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Experimental Stream

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. 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.

The CMF increased the budget for the Experimental Stream from $27.0M in 2010-2011 to $32.9M in 2011-2012, and again in 2012-2013 to $35.1M.  The 2012-2013 funding represents a 6.5% increase in total funding over 2011-2012, which supported 5 fewer projects than in the previous year, suggesting higher CMF funding per project. The CMF provided 68.5% of financing to production projects in 2012-2013, up from 66.2% in 2011-2012. Total production budgets triggered went up from $36.9M to $38.8M, as average budgets rose to a 3-year peak of $1M, up from $0.8M last year.

Experimental Stream 2012-2013

Number of projects Funding
Average Budget
Average Funding
English 14 8.2 12.8 - -
French 1 0.6 0.9 - -
Bilingual 24 15.3 25.1 - -
Production Total 39 24.1 38.8 1.0 0.6
English 12 2.5 4.0 - -
French 4 0.4 0.5 - -
Bilingual 14 4.7 7.0 - -
Development Total 30 7.6 11.5 0.4 0.3
English 8 1.5 2.2 - -
Bilingual 8 1.9 2.7 - -
Marketing Total 16 3.4 4.9 0.3 0.2
Total 85 35.1 55.2 - -

Production received 68.8% of funding in 2012-2013, as compared to 71.3% in 2011-2012, each project receiving an average of $0.6M in CMF investment, up from $0.5M in 2011-2012. CMF funding to production projects ranged from $175K to $1.0M, the maximum contribution. Successful projects came from British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. Bilingual production projects increased to 24 or 61.5% in 2012-2013, reflecting the content creators’ commitment to providing broad access to a large number of Canadians.

Development received a 21.5% share of Experimental Stream funding, compared to 24.6% in 2011-2012. Marketing applications received a 9.7% share of funding, compared to 4.1% last year.

The majority of production support, at 60.8%, went toward games that were created for various platforms. Rich interactive media comprised 27.9% 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,  a considerably different experience than the passive consumption of linear content. Interactive web series is one example of rich interactive media.

There were 409 applications to the Experimental Stream in 2012-2013, and 20.8% were supported. While the CMF provided the majority of financing, producer self-investment, at 19.9%, was the secondary source of financing for experimental production, down from the high of 23.6% of financing in 2010-2011.  Distributors' financing dropped from 5.9% in 2011-2012 to 2.9% in 2012-2013. This financing was replaced by the CMF and private investors. The CMF allowed 10 applications to convert development advances to production investments in 2012-2013. This has added an incremental 5.0% to what was originally a 63.5% share of production financing, resulting in a  68.5% share of financial support for 2012-2013 Experimental production.

2012-2013 Experimental Sources of Financing

Type $M %
CMF 37.8* 68.5
Producers 11.0 19.9
Other 2.3 4.2
Provincial 2.0 3.5
Market Channel Partners 0.7 1.4
Foreign 0.7 1.3
Federal 0.6 1.0
TV Broadcasters 0.1 0.2
Total 55.2 100.0
* includes $2.7M of previous year development advances converted to 2012-2013 production financing


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