The Experimental Stream has 3 core programs:
- The Innovation Program, designed to support Canadian interactive digital media content and software applications that are innovative and leading-edge. Projects are supported at the development, production and marketing stages.
- The Commercial Projects Pilot Program (“C3P”), designed to support the production of Canadian digital content and software applications which have an increased focus on potential commercial success. Projects are supported at the production stage.
- The Web Series Program, designed to support original, linear series in their second (or subsequent) season, created initially for the web, in the designated CMF genres of drama and children and youth programming. Projects are supported at the production stage.
Experimental projects can also be supported through the Accelerator Partnership Program (“A2P”) and international codevelopment and coproduction incentives.
Funding in all Experimental Stream programs 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. Projects at the development and marketing stages are assessed internally.
$40.4M was allocated to the Experimental Stream’s main activities, which went to 96 projects. The number of projects funded dropped from 104 in 2015-2016 to 96 in 2016-2017. Total budgets supported rose to $75.4M, $11.5M more than in 2015-2016. Successful projects came from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Québec. Development received a 15.6% share of Experimental Stream funding in 2016-2017. Marketing applications received a 6.8% share of funding.
Production Activity by Program 2016-2017
|Program||# of projects||CMF $M||Budgets $M||Average Budget $K|
|Commercial Projects Pilot Program||7||3.7||8.6||1,228|
|Web Series Pilot Program||10||2.0||4.3||428|
Average production budgets for the Innovation Program and the Commercial Projects Pilot Program were at $1.3M and $1.2M respectively. The average budget for production activity was $1.0M in 2015-2016. Funded Web Series had an average budget of $428K.
* Excludes international incentives
Production received 77.6% of funding in 2016-2017, with each project receiving an average of $0.6M in CMF investment, unchanged from 2015-2016. CMF funding to production projects ranged from $100K (for a Web Series application) to $1.1M (for a C3P application). Total budgets triggered by production funding reached a five-year high.
The largest portion of production support in 2016-2017, at 49.2%, went toward games that were created for various platforms, however this share was significantly less compared to 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. Software projects have grown to receive 19.4% share of funding, from 10.4% last year, at the expense of games. The C3P was shared by games at 43.3%, software at 35.8%, and rich interactive media at 20.9%. Web Series (funded through the Web Series Program) received 6.4% of production funding.
There were 495 applications to the Experimental Stream in 2016-2017, and 19.4% were supported. Due to the small number of C3P projects and the unique production model of Web Series, the financial analyses are shown with Innovation and C3P production combined and the Web Series analysis separate.
* includes $5.0M of development advances converted to 2016-2017 production financing
In the Innovation program, the CMF provided the majority of financing (61.1%), at a reduced level compared to last year (72.0%). The lower share was due to larger budgets. The C3P had a maximum contribution of 50% of eligible costs and the average share of financial support was 44.5%. The CMF allowed 21 applications to convert development advances to production investments in 2016-2017. This has added an additional $5.0M to the 2016-2017 CMF commitments, resulting in a 58.7% share of financial support in the Innovation and C3P programs combined. Producer investment at 25.5% was the secondary source of financing, higher than previous years of the Experimental stream. Other financing includes government sources, distributors, private investors, foreign financiers, and other entities providing services, totaling 15.8% of production budgets.
* financing shown is based on preliminary analysis, as the decisions were released late in the fiscal year and are not yet contracted
In Web Series, 46.7% of financing came from the CMF. Government sources, Canadian OTTs, foreign and Canadian private sources provided the remainder of financing.
Accelerator Partnership Pilot Program - List of Accelerators
|# of projects||Location|
|Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) - Silicon Valley||1||United States|
|Centre d'entreprises en innovation de Montréal (CEIM)||3||Québec|
|Communitech (Waterloo region)||1||Ontario|
|District 3 Innovation Centre||3||Québec|
|The Generator at One||1||Ontario|
|Québec International - Propulsion||3||Québec|
|RC4-Ryerson Centre for Cloud & Context-aware Computing||1||Ontario|
|Wavefront Accelerator||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 committed $630K to 21 projects, up from 16 in 2015-2016. Eleven accelerator partners, from British Columbia, Ontario, Québec, and the United States, signed agreements to work with producers.