Development Funding Guide

The following is a selected listing of Canadian development funds offering monies for script development:

Astral Media The Harold Greenberg Fund
What it funds: Feature length projects (over 75 minutes)
Who can apply: writers and/or producers with two long-form credits
What it offers:
Script Development Program - The Fund will consider up to $2,500.00 of allowable administrative costs, in addition to the full amount of the option for the story option phase.  Up to $18,000 may be advanced for the first draft phase, up to $12,000 for the second draft phase, up to $10,000 for the final draft phase and up to $25,000 for more advanced polish and packaging phase for costs related to script polishing, packaging and preliminary cast interest.

Deadlines: 3 Times per Year – see Web site for updated deadlines
More info: Astral Media The Harold Greenberg Fund
Tel: 416-956-5431
Web site:

Canada Media Fund - Development Funding
What it funds:
projects funded through this program must include content to be developed for distribution on at least two platforms, one of which must be television.
Who can apply: producers, writers (To be eligible, projects must have received a financial commitment from a broadcaster).
What it offers: Broadcasters may decide what proportion of their Broadcaster Development Envelope to allot to an Eligible Project, up to a specified Maximum Contribution amount.
More info:

COGECO Program Development Fund
What it funds: Dramatic TV series, MOWs, and feature films

Development and Production Program:
Who can apply: Independent Canadian producers with a minimum of two years' production experience. Screenwriters must be Canadian. A firm commitment from a Canadian broadcaster is required.
What it offers: Development and production programs offer loans for the development of bibles, treatments, first or final draft scripts, and equity financing for production
Deadlines: check website

Cogeco Pre-Development Fund
What it offers: $10,000 for third party pre-development costs: screenwriters, consultants, script editors, researchers, marketing specialists, sales and promotional materials. Screenwriters who have producer credits, including those as showrunner, are eligible to apply. 
Deadline: October 1
More Info:

Theatrical Feature Film Development Program:
Who can apply: Independent production companies with min. 3 films in development
What it offers: Loans up to $35,000
Deadline: July 1
More info:
Andra Sheffer
Tel: 416-977-8966
Web Site:

Public Funding: Federal

Canada Council for the Arts:
Grants to Individual Artists, Film & Video Artists: Scriptwriting

What it funds: The direct costs of scriptwriting (including research for artists' documentaries), for independent film and video artworks
Who can apply: Writers who have had at least one script used in an independent production by an established or mid-career film or video artist
What it offers: Grants ranging from $3,000-$20,000
Deadlines: March 1 & October 1
More info:
Ian Reid
Media Arts Section Officer
Tel: 613-566-4414 or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 4264

Public Funding: Provincial

Alberta Cultural Industries Association: Telus Television Development Fund
What it funds: Development of TV programs in drama, musical & variety, children's, comedy or documentary; preference given to Alberta-specific stories
What if offers: Interest-free loans of up to $10,000
More info:
Tel: 780-498-5536

BC Film
What it funds: Film or television projects in development owned and controlled by resident BC production companies; OR Matching salary opportunities for television story-editors to intern on a network television series.
Who can apply: BC-resident production companies who have received a development advance from a broadcaster or distributor; OR BC-resident mid-level television story editors committed to a career in television with a mentor company attached
What it offers: Project Development Fund - can match up to 50% of a project development advance from a recognized broadcaster or distributor, subject to available funds; OR Professional Internship Program - provides matching salary funding up to $300 week for 20-50 week internships.
More info:
Tel: 604-736-7997
Web site:

Manitoba Film and Sound
What it funds: Features, MOWs, documentaries, TV series, performing arts and children's programming
What it offers: up to 50% of development budget, up to$25,000 for three phases combined under the TV and Low Budget Feature Film Development Programs; $35,000 combined in all four phases of the Feature Film Development program.
Market Driven Television & Feature Film Production Financing assists in the production financing of a fully developed feature film or television program through equity investments. Manitoba Film & Sound's investment in any production will not exceed the lesser of: 20% of the total production budget, or 30% of the portion of the production budget to be paid to Manitoba residents and businesses (the Manitoba expenditure).
Deadlines: see website.
Manitoba Film & Sound is a statutory corporation funded by the Province of Manitoba through the Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism.
More info:
Carole Vivier, CEO
Angie Glesby, Film and Interactive Media Programs
Tel: 204- 947-2040
Email: /

New Brunswick Film
What it funds: Feature films, MOWs, mini-series, TV series; dramatic, animated, and children's TV, film or video programming; TV, film, and video programs in documentary, educational, experimental, and non-theatrical genres
Who can apply: NB based independent production companies
What it offers: Non-interest bearing loans, maximum level of participation is 40% of the approved development budget, up to a maximum of $35,000 for feature films, made-for-TV movies or TV series, and up to a maximum of $20,000 for other eligible projects
More info:
Tel: 506-869-6868
Fax: 506-869-6840
Web site:

Ontario Arts Council (Grants for Individual Artists)
What it funds: Self-assigned, individual film or video productions in a variety of genres, incl. Experimental, drama, documentary, animation, installation works.
Who can apply: Ontario-based artists
What it offers: Grants
Deadlines: Several per year call to confirm
More info:
Visual and Media Arts Officer, OAC
Tel: 416-961-1660
Web site:

Technology PEI
What it funds: Features, dramatic TV series, mini-series, MOWS, specials, documentaries
Who can apply: PEI-based production companies; must have broadcaster commitment
What it offers: Loans of up to 1/3 of the development budget to a maximum of $25,000
More info:
Berni Wood
Tel: 902-368-6329 or 1-800-563-3734, ext. 5

Saskatchewan Film & Development Corporation (SASKFilm)
What it funds: theatrical feature films; made-for-television movies and series; short form dramatic, animated, and children's programming; documentaries, educational, experimental, variety, and non-theatrical films and television programs; IMAX or large format productions.

Development Loans:
Objective: The objective of development loans is to augment other resources available to producers to undertake project development, and to bring productions to fruition.  SaskFilm targets its resources to companies with demonstrated capabilities to undertake the project as proposed, to projects with significant marketplace interest, and to projects which are designed for export.
Who can apply: Saskatchewan-based producers
What it offers: Dramatic projects, depending on which phase the producer is applying for and what genre the project is, can apply for a maximum of between $3,000.00 and $20,000.00 (but not more than 40% of the approved budget).  Non dramatic projects can apply for a maximum of $7,000.00 or $10,000.000 for series (but not more than 40% of the approved budget).
More info:
1831 College Avenue
Regina SK  S4P 3V7  Canada
Phone: 306 798 3456
Fax: 306 798 7768

Société de Développement des Enterprises Culturelles (SODEC)
What it funds: Feature films, shot-medium length dramatic films, documentaries, MOWS, mini-series
Who can apply: Quebec-based individuals or independent production companies
What it offers: From 25% to 100% of the costs of script development, to a maximum of $10,000 to $25,000, depending on applicant (individual or company, from private or independent sector). 80% of the agency's development funding is allocated to French-language projects
More info:
Tel: (514) 841-2200
Web site:

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NOVEMBER 29, 2018
  • Writers Talking TV

NOVEMBER 29, 2018

Writers Talking TV

Writers Talking TV, presented by the Writers Guild of Canada, is a writer-to-writer interview held at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.

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