Toronto – Ontario is strengthening its economy with a $3.3 million investment in its cultural media industries. Sixteen initiatives  received support through the province’s Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund. The fund was designed to help Ontario’s entertainment and creative industries grow and increase their competitive advantage in the global marketplace. The industries include commercial theatre, film and television production, interactive digital media, music recording, magazine and book publishing.
“Ontario’s cultural industries are a vital contributor to economic growth and prosperity in this province. This investment will help our cultural industries seize the economic opportunities before them and increase their competitive advantage in the global marketplace,” says Ontario’s Culture Minister Aileen Carroll.
The Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund is a three-year $7.5 million fund that was launched in September 2006 to stimulate growth in Ontario’s entertainment and creative industries by promoting capacity building, marketing, innovation and skills development. OMDC  Chair, Kevin Shea said that “Since its inception, the Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund has provided support to 43 projects involving 285 partners with combined budgets of $15.9 million dollars, and the OMDC is proud to co-administer a fund that encourages innovation and fosters new business partnerships that encourage growth across Ontario’s cultural media industries and academic institutions.” The Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) is an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Culture  that facilitates economic development opportunities for Ontario’s cultural media industries including book publishing, film and television, interactive digital media, magazine publishing, and music industries.
Laura Albanese, MPP for York South-Weston and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Culture adds that “by investing in our cultural media industries, we are helping drive innovation in Ontario’s knowledge-based economy and ensuring our home-grown talent succeeds at home and abroad.”
“As a recipient of the Partnerships Fund, we are excited to work with people who know the challenges and obstacles for people with disabilities in exploring opportunities in the film and television community,” said Laurie McArthur, Services Co-ordinator, University of Toronto, Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (ATRC). “The development and implementation of a uniquely accessible, interactive online support system with social networking and an online learning system will provide extensive knowledge, break down attitudinal and physical barriers to inclusion, and will build lasting alliances between the University of Toronto and the broadcast sector which will benefit the industry as a whole.”
“DIG London is pleased to have the support and backing of the OMDC’s Partnerships Fund. Ontario colleges and universities are producing some of the best talent in the world in the area of interactive media. The DIG London conference will help grow and strengthen local video game companies by facilitating communications and promoting industry opportunities to this talent pool, said Michael Schmalz, CFO of Digital Extremes.”