Rogers Development Fund

The next intake period for the Rogers Development Fund is February 3-17, 2014. New application forms, updated guidelines and FAQs are available below.

(Version Française)

Program Description

  • The Rogers Development Fund – Alberta & Manitoba (the “Program”) provides development loans to unaffiliated independent producers/production companies (“Producers”) based in Alberta and Manitoba to assist them in the creation of Canadian Content productions.
  • There are two funding streams: Stream I for Established Producers and Stream II for Emerging Producers.
  • Funding is made available via loans made either to unincorporated producers or to parent companies (“Applicants”).
  • The Program is a revolving fund. As loans are repaid, the dollars shall be made available to help develop new projects.

Applicant Criteria

  • The Program is available to Applicants who have been resident in Alberta or Manitoba for at least one year, based on where they paid income tax the prior year in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).
  • Applicant companies must be majority-owned and controlled by Canadians.
  • New: Successful applicants can apply again to the Program, provided the original Loan has been repaid. This includes Applicants that are part of the same Producer Group (defined as a group of production companies controlled by one or more of the same individuals).
  • Unsuccessful Applicants can reapply with the same and/or new projects at a subsequent deadline, should they continue to meet the other qualifications.

Stream I – Established Producers

  • Loans must be secured by three projects that the Applicant (or a related entity) has in current development.
  • Applicants must have previously produced at least one broadcast television program or one theatrical feature film or one digital media project involving an arms-length third party investor and made commercially available to the public.
  • Applicants must also document that they have previously completed and made commercially available, by any media or means of distribution, a production in the format (or formats) for which they are applying to the Program.
  • Projects with different formats may reside in the same application, as long as the Applicant can document they have previously produced and made commercially available projects in all the formats for which they are applying.
  • Applicants who do not meet all of the above requirements but who are judged to have equivalent experience may be deemed eligible at the Program’s discretion.
  • Applicants may apply for a loan up to a maximum of CAD $25,000.
  • The entire loan is to be repaid either a) on the commencement of production of the first of any one of the three projects, or b) when any one of the three projects is sold or transferred to an arms-length, third party (i.e. non-related party).

Stream II – Emerging Producers

  • The loan shall be secured by one project that the Applicant (or a related entity) has in current development.
  • Applicants cannot have previously produced a broadcast television program or a theatrical feature film or a digital media project involving an arms-length third party investor and made commercially available to the public.
  • Applicants may apply for a loan up to a maximum of CAD $5,000.
  • The loan is to be repaid either a) on the commencement of production of the project, or b) when the project is sold or transferred to an arms-length, third party (i.e. non-related party).

Loan Conditions

  • The loan shall also be repayable if the Applicant is 1) in default of its obligations under the loan, 2) becomes insolvent, 3) is petitioned into bankruptcy, or 4) is the subject of a claim or proceeding affecting their rights to the project.
  • The loans shall be advanced upon execution of all required loan documentation, including a Loan Agreement and a Promissory Note.
  • The loan is non-interest bearing.
  • The loan must be used exclusively for development costs, with expenditures for corporate overhead/producer fees not to exceed 10% of the total Rogers Development loan amount (New: Corporate overhead/producer fees may be topped up by other funds to a maximum of 20%).
  • Acceptance of the loan shall include the right of the Program to audit all accounts and records of any individual and/or corporate Applicant, but only as related to the project(s) and the expenditures of the loan.
  • Applicants or their related parties are ineligible to receive more than one loan.

Project Eligibility

To be eligible for financial support, projects must meet the following requirements:

  • Any Canadian television, feature film or digital media production shall qualify as long as it meets relevant Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) criteria regarding length, format and genre.
  • Projects can be at any stage of development.
  • No third-party triggers are required.
  • Projects must be intended either for broadcast television, theatrical film release or exhibition on a digital platform (which includes DVD’s).
  • Projects must have writers who are Canadian or a Permanent Resident, except in the case of official co-productions. Projects that have writers or co-writers who are non-Canadian are ineligible, except in the case of official co-productions.
  • In the case of official co-productions, the Canadian Applicant must retain majority ownership and control of the project.
  • Projects must qualify as Canadian Content under CRTC regulations and policies.
  • Applicants shall be required to provide proof of ownership of underlying rights, chain of title, or such other documentation as may be required as evidence they have the right or option to produce and exploit the projects.
  • Projects must be in compliance with the laws, regulations, standards and policies applicable to intellectual property, and cannot infringe upon any public or private rights and cannot otherwise contravene any civil and criminal laws in effect.

 

Evaluation Process

  • A Committee established by Rogers and AMPIA consisting of four (4) members shall determine which Applicants receive loans based on their submissions.
  • The Committee has the following powers and duties:

a) monitoring the operations of the Program;

b) providing general policy and strategic guidance;

c) drafting and amending criteria, guidelines and application forms;

d) drafting and amending the application form;

e) assessing and approving eligible applications; and

f) reviewing and approving the business plan and annual budget for the Program for each year of the term hereof.

  • The evaluation of the projects submitted will be based on the following elements:

a) applicant’s and/or creative team’s background;

b) quality and innovativeness of the creative content;

c) feasibility of the project in terms of scope, timeline and financial structure;

  • The Committee is the decision-making body of the Program.
  • These guidelines may be revised as necessary by the Committee.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. In Stream I, can I submit an application where the projects are in different formats?

Yes. You can submit an application where, for example, you might have a feature film project, a television project and a digital media project, or any combination thereof. The caveat is that you must have previously commercially produced in all of those formats.

2. In Stream I, can I submit an application where the projects are all the same formats?

Yes, with the same caveat that you must have previously commercially produced in that format. So for example if all three of your projects are theatrical feature films, then you must have previously commercially produced at least one theatrical feature film.

3. What do you mean by “commercially produced”?

Our definition of commercially produced is a project that has received third-party, arms-length financing and upon completion has been made available to the general public through a distribution undertaking with the intention to generate revenue.

4. What do you mean by “generate revenue”?

It means that the exploitation of the project has generated revenue from sources such as advertising, subscription fees, direct sales or other revenue streams.

5. In Stream I, what if the budget of the first project to commence production will not support the repayment of the entire development loan?

Then do not move ahead with the project until you can increase its budget. There will be no exception or pro-rating of the repayment of the loan. It must be repaid in full either upon commencement of production of the first of any of the three projects or upon the sale/transfer of any of the three projects to an arms-length, third party.

6. In Stream I, can the loan be secured by fewer or more than three projects?

No.

7. In Stream II, can I submit an application for a project in a format in which I have previously produced commercially?

No. Stream II applicants cannot have previously produced a broadcast television program or a theatrical feature film or a digital media project involving an arms-length third party investor and made commercially available to the public.

8. Who is responsible for the loan?

In the case of an unincorporated producer, they are responsible for the loan. In the case of a production company, it is the parent company that is responsible for the loan.

9. What do you mean by “unaffiliated”?

It means a Producer that is not affiliated with any distribution undertakings such as broadcasters, cable/satellite providers, distributors or internet service providers or portals.

10. What percentages of the Program funds are allocated between Stream I and Stream II?

85% of the Program funds are allocated to Stream I and 15% to Stream II.

11. What percentages of the Program funds are allocated between Alberta and Manitoba?

None. Selection is based solely on the quality of the Applicants and their projects.

12. How many projects will be chosen in Round One and Round Two?

Each project is evaluated on its own merits. We will not be following a quota system.

13. How much of the Fund will be expended in Round One and Round Two?

The Fund will continue to be available until it is fully maximized, after which time the Fund will revolve as projects go into Production. We will not be following a quota system.

14. Will Rogers have any control over a Project after completion of Development?

No. However, Rogers will have a first right of negotiation (subject to Article 3 of the Terms of Trade) with respect to the production of any of the Project(s) which receive development funding from the Loan, provided there is no Broadcaster already attached.

15. Will I be able to apply for a Development Loan if I have a Broadcaster other than Rogers attached?

Yes.

16. What type of project is the Committee looking for?

We are looking for all types of projects, including documentaries (series or one-offs), dramatic series, lifestyle series, feature films, MOWs and digital projects. HOWEVER, it is important that you do your research and make yourself aware of other projects similar to yours. If you are applying with a format that has already been produced, you need to demonstrate what it is that makes your project different.

17. Can I alter my budget afterwards if I have been successful with my application?

No. You must use the funds as specified in the budget. Otherwise you will be in default and the full amount of the loan will be forfeit and immediately repayable.

18. How do you define eligible Producer Fees/Corporate Overhead?

We follow the Telefilm definition: (http://www.telefilm.ca/document/en/03/PP/fees.pdf), HOWEVER, please note that even though you can include up to 20% PF/CO fees in your development budget, only 10% of the Rogers Development Funding can be used for this purpose. Otherwise, you must demonstrate confirmation of other funding sources.

19. Can I submit other materials, such as first draft of a script, marketing materials, etc?

No. Each application will be judged on the information provided in the application form. The only exception are the two attachments, 1. copies of CV’s of key creative personnel and 2. Development Budget.

20. If my application is unsuccessful will I be provided feedback as to why?

No. Unfortunately, the Committee is unable to provide feedback regarding specific applications. The Committee is an independent arms-length body that includes representatives of Rogers Broadcasting and AMPIA. However, the Committee alone decides its own policies, and represents neither AMPIA nor Rogers Broadcasting.

Documents Required

  1. Completed and signed Application Form;
  2. Development budget(s) for the project(s);
  3. Names and biographies of the key collaborators on the project(s);

The Program reserves the right to return any application considered to be incomplete or inconsistent with the current guidelines, or conversely to require additional information before proceeding with the evaluation of any application.

Important Documents

Program Criteria (PDF)
FAQ’s (PDF)
Stream 1 Application (PDF)
Stream 2 Application (PDF)
Development Budget Template (Excel)

Deadlines

There are two deadline windows per year: February 3-17, and July 15-31, depending on the availability of the Fund.

Alberta Media Production Industries Association