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Province boosts digital media, post-production sectors

Albertans looking to work in post-production, digital animation, visual effects and interactive digital media sectors will have an easier time finding jobs thanks to two new pilot grant programs.

Alberta boosts digital media, post-production sectors

Minister Ricardo Miranda announces two pilot grants that would help digital arts sectors

The grants, totalling $3 million, will help cover labour costs for post-production and digital media companies, particularly for new hires.

The $1.5-million Interactive Digital Media grant will cover up to 35 per cent of eligible labour expenses for new hires. It is estimated that this grant alone will create more than 60 full-time jobs.

The $1.5-million Post-production, Digital Animation and Visual Effects grant will cover up to 18 per cent of eligible Alberta labour expenses. It is estimated that the grant will attract and retain up to 80 projects in the industry.

“We have a tremendous amount of homegrown talent ready to work and help expand our vibrant cultural industries. These grants will help Alberta’s post-production and digital media companies grow and create jobs, diversify our economy and make lives better for Albertans.”

Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism

Developed in consultation with industry stakeholders, the pilot grants will be labour-based, targeting small and medium-sized enterprises. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, with a per-company maximum of $200,000 in grant funding.

"The interactive digital media and post-production grants both offer much-needed stimulus to our growing digital media sector. These grants will help increase the production capacity of many small and medium-sized production studios across Alberta, ultimately delivering jobs and real economic impact.”

Owen Brierley, past president of Digital Alberta and executive director, Edmonton Digital Arts College

Eligible companies can apply for grant funding beginning May 23 at albertamediafund.ca

“There was a lot of consulting and work done to get to this point. These grants are fantastic incentives to help support growth in our industry and provide more opportunities for students and producers to continue working in Alberta.”

Mark Wood, director, Alberta Post Production Association

The grants were developed with funding through the Capital Investment Tax Credit to help support direct and indirect jobs and encourage new investment in Alberta.

The grants will help companies in Alberta’s cultural sector attract more film/television digital media projects, games and animation production to Alberta and retain cultural professionals in the province.

These opportunities will also help individuals and companies develop technical expertise, creating an economic and creative climate to sustain the sector while growing and diversifying the industry. 

Quick facts

  • Since 2013, Canada’s video game industry has increased by 31 per cent.
  • Alberta has an estimated 57 post-production establishments, mainly micro (employing one to four people) and small (employing four to 99 people) enterprises.
  • According to Statistics Canada, Alberta’s post-production subsector generated $6 million in operating revenue and $5 million in operating expenses in 2013.
  • Alberta is estimated to have between 30 and 50 Interactive Digital Media companies, the majority of which are small enterprises.
  • Support focused on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will allow startup companies the opportunity to develop and grow within Alberta.

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