More than 100 original Canadian projects will receive US$1.6 million (CAD$2.2 million) through the CBC Creative Relief Fund. Development funding will be provided to 99 projects, while production funding will be provided to 20 projects. The selected projects include 20 projects targeting kids and tweens as well as 19 projects aimed at youth and young adult audiences.
The Fund launched in April in response to COVID-19 in an effort to support the recovery of Canada’s artistic communities affected by lockdowns. Almost half of the projects to receive funding (43%) come from self-identified Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) creators.
Nearly 9,000 projects were submitted, and the funding will be provided across three programming streams: the innovation stream, the CBC short docs stream and the playwright pilot stream. The innovation stream includes 82 projects selected for development funding and five projects selected for production funding.
Tween-focused projects include Bad Influence, from Jeff Sager and Joel Buxton, which follows 14-year-old Tina Leon as she starts a YouTube channel during quarantine; a dystopian series from Balloon House Productions called Bunker Buds; animated series Canada For Real, created by Abdul Malik and produced by Fae Pictures, which recreates overlooked parts of Canada’s history; and Hello, You, a show from Jennifer Beasley that follows a 30-something communicating digitally with her 13-year-old self.
Other tween offerings include History Bits, from Canada’s History Society, which sees true-life characters from Canada’s past change the world; Eric Janvier’s show Indian, Summer, which follows a shy Indigenous girl and her cousins as they track down ancient spirits and monsters; Purple City, from Mike Maryniuk, Matthew Rankin and Lar Simms; Six Eleven Media’s mystery series Slick River; Jeremy Torrie’s Super Freaky, a show exploring urban myths; Vanessa Magic’s STEM-focused comedy This is Earth; and Window Sonata, a series of live-action shorts from Amy Brown.
Some of the preschool projects include Obediya Jones-Darrell’s Br’er Rabbit & Friends, based on African, Caribbean and North American folktales told in an African-Nova Scotian community; the sing-along series The George Canyon Show—Kids Edition; Mike Geiger’s series Hartford about a five-year-old living with anxiety; Nitanis & Skylar, a show from Loretta Todd that sees the titular characters find lost people, places and things in their neighborhood; and Power Lines, Gazelle Automation’s series about playful subway trains.
Additional preschool projects include Purple, the Dragon from Broken Pencil Studios; Imagine Create Media’s Ride Along, which puts preschoolers in the front seat of their favorite vehicles; and Soulpepper Kids from Soulpepper Theatre, which brings together original music, poetry and performance.
The youth and young adult selections, meanwhile, include Dan Gaud’s collection of sci-fi short stories Automatic; Oya Media Group’s Black Community Mixtapes, which follows two young Black filmmakers; IGP Productions’ modern suburban legend Concord Floral; Country Hoops, from Bradley Vermunt, which revolves around a group of friends on and off the basketball court; Eunice Hau’s coming-of-age story Ginger Beef; Jeff Detsky’s relationship-focused project Go Get Her; and The Hoof Lady (Teiakotsinarén:Tonte’), from Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs and D.W. Waterson, features the spirit of a slain Indigenous woman as she works to uncover the truth about her death.
Additional youth and young-adult focused projects include Vessel, the sci-fi comedy from Ethan Godel, Filip Lee and Ryan Bobkin; Julianna and Lydia Notten’s Well That’s Just Super, which follows a group of queer teens with superpowers; Who Do You Think I Am? (WDYTIA), from Jonathan Torrens, Sylvia Beirnes and Jeni Besworth, which follows Madison Tevlin as she finds connection with misinterpreted and misperceived people; and Matthew Sadowski’s new-age love story Wild Geese.
The youth and young adult-focused selections are rounded out by Corey Liu’s Horny Lover Boys, about a teenager trying to free his best friend from a sinister presence by joining his school’s Gay Straight Alliance; Obediya Jones-Darrell’s mystical action-adventure series Metanoia; the animated comedy series Plantemic from Bettie Xie; the coming-of-age story Roomies from YAP (Young Actors Project); The Tutors, from Jude Klassen and Roslyn Muir, which follows a brilliant teen trying to rescue her mom from financial ruin; Rebeka Herron’s Untitled Ringette Project about a team’s effort to get to nationals; and the musical project Update Your Browser from Anika Johnson, Britta Johnson, Peter Woods and Vandal Media.