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"Creative Export Canada" Accepting Applications

August 2, 2018

Some important news for screenwriters: the federal government has posted application guidelines for a new program called Creative Export Canada, which offers “annual funding for projects that help our creative industries reach more people around the world.” The Guild is pleased to see that this Liberal government initiative, developed under former Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly, has now come to fruition.
Canadian screenwriters and showrunners have an extremely important role to play in the export success of Canadian content, and the WGC encourages members to consider applying. You can review the Creative Export Canada application guidelines in full here. According to the Government of Canada website, the program will “focus on high‑potential projects, and will encourage partnerships and innovative ideas.” It’s aimed at “supporting projects that generate export revenues and help Canadian works shine whatever the platform or format.” 
Key Components of Creative Export Canada
To be eligible for funding, you must be a Canadian-owned and -controlled organization incorporated under the laws of Canada, a province or a territory, with a minimum of one full-time employee and capable of entering into legally binding contracts.
To be eligible for funding from the program, your project must develop exports in new markets or further penetrate existing international markets through projected export revenues for the select creative industries, including the audiovisual creative industry.
For example, projects could focus on:
  • the implementation of digital technologies related to the international discoverability or monetization of Canadian creative content;
  • establishing of a significant and/or sustained presence in a foreign market;
  • strengthening export capacity; and branding or promotion.
  • Eligible project-related cash expenses may include: acquisition of digital or other technologies; professional services or the portion of employees' salaries related to time directly spent on the project; travel and accommodation; marketing expenses; administration costs; and other direct costs related to the project.
  • Although travel and accommodation are eligible expenses, it is unlikely that a project that only consisted of travel to an event or business meeting (i.e., was not part of a larger export initiative) would have sufficient expected results to compete successfully with the other applications to the program.
  • The following expenses are not eligible for funding: applicant's ongoing or core/normal business activities; capital expenses related to applicant's ongoing or core/normal business activities; in-kind expenses; expenses relating to lobbying, public relations, policy development and influence; costs related to the preparation of a business plan, export plan or documentation needed to present a Creative Export Canada application; and hospitality and related expenses.
The total financial assistance received from the program and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed 75 % for the same, eligible project-related costs. Funded projects will likely receive less than 75% of funding from Creative Export Canada towards eligible expenses. The maximum amount payable to a recipient under Creative Export Canada will not exceed $2.5 million per application.
Funding decisions are based on the number and quality of applications received for each Creative Export Canada application deadline. Your application will be reviewed for eligibility and then evaluated based on evaluation criteria set out in the application guidelines.
Funding will be disbursed as a contribution, which is a conditional payment issued to your organization for a specific purpose, as outlined in a funding agreement.
There are currently two application deadlines:
If your project's expenses start between June 8, 2018 and March 31, 2019, the deadline for your application is September 14, 2018.
If your project's expenses start between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, the deadline for your application is November 16, 2018.
Please see the application guidelines for complete and detailed requirements. 
Also note that applicants who wish to receive preliminary feedback on their project's eligibility prior to the application deadline can submit a completed Statement of Interest Form. Contact the program by email at in order to receive a copy of the form.
The WGC congratulates the Liberal government for putting this program into action and looks forward to continuing to work with the government and WGC members to increase opportunities for Canadian screenwriters both at home and abroad.

Canadian Screenwriter summer 2018 is on newsstands now. View excerpts, and subscribe here.

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