to explore the idyllic world set in Derry, Maine and manipulate their surroundings through the perspective of several different characters.
‘Gyre’ by Evodant Interactive Inc. Wins $1.158 Million
Evodant Interactive’s ‘Gyre’ is another RPG for PC and console systems which embraces demand for the ability to have several different possibilities throughout the game. Players build out their own unique stories through their own actions and must adapt to the unscripted consequences of their actions. Users will also have the ability to conduct online 1-on-1 or 4-on-4 battles, making this social game easily shareable in the age of digital content.
Nine Dots Studio Inc. Receives Over $962k for ‘Outward’
Based in Quebec, Nine Dots Studio is in production for their newest game, ‘Outward’. Like others that have received high-value wins from CMF, Outward is an RPG which focuses on being believable rather than overly fantasy-driven. Players must plan their actions ahead of time since there are “points of no return” throughout the game. These various defeats do not end the game, but will merely serve as an event in the character’s ongoing adventure through the storyline.
Other Successful Canada Media Fund Projects
Although gaming was the primary focus of the Canada Media Fund’s Experimental stream, Production substream funding recipients, other projects being funded include nearly $500k towards CG Breakdown’s website that supports 3D animation, $700,000 to IoTheatre’s interactive platform the uses verbal queues to trigger responses, and $657,000 towards Liquid Cinema’s 360 video capturing technology for use in virtual reality platforms.
Receive Canada Media Fund Government Funding for Business
Many companies will find the greatest benefit from CMF’s Experimental Stream, which provides repayable funding to media companies at a rate of prime + 1%. This program is intended to fund the development, production, and marketing of digital media and allows companies to commercialize innovative projects which will have a high impact in the consumer digital media market.
Digital Media Business and Project Eligibility
Companies attempting to secure government funding must comply with the following criteria for their business and project type:
- Must be a Canadian-controlled company with a head office in Canada;
- Project’s rights must be owned and developed by Canadians; and
- Project must be produced in Canada with at least 75% of costs being Canadian costs.
Funding Amounts Available Per Project Stage
- Development Stream: Up to 75% of eligible expenses will be funded to a maximum of $300,000 for the planning and development of new media.
- Production Stream: Up to 75% of eligible expenses will be funded to a maximum of $1.2 million for the creation and production of new media content.
- Marketing & Promotion Stream: Up to 75% of eligible expenses will be funded to a maximum of $400,000 to increase a project’s reach by marketing the new media.
Mentor Works’ Small Business Funding Resources
While Canada Media Fund’s Experimental Stream provides an excellent government funding opportunity for many content creators of digital and other types of media, Canadian government grants and loans for small business are highly varied and companies should always monitor the vast number of resources available. Not sure how to assess different small business grants? Use Mentor Works’ free Comparing Funding Types info sheet to learn the differences between Canadian grants, repayable funding, and tax incentives, and other valuable information that will allow you to make a more informed funding choice. Have questions about a particular Canadian government funding program? Contact Mentor Works today and we’d be happy to assist you.
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