Ontario Creates is a provincially mandated government agency with a variety of support programs that provide financial, strategic, and research development resources to Ontario’s cultural entrepreneurs and established interactive digital media sector businesses (including music, book, magazine, film, and television companies) to promote economic growth.
The Ontario Creates Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Fund provides eligible applicants with up to $300,000 in grants for projects that focus on strengthening and stimulating business growth and global market expansion in the interactive digital media sector.
The Ontario Creates IDM Fund was established to empower creative industry businesses to increase productivity by minimizing risks associated with accessing international markets to achieve valuable commercial success. Their government funding programs aim to make Ontario a better place to live and work by increasing opportunities for all creative sectors in the province become global leaders in the domestic and international marketplace.
The deadline to apply for the first round of funding is April 12, 2021. The deadline for the second round of Ontario Creates IDM Fund applications will be August 30, 2021.
Funding Snapshot: Ontario Creates Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Fund
The Ontario Creates IDM Fund provides interactive digital content and video creators with government grants to plan and produce new digital media projects, while also encouraging entry to new and existing global markets for Canadian creators to grow their digital business.
Ontario Creates IDM Fund Streams
Interactive Content (Non-Linear): Provides IDM content creators with funding for activities related to the creation of interactive content.
Video Content (Linear): Provides IDM content creators with funding for activities related to the creation of digital content which is intended to be accessed in a linear fashion.
- Up to 50% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $50,000-$300,000
- Concept Definition: Maximum request is $50,000, and minimum request is $10,000
- Production: Maximum request is $300,000, and minimum request is $25,000
Eligible applicants must:
- Create interactive digital content for consumers (not B2B), for example video games, mobile content apps, e-learning content, XR experiences, etc. Software or technology development projects without a content component are ineligible.
- Generate at least 25% of revenues or 50% of expenditures in the last two FY from the creation of completed screen-based content or at least 50% of revenues from eligible publishing activities.
- Have at least 1 owner or FTE with 3 years of experience in content creation/commercialization.
- Be a Canadian-owned, Ontario-based (at least 1 year), and federally/provincially incorporated (or ready to be incorporated if their application is successful) for-profit entity.
- Be the majority holder of copyright and/or have obtained copyright permission to adapt any material for the project.
- Concept: Will support early-stage activities such as prototype creation, pre-production documents, and business planning in preparing for full production.
- Production: Market-ready interactive content such as video games, mobile content apps, or e-learning content to be made publicly available to an audience on a digital media platform.
- Concept: Early-stage activities in preparing for full production such as pilot/teaser creation, scriptwriting, series bible, and business planning.
- Production: Creation of market-ready linear video content will be made publicly available to an audience on a digital media platform.
- Decisions will be announced within 4 months of the submission deadline.
Projects/activities must be complete:
- Concept Definition: Within 15 months after the notification of the decision.
- Production: Within 30 months after the notification of the decision.
- Round 1: April 12, 2021
- Round 2: August 30, 2021
Government Funding for Canadian Export Expansion
By helping Ontario’s creative industry sectors expand and grow their businesses, the Ontario Creates IDM Fund generates opportunities for innovative companies to export into new global markets because of sustainable economic growth projects.
If your business is interested in similar financial support, there are alternative government funding programs available such as the CanExport Program, which focuses specifically on assisting Canadian businesses with export expansion projects by offering grants of up to $75,000.
To learn more about Canadian export expansion support, sign up for our free upcoming Government Funding for Exporting During COVID-19 webinar co-sponsored with Export Development Canada (EDC) on March 23, 2021 from 10:00AM to 10:45AM. Attendees will learn about core government funding programs designed to help businesses with expansion plans during the ongoing global pandemic.