Bell Fund definition
A fund that provides support to Canadian media content makers through grants and other forms of financing.
What is the Bell Fund?
The Bell Fund was initially established by Bell Canada as Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund in 1997. It is a not-for-profit organisation with offices in Montreal and Toronto. The Bell Fund provides financing and grants for interactive digital content and support for Canadian media content makers. Moreover, the Bell Fund finances the production of short-form digital series and TV programmes.
The Bell Fund accepts contributions from Bell TV with the aim of promoting the creation of cross-platform digital media and TV content. Since its inception, Bell TV has contributed more than CA$200m ($148m, £117m, €130m) to support the activities and programmes of the Bell Fund. In 2017 the fund closed the programme due to changes in the policy framework for Certified Independent Production Funds. In 2018, the Bell Fund defined new programmes aimed at the promotion and development of digital media content and TV programmes.
The value of grants distributed by the Bell Fund in 2018 was in excess of CA$18m distributed across 172 projects. The total value of financing provided by the fund from its inception until 2018 was slightly above CA$213m used for funding of 1,868 projects.
Bell Fund explained
Different financing opportunities are available depending on the application programme. The amount available for slate development applications is up to 75 per cent of eligible costs, with a maximum of CA$100,000 in the form of a non-interest-bearing advance. Short-form digital series can receive a non-refundable grant of up to 75 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum amount of CA$150,000. TV programme applications receive a maximum of 40 per cent of the eligible production costs.
The deadlines for applications depend on the type of programme; in general, there is one submission date when applications are accepted. Detailed guidelines, as well as application procedures and accompanying documents, are available on the Bell Fund website. Canadian production companies and independent producers are eligible to receive financing from the Bell Fund.