July 27, 2006
A new production grant to help finance family and educational video games and new media will provide a significant boost to Manitoba’s flourishing video game development industry, Energy, Science and Technology Minister Dave Chomiak announced today.
“Manitoba’s new media industry is rapidly growing, as is our pool of talented developers,” said Chomiak. “This new program will provide another level of support to help establish our growing cutting-edge educational and entertainment sector.”
The initiative will provide support for Manitoba’s new media industry via the New Media Production Grant. It will provide grant assistance to video game and new media developers equal to 45 per cent of the eligible Manitoba labour costs directly attributable to the development of an eligible new media product.
“This provides incentive for members of our video game production community and shows the province’s commitment to further developing our sector,” said Lee Doerksen, Dragonfly Games Division Inc. “It’s going to help Dragonfly continue our work to bring educational games to all children.”
Dragonfly Games Division produces universal-access games to teach children at all developmental levels. Since its inception in 2005, the Manitoba company has developed a reputation as a world leader in universal-access educational game design and delivery systems.
To be eligible for the production grant, new media companies must pre-apply for a registration certificate in advance of production to help them raise interim financing. A final grant cheque will be issued after the entire project is completed and a final copy of the production is made available.
There are 232 digital media companies in Manitoba with demonstrated expertise in 2D and 3D computer animation, web development, visual effects, CD-ROM and software development, and music and sound processing.
Worldwide, the new media development sector is now a $30-billion-a-year industry. In Canada, about $1 billion is spent every year on interactive game software and hardware, almost as much as the $1.2 billion spent on recorded music.
Under the province’s 2003 Framework for Innovation, the government is committed to establishing a cluster of excellence for interactive digital media by 2007. The New Media Production Grant is part of a video game development strategy to improve infrastructure, develop skills and grow the new media sector.
“Our government is working to ensure Manitoba developers have the tools they need to create top-quality new media products and compete in this exciting industry,” Chomiak said.
Recently, the province announced that five Manitoba projects had been awarded support through the Manitoba Interactive Digital Media Fund. Earlier this year, $350,000 in support was announced for the Fortune Cat video game incubator initiative through the Winnipeg Partnership Agreement. Red River College (RRC) also announced a one-year advanced 3D animation training diploma program. The RRC program will begin in the fall of 2006
More information about the new media digital industry is available at http://www.gov.mb.ca/est/knowledge/index.html.
- 30 -