Ontario is Expanding its Support of an Innovative Economy

    Ontario's Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund renewed
    for four years

    TORONTO, April 30 /CNW/ -


    Ontario is continuing to support the growth of an innovative economy by
renewing the Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund with a $12
million investment over the next four years. The announcement was made today
by the Hon. Aileen Carroll, Minister of Culture, in a speech before the
Economic Club of Canada.
    The Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund was initially
established in 2006 as a three-year $7.5 million fund to stimulate growth in
Ontario's entertainment and creative industries by promoting capacity
building, marketing, innovation and skills development. The Ontario Media
Development Corporation (OMDC) co-administers the Fund with the Ministry of

    Two examples of creative business hubs supported through the Partnerships
Fund include:

    Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival expanded its global
reach in 2008 through Doc Shop. Doc Shop is a digital online marketplace which
provides registered delegates with on-demand access to a library of more than
1,500 recent Canadian and international documentary films throughout the Hot
Docs Festival (April 30 - May 10). During the festival, Doc Shop greatly
enhances the capacity for buyers to screen and acquire new Ontario
documentaries, and also functions as a year-round international online market
for documentary buyers and distributors.
    The Niagara Interactive Media Generator - or nGen for short - is a new
media incubator in the Niagara region. Partners Brock University, Niagara
College, Interactive Ontario, Silicon Knights, Niagara Enterprise Agency,
Economic Development & Tourism Services - St. Catharines and the Niagara
Economic Development Corporation have developed two projects: noiseinniagara,
a website to promote the Niagara music scene, and an interactive educational
game about the War of 1812. An investment attraction tool is also in
development. Last year, Microsoft partnered with nGen to give local new media
entrepreneurs free access to software worth tens of thousands of dollars.
    The next round of the Partnerships Fund will be launched at the end of
May with information sessions being held in June and an application deadline
of September 23. Details will be posted on the OMDC website www.omdc.on.ca


    "Ontario's creative cluster not only contributes to the province's
economy today, it also has the potential to grow exponentially and ensure the
jobs of the future. By supporting innovation, development and research, we
help Ontario compete and succeed in the lucrative global entertainment and
media market."
    - The Honourable Aileen Carroll, Minister of Culture

    "The Ontario Government understands the enormous competitive advantage
that cultural industries give us in the global knowledge economy, where
intellectual property is high stakes. The Partnerships Fund is a valuable
resource that unites partners from industry, academia and government in the
common goal of creating and promoting Ontario cultural products in world
    - Kevin Shea, OMDC Chair

    "We are delighted that this program will continue to encourage the type
of innovative, cross-sector projects that enable Ontario companies to compete
on the world stage. Since it was established three years ago, the
Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund has supported 43
projects, involving 285 partners and leveraging $15.9 million dollars."
    - Karen Thorne-Stone, OMDC President & CEO

    "We're thrilled to have made this great leap forward in the services we
offer and to solidify our role as an essential marketplace for the
international documentary industry. Telefilm Canada, the OMDC and all of our
partners should be commended on their profound vision and their dedication to
helping this groundbreaking project come to fruition."
    - Chris McDonald, Executive Director, Hot Docs


    -   Even in its early years, the Partnerships Fund has seen some
        significant project successes, including Magazines Canada Digital
        Discovery, a project to create and host digital versions of Canadian
        magazines online and Spotlight on China a project that brought 28 key
        Chinese music executives to Ontario to meet and explore business
        opportunities with Ontario companies during Canadian Music Week. More
        success stories can be found here

    -   With employment of 276,000 in 2008, Ontario has the third-largest
        entertainment and creative sector in North America, after California
        and New York, and is the leading province in film and television
        production, book and magazine publishing, and sound recording.

    -   Ontario generates 40% of Canada's cultural GDP.

    -   Ontario's creative sector is estimated to contribute at least
        $7 billion from direct cultural industry contributions; when a
        broader range of culture contributions are included, that figure
        grows to $12.2 billion.

    -   Over the past decade, Ontario's entertainment and creative cluster
        created more than 80,000 new jobs in Ontario - an increase of 40 per
        cent compared to 17 per cent in the overall Ontario economy.

    -   The global entertainment and media market was estimated to be worth
        more than $1.5 trillion last year


    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 publishing, film and television, interactive digital
media, magazine publishing, and music industries.



                                                       Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Contact for OMDC: Sharon Wilson, OMDC
Communications, (416) 642-6616, E-mail: swilson@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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