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 funded through this program can be developed for commercial use by the Canadian media industry or public use by Canadians. Projects are supported at the development, production and marketing stages and through acceleration partnerships. Funding 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.
There were two new programs within the Experimental Stream debuting in 2013-2014, a pilot program where productions receive assistance from accelerators in partnership with CMF, and another pilot program providing support for international coproductions.
As in previous years, the budget of $34.5M for the main activities, Development, Production, and Marketing assistance, was fully spent. Total budgets supported rose over $5.0M from 2012-2013 to $60.4M. Successful projects came from British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec. Average production budgets rose to a four-year peak of $1.2M, up from $1.0M last year. The CMF provided 62.7% of financing to production projects in 2013-2014, down from 68.5% in 2012-2013.
Experimental Stream 2013-2014
|Number of projects||
Production received 66.2% of funding in 2013-2014, with each project receiving an average of $0.7M in CMF investment, up from $0.6M in 2012-2013. CMF funding to production projects ranged from $165K to $1.0M, the maximum contribution. There were 22 bilingual production projects supported or 62.9% in 2013-2014, reflecting the content creators’ commitment to providing broad access to a large number of Canadians.
Development received a 23.6% share of Experimental Stream funding in 2013-2014. Marketing applications received a 10.2% share of funding.
The majority of production support, at 52.2%, went toward games that were created for various platforms. Rich interactive media comprised 37.7% of production funding, a 10 share point increase compared to 2012-2013. 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, a considerably different experience than the passive consumption of linear content. Interactive web series is one example of rich interactive media. Social media projects have grown to receive 6.5% share of funding, from 2.5% last year.
There were 500 applications to the Experimental Stream in 2013-2014, and 16.6% were supported. While the CMF provided the majority of financing, producer self-investment at 21.8%, 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 private investors and crowdfunding campaigns. Foreign financing has increased to 3.7% from 1.3% in 2012-2013. The CMF allowed 17 applications to convert development advances to production investments in 2013-2014. This has added an additional 5.3% to what was originally a 57.4% share of production financing, resulting in a 62.7% share of financial support for 2013-2014 Experimental production.
2013-2014 Experimental Sources of Financing
|Market Channel Partners||0.0||0.0|
* includes $3.2M of development advances converted to 2013-2014 production financing
The Accelerator Partnership Pilot Program targeted producers of digital media projects funded through the Experimental Stream, to provide better access to mentorship, market and capital. The Accelerator program budget was set at $360K, which was fully committed to 12 producers. Nine accelerator partners, from British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec, signed agreements to work with producers. The Digital Media Co-production Incentive committed $100K to one Experimental Stream project to support production costs.
Accelerator Partnership Pilot Program - List of Accelerators
|# of projects||Location|
|Brain Rack Accelerate||1||British Columbia|
|IdeaBOOST and Mind Pirates Program||2||Ontario|
|Centre d'entreprises en innovation de Montréal (CEIM)||2||Quebec|
|Ryerson Digital Media Zone||1||Ontario|
|George Brown Digital Media and Gaming Incubator||1||Ontario|
|Launch'Pad by Innovate Manitoba||1||Manitoba|
|Invest Ottawa Business Acceleration Program||1||Ontario|
|Victory Square Labs||1||British Columbia|