Ontario Government invests $1.7 million in Ontario's cultural media industries

    TORONTO, Jan. 7 /CNW/ - The Hon. Aileen Carroll, Minister of Culture and
Kevin Shea, Chair of Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), today
announced the investment of $1.7 million in 13 initiatives in the second year
of the Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund.
    "Ontario's rapidly-growing entertainment and creative cluster makes a
significant cultural and economic contribution to the life of the Province,"
said Carroll. "I am delighted that this fund brings together a broad
cross-section of Ontario's cultural media organizations to create the kind of
innovative solutions that will reinforce their global leadership."
    "These 13 initiatives represent 107 companies, institutions and
organizations from Ontario's book, film and television, music and interactive
digital media cluster," said Shea. "The synergies created by these projects
will inspire others and will help shape our burgeoning knowledge economy."
OMDC administers the fund on behalf of the Ministry of Culture.
    "The support from the OMDC is a significant indicator of the
transformation underway in Niagara," said Dr. Jack Lightstone, President of
Brock University. "nGen is a business generator and capacity builder in the
interactive media sector that will contribute in a very concrete way to the
growth of high value-added knowledge-intensive enterprise in Niagara. Brock is
proud to be a part of an unprecedented and highly productive collaboration
with Niagara College, Silicon Knights, City of St. Catharines, Region of
Niagara, Niagara Enterprise Agency and Interactive Ontario that will move this
initiative forward for the benefit of both the economy and the culture of our
    Three of the first interactive projects coming out of nGen include: a
"serious game" related to the War of 1812; a web-based social networking
project promoting the Niagara music scene; and an investment attraction tool
targeting companies in the digital media sector.
    Other unique projects include: Toronto Green Screen, an initiative that
will enable Toronto (and eventually all Ontario) film and television
productions to be independently certified as environmentally-friendly; Virtual
Music Community, an Ottawa-based project of l'Association des professionels de
la chanson et de la musique (APCM) to help Franco-Ontarian musicians sell
music on the Internet using i-Tunes-linked Select Digital service; and Game
ON! a set of programs and services that brings together Ontario's leading
video games industry leaders, educators, trainers and government agencies for
the purpose of "powering ON" the Ontario games industry.

    The initiatives also include:

    -   E-Content Portal - a pilot web portal containing newly digitized
        books in an easy to use database allowing professors to customize law
        and history course packs for their students.

    -   A feasibility study for creating a multi-media production centre in
        the Ottawa region.

    -   Mobile Experience Innovation Centre - A research and development
        collaboration between major industry, SME and academic/research
        partners that provides a forum to analyze and begin to gather
        capacity for research, commercialization of research and strategic
        foresight for Ontario's mobile content industry.

    -   Gutenberg 2.0 - providing advanced technology skills for mid-to-upper
        level executives in Ontario's book publishing sector.

    -   Canadian Publishers Digital Asset Augmentation - a project to
        facilitate the entry of a variety of Canadian book publishers into
        emerging digital markets.

    -   A cross-sector Digital Music + Media Summit (DMS) for Ontario's music
        and digital media leaders to find new revenue opportunities through
        partnerships for the enhancement of the consumer's experience.

    -   Books-to-Screen Database - an online link for book publishers to
        connect with film and television producers.

    -   DocAgora Ontario (DAO) - a project to create a marketplace and
        alternative models for cross-platform documentary/new media projects.

    -   Livres pour le Canada francais - an initiative to market and
        distribute French-Canadian books in all of French Canada through
        print, bookstores and media outlets.

    The Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund is a three-year
$7.5 million fund that was launched in September 2006 to stimulate growth in
Ontario's entertainment and creative industries by promoting capacity
building, marketing innovation and skills development. The next deadline will
be announced next year on OMDC's website at www.omdc.on.ca.

    About Ontario Media Development Corporation:

    Ontario Media Development Corporation's mandate is to build Ontario's
cultural industries capacity and competitiveness. Through tax credits,
programs and services for the film and television, book and magazine
publishing, music and interactive digital media industries, OMDC maximizes
opportunities for growth and innovation in Ontario and abroad.


                   www.omdc.on.ca and www.culture.gov.on.ca

    Disponible en français

    Backgrounder information: "Entertainment and Creative Cluster
    Partnerships Fund Round Two Recipients" is available at the
    following URL: http://files.newswire.ca/653/OMDC-Backgrounder.doc

For further information:

For further information: George McNeillie, OMDC, (416) 314-6858; Alicia
Johnston, Minister's Office, (416) 325-1676; Mark Thompson, Communications
Branch, (416) 324-3497

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