CIAIC Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau For Increased Support to the IDM Sector in Canada

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Deputy Minister Freeland, and Minister St-Onge,

We want to thank you for your continued support of the creative industries in Canada through the Department of Heritage and the recent announcements about the financial resources to Telefilm, the CBC/SRC, and the Indigenous Screen Office. These much-needed funds will make a positive and significant impact on our screen industries, and particularly the creation of content.

While we’re encouraged to see the work being done to modernize these institutions, we feel like this is an important time to indicate our support for the continued modernization of the Canada Media Fund and its critical support for IDM (Interactive Digital Media – which includes video games) and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) while favouring Canadian productions over foreign ones and ensuring that Canadians are better equipped to own and benefit from the content that they produce.

Over the past three years, with the $60 million CMF received, hundreds of content creators from Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, and other equity deserving communities were able to access funding for their projects which finally allowed us all to see true authentic characters and stories on our screens. It also enabled production companies and arts organizations to continue offering vital support for these diverse communities. It created a demonstrated return on investment in capacity building (skills training, professional development, mentorship) and market access (international sales of high-quality content, presence at international events, festivals, and markets). Our understanding is that this funding is sunsetting on March 24, 2024.

In addition, with the recent indicators that IDM (including video games) is being considered a significant and impactful form of content production. Demand for the CMF’s IDM programs are oversubscribed by 400% with $184M requested but only $47M available to commit to Canadian content in the current fiscal year. There was a strong performance by 200 Canadian studios seeking distribution and investment at North America’s largest IDM conference – GDC – Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last week, where 50% of projects pitched at the Global Affairs / PCH organized B2B meetings had support from the  CMF indicating the relevance and demand for Canadian owned and produced IDM content.

As such, we are recommending that you continue the great work that your policies are achieving and that you double the government contribution, over three years, to the Canada Media Fund to position Canadian content and production studios at the forefront of new platforms to reach modern audiences. You can reach us at should you wish to discuss further.

The Board of Directors of Canadian Interactive Alliance / l’alliance interactif Canadienne:
La Guide du jeu vidéo du Québec
Interactive Ontario (IO)
New Media Manitoba
Digital Alberta
Videogames PEI
Interactive Society of Nova Scotia