Canada sets up $29 million new media fund


MUMBAI: The Canadian federal government will spend $29 million over the next two years to renew a program aimed at helping the development of Canadian digital media products.

Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda made the announcement at a digital media conference in Banff, Alta. She said the Canada New Media Fund will continue to support the creation of Canadian digital interactive content in both official languages.

New media BC president Lynda Brown said, “We are pleased that further support has been provided to the digital media industry through the renewal and increase of the Canadian New Media Fund. New Media BC, along with our partners in the Canadian Interactive Alliance, has worked hard to position the need for this fund and its value to digital media producers. The fund is one of a very few development programs for our industry and key to the creation of unique, Canadian, digital media cultural products.”

The $29 million represents a slight increase to the former fund equaling $500 thousand per annum. While the federal government recognises the importance of the sector through the renewal of the CNMF, more efforts are required to retain Canada’s leadership position and compete on the global stage where countries like Ireland, Singapore, Korea and China are investing heavily in their own digital media companies through training initiatives and infrastructure development.

“The digital media industry is one of our most promising knowledge economies. It is a creative, sustainable, green sector that offers the next generation of Canadians meaningful and creative employment. We have the ability to establish Canada as a world leader in this sector, but we’re increasingly losing that competitive position and under some real threat in the global marketplace. The government’s renewal of the fund is a positive step forward in a longer path towards success,” Brown adds.

NMBC cites the creation of a World Centre for Digital Media to be located in Vancouver, an epicentre for academia, research and industry to work collaboratively fostering growth of the sector across Canada, and the creation of a digital entertainment task force as key steps NMBC is taking to keep moving down that path.

The Canadian digital media industry is estimated to include 3,200 companies, who employ approximately 52,100 people and generates roughly $5 billion in total revenue. In BC roughly 1,150 companies employing 16,000 people generate $1.7 billion.