“B.C.’s interactive and digital media sector is thriving with over 16,500 people working in this area,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “The Interactive Fund supports our homegrown talent in developing original digital content and apps that range from the entertaining to the educational. It also supports B.C.’s digital creators in accessing new markets and investment opportunities.”
A total of $680,000 in grants were made available through the Interactive Fund, jointly administered by Creative BC and the BC Arts Council. The program supports the production of high-quality, interactive digital media content and software applications created by B.C. companies. The Province increased the maximum grant amount to $100,000 from $50,000 this year, to better support companies that are further along in their production.
“We are extremely proud of the ten recipients of the Interactive Fund,” said Prem Gill, CEO of Creative BC. “The Interactive Fund showcases the exceptional range of talent in BC’s digital and interactive media industry and positions these companies as key players in the creative sector. We are very excited to see these projects gain new audiences and engage users in an interactive way.”
Investing in interactive and digital media supports government’s goal of building a strong, sustainable economy across the province. British Columbia has become a hub for digital entertainment with interactive and digital media contributing $2.3 billion to the B.C. economy. The province is home to over 1,300 media companies that are at the forefront of the rise of mobile apps, virtual and augmented reality, animation, visual effects, social media, interactive marketing and e-learning tools.
“Cultivating talent in the digital and interactive media industries supports B.C.’s creative sector,” said BC Arts Council chair Susan Jackson. “Through our partnership with Creative BC in the Interactive Fund, we are pleased to provide $680,000 in grants for the creation of 10 new and innovative digital media projects being produced in the province.”
The following individuals are this year’s successful recipients:
- Big Bad Boo Studios, Vancouver ($50,000) – Galapagos X is an interactive website for children where users solve a case using Google Expeditions and virtual integration.
- Fairview Games, Vancouver ($50,000) – Gold River is a game similar to ABC’s series “Lost” where users interact with a mysterious destination. The landscape is based on BC’s beautiful west coast.
- Simply Rooted Media Inc, Victoria ($50,000) – Rooted Academy is a mobile app for youth experiencing anxiety and panic attacks, using engaging tools for immediate and long-term help.
- Circus Technology, Vancouver ($100,000) – Circus HR is an online platform to streamline Human Resource challenges within Canada’s cultural sector.
- Virtro Entertainment Inc, Vancouver ($100,000) – Argotian is a virtual-reality game aimed at teaching conversational languages to beginner and intermediate learners.
- Feedback Innovations Inc, Victoria ($100,000) – Fictionary is a new interactive web app for self-editing fiction that helps writers turn a first draft into a story readers love.
- Motive.io, Burnaby ($50,000) – The Bionic Detective is a VR/AR game for users to solve a crime through either an escape-room scenario or immersive training scenario.
- Media One Multimedia Inc, Victoria ($50,000) – The Witness Blanket is an interactive website where users can explore stories of Residential School survivors, learn about Canada’s history of colonialism, and view unseen footage of the Indian Residential School era.
- Arcana Studio Inc, Burnaby ($30,000) – Escape Vroom is a VR-based experience where users will interact with different fantastical worlds that transcend time, space and geography.
- UME Academy, Vancouver ($100,000) – Game-Jam is a game-playing and creation platform for students where they browse and play interactive video games by platform participants, up-voting their favorite experiences, while learning more about each student’s design and creative process.
“This support from Creative BC is game changing for Fictionary and will help us empower a larger audience of storytellers to turn their first draft into a story that readers will love by stimulating creativity, increasing editing knowledge, and providing a motivating experience to create high-quality story content,” said Kristina Stanley, CEO of Feedback Innovations. “Specifically, we plan to enhance our automation of visual story insights and help writers complete their own in-depth story edit. These tools have been requested by our community of loyal Fictionary writers over the last year, so they will be thrilled as well.”
“The Witness Blanket Interactive project reflects what is possible when an artist, a book publisher, a national museum, a production team and Creative BC work together with the unified purpose of educating people,” said Cody Graham, executive producer at Media One Inc. “It is about the truth found in the resilience of Indian Residential School Survivors who continue to inspire all the work we do. This project will create space for their stories to come to life and influence future generations. It is our responsibility to continue to bring that truth forward.”
ABOUT CREATIVE BC
Creative BC is an independent society created and supported by the Province of BC to sustain and help grow BC’s creative sector (film and television, digital and interactive media, music, and magazine and book publishing industries). The society delivers a wide range of programs and services to expand BC’s creative economy. These include the administration of the provincial government’s tax credit programs for film and television; development funding and export marketing support; and motion picture production services to attract inward investment and market BC as a destination for domestic and international production. The society acts as an industry catalyst and ambassador to help BC’s creative sector reach its economic and creative potential both at home and globally.
ABOUT BC ARTS COUNCIL
The BC Arts Council supports arts and cultural activity in communities across the province. From professional dance companies, to art galleries, local museums and music festivals – the council works to support artistic excellence and to enrich the lives of all British Columbians. Drawing upon the expertise of B.C.’s arts and culture community to provide an independent peer-review adjudication process, the council supports a range of activities that includes funding for professional artists and arts organizations, community initiatives, training and scholarships.