Chair's message

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Bell Fund has been supporting outstanding Canadian cross-platform television and digital media productions for sixteen years and in 2013 our contribution of almost $17 million was our greatest to date.

Last year, I noted that “the winds of change blow through our industry.” Everyone seemed to be talking about “cord cutters”, “cord shavers”, and “cord nevers” – subscribers who opted out of or reduced their level of broadcast services and youths who have never subscribed.

2013 ended on more hopeful notes as the term “cord stackers” entered our lexicon. The trend is for audiences to watch both broadcast and OTT (over the top) services. And Canada’s broadcasters have responded by debuting and planning innovative services that fill both needs, providing on-demand, internet and other services as part of their broadcast subscriptions.

Bell Fund producers find themselves at the centre of the maelstrom, producing great media content that lives on many platforms and can be used in many distribution channels.
Whether the screen is on a TV, computer, phone, tablet, phablet, or wearable device, Bell Fund continues to assist the development and production of world-class media content that will entertain, enthral, and inform audiences.

Bell Fund activities are made possible by annual contributions from Bell TV, Bell Aliant, Câblevision du Nord de Québec and the BCE/CTV Benefits.

We continue to reap the benefits and bear the stresses of living in “interesting” times.

Paul Hoffert
Chair

Vice-president's message

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The world of a newborn is a world of on demand: on demand feeding, on demand diaper changing, on demand sleep cycles. As babies grow up they learn that the demands for now, anywhere and anytime are not always socially acceptable. Television content, however, is evolving and has evolved to meet that dictate.

While broadcasters and distributors experiment with technology and new delivery forms to meet demanding viewing habits, television producers create entertainment and information experiences which are enhanced by digital media creators who encourage audiences to interact with stories that are being told over multiple platforms.

That’s where the Bell Fund comes in. During the past 16 years, the Bell Fund has invested $130 M in 1300 television programs and related interactive content. That is a lot of Canadian content to be seen and experienced anytime and anywhere, much of it award-winning!

The Bell Fund continues to challenge the industry to optimize the opportunities that the digital world offers. Whereas the focus has been on taking television to new platforms, the Bell Fund recognized that the reverse is now more feasible than ever, as successful content on digital platforms can be adapted to find new audiences on traditional television. So, the Bell Fund announced the launch of a pilot OnLine to OnTV funding program to help make this transition possible.

The Bell Fund and the projects it supports have long held a world-class leadership role in the cross-platform industry internationally. To enhance this reputation, the Bell Fund undertook several new international outreach initiatives, including the sponsorship of the annual International Digital Emmy© Awards and awards presentation at MIP in Cannes, the Focus on Canada delegations to Power to the Pixel in London UK and to Forum Blanc in Grand-Bornand France, the updating of the Framework for International Co-productions, and support of research into the challenges of international digital media co-productions.

The Bell Fund now offers nine different funding programs designed to meet the needs of today’s cross-platform industry. A record $16.7M was invested in 187 projects which were funded during 2013. With all of that activity and over the past 16 years, there have been a lot of lessons learned by television and digital media producers and broadcasters, funders and distributors, and the Bell Fund is compiling a collection of tips to share with the industry. And, we will continue to offer the support, services and financing that have helped to serve demanding audiences and continue building the vibrant industry that we have in Canada today.

Lori Rosenberg
Vice-Chair

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