DHX Media and the Canada Media Fund (CMF) have partnered on the new DHX-CMF Kids and Family Development Program, a new initiative aimed at assisting the development of Canadian kids and family content from new and diverse producers.
Funded by the Halifax, Canada-headquartered producer, distributor and broadcaster, the US$1.06 million fund will focus on supporting new entrants to the space, regional projects and projects from creators in official language minority communities like French-language producers over the next two years. Additionally, half of its funds will be reserved for women-led projects.
Administered by the CMF, the funding body will evaluate material via criteria like originality, market interest and team composition. The maximum contribution a project can receive is less than US$43,000—or 75% of the project’s eligible costs. Applications are open until November 1, 2019.
In a statement, CMF president and CEO Valerie Creighton said the partnership will support a genre that has seen a decrease over the past few years. “It’s imperative that we continue to focus on funding kids’ content,” she said.
According to the Canadian Media Producers Association latest Profile report, Canadian content production in the children’s and youth space hit a total of US$425 million in 2017/18—well below the industry’s 10-year peak of US$478 million million in 2015/16. However, it should be noted that this US$425 million was also a significant increase from the previous year’s total of US$405 million.
This latest initiative comes four months after CMF unveiled a new partnership with the Shaw Rocket Fund (SRF). Introduced in March 2019, the US$2.5 million CMF-SRF Kids Digital Animated Series Program is designed to stimulate the creation of animated series for digital platforms. This June, the organizations announced that Vérité Films’ Jeremy and Tunebug, CarpeDiem Film and TV’s CHAOS and Big Bad Boo Productions’ Galapagos X were among some of the fund’s inaugural recipients.