Canadian Film Centre Gets $3.5 Million Investment from Federal Government

The aesthetics continue to change and the number of mediums continue to increase in the entertainment industry’s slow shift into digital and mobile. That includes other niche areas like augmented reality and interactive motion like the Microsoft Kinect.

With acceptance that new media aesthetics and mediums are to stay and continue to rapidly grow has brought about the Canadian Government’s support. The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario has announced a $3.5 million investment in the Canadian Film Centre over the next three years.

That’s in addition to an $8.9 million funding effort from the federal government, the Government of Ontario, municipal government, and the CFC’s corporate partners. The centre is trying to raise $14 million total to support the vision for the restoration of the beautiful Windfields Estate.

This comes after the CFC recently announced they are turning towards a new program known as ideaBOOST to create “engaged entertainment.” 

The Government of Canada understands they need to do more to increase productivity, spur innovation, and create jobs. That is in Canada’s creative clusters, digital media, and entertainment industries.

The government wants to see long term economic development and prosperity for all. Gary Goodyear, the Minister of Science and Technology for Canada says that the funding will see the digital entertainment industry thrive and grow.

This will be through a series of new programs where the CFC will use the funding and best practices to help Canada continue to move forward in the industry. Canada has a long standing history of film innovation. The government intends to help the country keep that reputation for Ontario’s entertainment and creative clusters continue to grow, contributing over a record $11 billion in 2011 to the provincial GDP.

It is the first time in the 24-year history of the Canadian Film Centre history according to the esteemed founder Norman Jewison that the federal government and the province are finally both on the institution’s side in terms of funding. In fact, sixteen graduates of the CFC have films in this year’s 28th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. That’s the famous festival that according to Jewison keeps getting better and better.

“I loved the openness of the CFC, a bunch of talented people thrown together to create something from scratch,” said Shawn Micallef, a 2002 alumnus. “It was unlike any environment I had been in before. The CFC turns people into creative and cultural entrepreneurs.”

Jewison started the CFC because Canada didn’t have a national film institute unlike rival countries the United States, France, Britain, and Australia. It has become the centre for advanced film for the entire country.

Jewison is known as Canada’s most celebrated filmmaker according to the CFC. His partner, Charles Taylor, the son of famous Canadian industrialist E.P. Taylor shared Jewison’s vision for a centre in Canada that would foster our own cinema talent. 

“This is a poignant moment for the family. We’re terribly excited about the future that is going to befall our old home,” said Charles Taylor once. “On my father’s list or priorities for the home was a cultural use. All the family, children and grandchildren, unanimously approved the decision to donate it for the centre.”

Michael Chan, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism and Culture, said that the McGuinty government is a big supporter of the Canadian Film Centre. Chan believes that inspiration can become innovation. This announcement will only further solidify Ontario’s reputation in becoming the creative capital of Canada.

Further, Bell Media TV is also on board in partnering with the Canadian Film Centre with an entertainment partnership for television writers.  It will offer writers invaluable training and is critical in helping Ontario’s $1.3 billion dollar Canadian television industry grow and continue to get better.

“CFC is an important institution for finding and nurturing talent and getting product off the ground,” said famous Canadian actor Eugene Levy. “As a mentor you not only give back but benefit from the enthusiasm and passion of these young storytellers.”