Interactive Ontario and a group of Interactive Digital Media (IDM) leaders met with Minister MacLeod (Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries) on Friday to share with her and her team the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on our sector. This first meeting set the stage for our next IDM roundtable meetings with Minister MacLeod, where we will provide updates on impacts and discuss potential relief and stimulus measures.

Interactive Ontario submitted preliminary recommendations to Minister MacLeod and other stakeholders at the onset of the crisis. Since then, we have joined our colleagues from across Canada and Hand Eye Society here in Ontario, in conducting a CMF-funded national survey on impacts/measures.

Nordicity Group is in the process of analyzing the data and we should have results next week. The survey insights will be critical in refining sector-specific recommendations on relief/stimulus measures.

Thank you to all of you who filled out the survey. Your efforts are much appreciated.

In regard to business-related relief measures, our governments are currently focused on cross-sectoral measures such as the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) — interest-free loans — and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) — 75% wage subsidy. Re. the latter, IO has received feedback from some of you who told us that the main qualifying criteria excludes their company. This is a hot topic and we need your input to help us advocate for improvements to CEWS.

Please continue to reach out to us with feedback on impacts, current relief measures and potential new ones at

Ontario Creates Helping the Industry During the COVID-19 Crisis

Ontario Creates has announced its COVID-19 response plan, including:

  • Upcoming milestone payments (interim or final) will be fast-tracked where possible; affected companies will be notified by email and an action item in the OAP from your Program Consultant.
  • Companies will be permitted to use committed funds for operations-related costs, including salaries. Project outcomes can be adjusted to account for these types of necessary expenses.

Interactive Ontario and the IDM industry are grateful to Ontario Creates for promptly taking action to mitigate some of the negative impacts of the crisis. Thank you to Ontario Creates leadership, staff and board!

Canada Media Fund (CMF) Changes to its Funding Programs

During these unprecedented times, funding programs are more important than ever to maintain jobs and create revenue-generating IP. Interactive Ontario reviewed the CMF Summary of changes in the 2020-2021 Guidelines, and commented on them here

IO is pleased with the changes made to the Experimental Fund. They are in line with our recommendations and will help to clarify the difference between the Commercial Projects and the Innovation & Experimentation programs.

We appreciate CMF’s efforts to improve the Experimental Fund and will continue to lobby CMF in regard to prior changes to the Convergent Fund that impacted the total amount of funds allocated to Interactive Digital Media.

Information on Relief Measures

Government of Canada

Government of Ontario

The Canadian Business Resilience Network

The Council of Canadian Innovators

Ontario Chamber of Commerce