Rogers Group of Funds and Creative BC Announce $1 Million Fund for Indigenous Storytellers in British Columbia
Launching in collaboration with Indigenous Screen Office, multi-year fund to support Indigenous screen content for home and global audiences
VANCOUVER, November 12, 2021– Indigenous filmmakers are seizing opportunities to tell authentic stories, with representation across all aspects of production—from leadership to cast and crew. To amplify their voices for a rapidly expanding audience at home and around the world, and to ensure support for the Indigenous point of view in Canada’s motion picture industry, Rogers Group of Funds and Creative BC today announced plans to jointly establish a new $1 million fund for Indigenous creators in British Columbia.
To launch the Fund, a collaborative partnership with the Indigenous Screen Office opens the first program today, delivering a top-up to B.C.-based recipients of their recently announced ISO Development Grant program. ISO insights show that B.C.-based Indigenous applicants far outnumber those from other provinces, reflecting the strong filmmaking talent base locally, which the Fund will seek to nurture and develop.
Supported privately by Rogers Group of Funds and administered by Creative BC, the Fund is Canada’s first provincial-national partnership focused on Indigenous creators and will also be the first targeted Indigenous screen fund at Creative BC. With a priority on Indigenous sovereignty and decision-making, Creative BC will undertake a collaborative consultation process within the Indigenous community of content creators in B.C. The process will contribute to the creation of a relevant, targeted, and responsive suite of programs over four years. To spearhead design and delivery, Creative BC opens recruitment today for a knowledgeable Indigenous lead for this Fund’s programs, as well as to engage as a program analyst informing and delivering other existing and emerging Creative BC streams, partnerships, and services for Indigenous creators.
The Fund will help increase access and representation for Indigenous producers and Indigenous-led production companies in B.C.’s domestic motion picture industry. By establishing consistent multi-year support, early partnership and collaboration with the ISO, and an Indigenous lead within Creative BC, the Fund is intended to contribute to strong foundations that can serve to help correct the systemic and historic underrepresentation of Indigenous stories and storytellers in Canada’s screen sector. Funding implementation through Creative BC will appropriately apply and adhere to the imagiNATIVE On-Screen Protocols & Pathways, a framework designed to ensure a stronger voice for Indigenous creators.
More details about the fund, its programs, eligibility criteria, deadlines, and the submission process will follow next year.
“At Rogers, we are deeply committed to working in partnership with Indigenous partners and amplifying Indigenous voices so their lived experiences and perspectives are truly heard. This new fund is just one step on our company’s journey of reconciliation and deepening allyship with Indigenous communities across the country. Working collectively with B.C. communities, we are also proud to help bridge the digital divide by investing in critical connectivity, including along the Highway of Tears, to keep Indigenous communities safely connected.”
- Joe Natale, President and CEO, Rogers Communications
“Championing Indigenous voices has never been more important than it is right here, right now in British Columbia and, indeed, across the country. As allies to Indigenous communities, and as a longstanding Canadian company, we have a role to play in removing barriers, supporting, and making space for Indigenous creators to tell their own stories in their own way. And hearing these stories – really listening – is one more way we can actively engage in our own truth and reconciliation journey. This is the true and lasting impact of this new fund.”
- Phil Lind, Vice-Chairman, Rogers Communications and Chair, Rogers Group of Funds
“Creative BC is tremendously proud to partner again with Rogers Group of Funds and to launch the first program in collaboration with the Indigenous Screen Office. Together we will establish new opportunities and long-term value to B.C.-based Indigenous storytellers – prioritizing cultural sovereignty, uplifting and being accountable to the work of the imagiNATIVE On-Screen Protocols & Pathways, and leveraging Creative BC resources and relationships in support, such as that with the CMPA BC Producers Branch.
- Prem Gill, CEO, Creative BC
“When more voices can be supported to contribute to Indigenous narrative sovereignty across Canada, it’s always a good thing. Our communities have a lot of stories to share in a way only Indigenous storytellers can. The ISO is looking forward to developing this new partnership with Creative BC and Rogers Group of Funds.”
- Jesse Wente, Co-Executive Director, Indigenous Screen Office
“No act of reconciliation is too small. This fund exemplifies the power of partnership and our shared commitment to empowering Indigenous creators to thrive in this industry. Indigenous Peoples have been story tellers since time immemorial. It’s inspiring to see opportunities being created to increase the representation of Indigenous producers across B.C. This is truly reconciliation in action”
- The Honourable Melanie Mark, B.C. Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport
“For 20 years as a storyteller and Indigenous woman working in media, I’m typically the only one who looks like me at the table. Being one of the first to lay footprints can be lonely and hard work, and I am proud to see commitments for easier pathways for my Indigenous brothers and sisters who follow. This new fund, which puts the Indigenous creator at the centre, is an important step in the right direction.”
- Nicole McCormick, Chair, Rogers Indigenous People’s Network
About Rogers Group of Funds
Since 1980, the Rogers Group of Funds has supported Canada’s independent film and television producers with more than $635 million through three different types of funding. Rogers Telefund offers loans to Canadian independent producers; Rogers Documentary Fund, Canada’s premier source of funding for documentary films; and Rogers Cable Network Fund, an equity investor in Canadian programs with a first play on a Canadian cable channel. Three different types of financing. Three different funds. All from one source – Rogers. For more information, visit rogersgroupoffunds.com.
About Creative BC
Creative BC is an independent society created and supported by the Province to sustain and help grow British Columbia’s creative industries: motion picture, interactive and digital media, music and sound recording, and magazine and book publishing. The society delivers a wide range of programs and services with a mandate to expand B.C.’s creative economy. These activities include: administration of the provincial government’s motion picture tax credit programs; delivery of program funding and export marketing support for the sector; and provincial film commission services. Combined, these activities serve to attract inward investment and market B.C. as a partner and destination of choice for domestic and international content creation. The society acts as an industry catalyst and ambassador to help B.C.’s creative sector reach its economic, social, environmental and creative potential both at home and globally.