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Government of Canada Announces Creation of the Canada Interactive Fund

by NationTalk on September 23, 20091204 Views

TORONTO, ONTARIO – Sept. 23, 2009 – On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Dean Del Mastro, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Member of Parliament (Peterborough), today announced at Seneca College the creation of the Canada Interactive Fund (CIF).Through an investment of $37.5 million dollars over five years, the CIF will support the creation of new forms of interactive cultural content and applications developed by Aboriginal and ethnocultural communities, official-language minority communities, and other not-for-profit cultural organizations.

The CIF is expected to build technical capacity within the funded organizations, which could allow for future commercial potential and the creation of new jobs.

“Canadians are proud to live in a country that embraces cultures of the world, and they want to interact and learn from one another to build a strong and united Canada,” said Minister Moore. “Our Government is pleased to encourage cultural creativity and innovation, which are vital not only to a vibrant Canadian cultural life, but also to Canada’s economic future.”

“Canadians want to access more meaningful and more relevant cultural content online,” said Mr. Del Mastro. “Our Government is committed to enhancing how the Internet and new technologies provide all Canadians with an interactive space where they can experience, express, and share their culture.”

“With such a diverse student population, Seneca well understands the value of nurturing cultural identities,” said Henry Decock, Associate Vice-President Academic of Seneca College. “We welcome this announcement, as our students graduate from programs-such as Digital Media Arts and Animation-poised to contribute to projects that cultural institutions will undertake with this funding.”

The CIF, which was created to reflect the evolution of Canada’s cultural landscape from a social and technological perspective, will be put in place in 2010-2011. It will build upon the successes of the Partnerships Fund (http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/pcce-ccop/pgm/prt-eng.cfm) and the Gateway Fund (http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/pcce-ccop/pgm/gtwy-eng.cfm), which continue to operate throughout 2009-2010.

This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.

BACKGROUNDER

The Partnerships Fund and the Gateway Fund have provided direct support to holders of cultural collections and leaders in Canada’s Aboriginal, ethnocultural, and official-language minority communities to share their experiences, their culture, and their heritage online. These programs funded 147 projects that digitized cultural collections and created 132 websites that present the contemporary culture of these communities, and other non-profit organizations.

Changing environment

While the Partnerships Fund and Gateway Fund successfully contributed to the creation of a significant amount of Canadian digital cultural content, the communications landscape has experienced unprecedented change since their creation.

Since 2000, the number of Canadian households with broadband internet access has increased from 12 percent to more than 60 percent. With this increased access, Canadians-especially young Canadians-continue to move toward more interactive and engaging experiences across multiple platforms. New Canadians are also using the new platforms to share their stories, engage with fellow citizens, and facilitate cross-cultural understanding.

New approach

The opportunities of the digital world are remarkable, and Canadians can-and should-stand on the leading edge of the digital revolution. This Government has a forward-looking plan that includes a vision of Canada as a hub for creativity and innovation. This plan will foster creative and innovative businesses and act as a catalyst for the production and presentation of Canadian content.

That is why in March 2009, the Government of Canada announced the creation of the Canada Media Fund (CMF) (http://www.pch.gc.ca/pc-ch/infoCntr/cdm-mc/index-eng.cfm?action=doc&DocIDCd=CJM082271), formerly the Canadian Television Fund and the Canada New Media Fund. The CMF takes a more effective and more modern approach to support the production of Canadian content on multiple platforms. Together with our private sector partners, the CMF will invest $310 million per year in the production sector. In addition to the CMF, the Government also renewed investments in the music and periodicals industries to further support the digital revolution.

Building on the successes of the Partnerships and Gateway Fund, the CIF will encourage the development of highly interactive cultural content and services by Aboriginal, ethnocultural, and official-language minority communities and other not-for-profit cultural organizations to better reflect the evolving environment. This will include adopting new and emerging technologies, such as Web 2.0 applications and mobile platforms.

In order to ensure that the CIF remains relevant over time, the program will encourage not only what is innovative today, but it will also provide the flexibility to embrace the innovations of tomorrow.

The CIF is expected to build technical capacity within the funded organizations, which could allow for future commercial potential and the creation of new jobs.

For more information on the Canada Media Fund, visit

http://www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/pc-ch/infoCntr/cdm-mc/index-eng.cfm?action=doc&DocIDCd=CJM082271

For more information on the Partnerships Fund, visit

www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/pgm/pcce-ccop/pgm/prt-eng.cfm

For more information on the Gateway Fund, visit

www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/pgm/pcce-ccop/pgm/gtwy-eng.cfm

For more information, please contact
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
Stephanie Rea – Press Secretary
819-997-7788
stephanie.rea[at]pch.gc.ca

or

Canadian Heritage
Media Relations
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155
media[at]pch.gc.ca

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