From Dream to Screen

Growing Ontario's Cultural Industries with New Investment in Intellectual Property Development

TORONTO, Dec. 10 /CNW/ - Ontario is helping to drive innovation and stimulate economic growth in the creative sector by supporting early-stage development for television, film, mobisodes, webisodes, video games, internet properties and more.

The province is investing $10 million to support screen-based companies in moving ideas from the development stage into production and marketing.

By providing funding for development expenses, the McGuinty government is promoting the continued growth of Ontario's creative sector and helping businesses thrive as they develop new and innovative products.

The Intellectual Property Development Fund is a one-year pilot program administered by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC). Guidelines have been posted on OMDC's website (http://www.omdc.on.ca/Page5575.aspx). Claims can be made immediately for expenditures incurred since April 1, 2009.

QUOTES

"The creative sector is one of the most strategically important sectors in today's global economy. The Intellectual Property Development Fund is designed to augment this vital sector, enhance its competitiveness and translate ideas into economic growth and job creation."

- Aileen Carroll, Minister of Culture

"The Intellectual Property Development Fund provides Ontario's screen-based content producers with critical early-stage development support that will help enhance the quality and quantity of Ontario products so that they can compete successfully in this important and rapidly-growing global market."

- Karen Thorne-Stone, President & CEO, Ontario Media Development Corporation

QUICK FACTS

    
    -  Ontario's entertainment and creative industries (film and television
       production, interactive digital media, music recording, commercial
       theatre, magazine publishing and book publishing) generate almost
       $12.2 billion of Ontario's Gross Domestic Product;
    -  In 2007, total direct employment in Ontario's cultural industries
       (businesses whose main purpose is to create and distribute arts and
       entertainment) was about 202,000 people.
    -  Ontario's creative sector is the third largest in North America by
       employment after California and New York.
    

LEARN MORE

Learn more about the Intellectual Property Development Fund. (http://www.omdc.on.ca/Page5575.aspx)

Ontario Media Development Corporation (http://www.omdc.on.ca/Page3283.aspx) (OMDC) is an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Culture (http://www.culture.gov.on.ca/english/index.html) that facilitates economic development opportunities for Ontario's cultural media industries including: book and magazine publishing, film and television, interactive digital media, and sound recording industries.

    
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    www.omdc.on.ca
    Disponible en français

                                 BACKGROUNDER
                    Ontario Media Development Corporation

             $10 MILLION INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT FUND

    INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (IP) FUND
    -------------------------------

    -  The Budget of March 26, 2009 announced that the Provincial Government
       would "invest $10 million in a pilot program, administered through
       OMDC, that would refund a portion of the costs associated with
       intellectual property development to Ontario-based companies in the
       screen-based industries".

    -  Designed to assist qualifying Ontario corporations by providing a
       partial refund of costs incurred for eligible early stage development
       activities for screen-based content properties.

    -  Non-juried or "entitlement" based program, subject to the availability
       of funds.

    -  The fund is a pilot project; continuation after March 31, 2010 will be
       subject to an evaluation of the pilot program and available funding.

    -  The fund will be administered by the Tax Credit and Financing Programs
       Department of OMDC.

    WHO CAN APPLY
    -------------

    -  Canadian controlled companies in Ontario with a proven track record in
       the business of creating screen-based content products in Ontario for
       at least one year prior to the year of application to the fund may
       apply for expenditures incurred on or after April 1, 2009 and up to
       and including March 31, 2010. Companies can apply up to twice: at
       their fiscal year end, and once at a time of their choosing.

    IP FUND INFORMATION
    -------------------

    -  The rebate will be calculated at 30% of eligible costs up to a cap of
       $150,000 for the span of the pilot program.

    -  A performance bonus of 10% (capped at $20,000) will be available to
       corporations that can demonstrate advancement of their development
       project by securing third party funding.

    -  OMDC will accept applications after launch of the program and up to
       July 31, 2010 (subject to availability of funds).

    IP FUND ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES
    ---------------------------

    -  The IP Fund is designed to assist qualifying Ontario corporations by
       providing a partial refund of costs incurred for eligible early stage
       development activities for screen-based content properties including:
         -  optioning or acquiring story rights;
         -  concept, story and character creation;
         -  creation of game design and technical specification
            documentation;
         -  research for script and story purposes; creation of prototypes.

    FILM & TELEVISION INDUSTRY
    --------------------------

    -  In 2006, Ontario film, television and video production companies
       accounted for 46% of Canada's overall film and video production
       operating revenues, surpassing Quebec (25%) and B.C. (20%).

    -  Companies operating in the Canadian feature film & TV sector find
       attracting investment capital a challenge. Canadian producers
       consistently struggle to raise sufficient capital to create feature
       films. In doing so, they are forced to sell most if not all of the
       potentially lucrative intellectual property rights to the productions,
       and often their producer fees are tied up in tax credits that take
       time to access. In the interim, these credits are financed through
       bank loans with interest fees that further reduce producers' profits.
       Project or hit-based revenues make it difficult to leverage loans and
       attract private investors. This keeps production budgets small,
       thereby decreasing production value. All these factors diminish
       Canadian producers' ability to generate capital, which hampers growth
       and innovation in the sector.

    INTERACTIVE DIGITAL MEDIA INDUSTRY
    ----------------------------------

    -  In Ontario, there were between 950 and 1,050 interactive digital media
       companies that employed more than 16,000 people in 2008. These
       companies generate between $1.3 and $1.5 billion in annual gross
       revenue and between $1.4 and $1.2 billion in interactive digital media
       revenue.

    -  Funding and access to capital are also significant issues in this
       sector. Ontario's interactive media creators do not have a predictable
       source of interim capital to fund initiatives, and the development
       timetable can be quite long and expensive. For example, developing a
       console game takes an average of two years and $4 to $5 million to
       complete. Companies often live from project to project and are
       therefore unable to make significant capital re-investments in their
       companies. These capital challenges mean that companies have very
       little negotiating leverage, particularly with international players,
       when selling their products. In many cases they must sacrifice
       ownership of their intellectual property - and therefore potential
       future revenue streams - to ensure that their projects actually reach
       completion.
    

www.omdc.on.ca

ontario.ca/culture-news

Disponible en français

SOURCE Ontario Media Development Corporation

For further information: For further information: Contact for OMDC: George McNeillie, OMDC Communications, (416) 642-6619, E-mail: gmcneillie@omdc.on.ca; Contact for Minister Carroll: Sarah Petrevan, Minister's Office, (416) 325-1676; Lisa Robart, Communications Branch, (416) 212-3928

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Ontario Media Development Corporation

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