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) website. The CMF thanks jury members for their contribution to the success of this program.
$40.5M were allocated to the Experimental Stream’s main activities, which went to 104 projects. Total budgets supported rose from last year to $63.9M. Successful projects came from British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Ontario, and Quebec. Development received a 22.8% share of Experimental Stream funding in 2015-2016. Marketing applications received an 8.1% share of funding.
Production received 69.1% of funding in 2015-2016, with each project receiving an average of $0.6M in CMF investment, up from $0.5M in 2014-2015. CMF funding to production projects ranged from $92K to $1.2M, the maximum contribution. The number of projects funded dropped slightly in 2015-2016, coupled with the increase in maximum contribution, the average production budget increased to $1.0M from $0.8M last year. The CMF provided 72.0% of financing to production projects in 2015-2016, a five-year high.
The majority of production support in 2015-2016, at 68.0%, went toward games that were created for various platforms, similar to the level in past 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. Software projects have grown to receive 10.4% share of funding, from 4.0% last year.
* includes $4.8M of development advances converted to 2015-2016 production financing
There were 375 applications to the Experimental Stream in 2015-2016, and 27.7% were supported. While the CMF provided the majority of financing, producer self-investment at 15.3% 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 7.8% of production budgets. The CMF allowed 17 applications to convert development advances to production investments in 2015-2016. This has added an additional 10.6% to what was originally a 61.4% share of financial support for 2015-2016 Experimental production, boosting the CMF share of financing to a five-year high.
Accelerator Partnership Pilot Program - List of Accelerators
|# of projects||Location|
|Accélérateur de création d'entreprises technologiques - ACET||1||Quebec|
|Centre d'entreprises en innovation de Montréal (CEIM)||2||Quebec|
|Communitech (Waterloo region)||1||Ontario|
|Corinthian Entertainment Ltd||1||United Kingdom|
|Execution Labs Inc.||2||Quebec|
|George Brown College Digital Media & Gaming Incubator||1||Ontario|
|Québec International - Propulsion||1||Quebec|
|Victory Square||1||British Columbia|
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 $480K, an increase from $360K last year, which was fully committed to 16 producers, up from 12 in 2014-2015. Eleven partners, from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and the United Kingdom, signed agreements to work with producers.