ISO lifts lid on Solidarity Fund and other funding initiatives

Funding - chronis-yan-1M4wYTqVD4o-unsplash
The Indigenous Development Grants Program offers support for Indigenous individuals and majority Indigenous-owned companies, while the Partnership Program addresses the business continuity needs of Indigenous creators during the pandemic.

The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) has revealed more information on three new funding initiatives: the Solidarity Fund, the Indigenous Development Grants Program and the Partnership Program.

Developed in partnership with the Racial Equity Media Collective (REMC) and BIPOC TV & Film, the Solidarity Fund will provide development grants for racialized screen content creators and companies – with an emphasis on reaching Black creatives.

It was launched in response to the ongoing movement for justice and equality for racialized people, according to the ISO’s website. In addition to support for Black creators, the program’s priorities include supporting regional representation, emerging creators and creatives who did not access significant funding through the CMF, Telefilm Canada or the Canada Council. Guidelines for the program note that grant amounts for a single project from an individual come in at $15,000 and $25,000 for companies with a slate of more than one project.

Meanwhile, the Indigenous Development Grants Program offers funding for both project and professional development for Indigenous individuals and majority Indigenous-owned companies. Grant amounts for individuals include $15,000 for a single project and $30,000 for a slate of more than one project from companies.

Funding for the Solidarity Fund and the Indigenous Development Grants Program comes from the Producer Pledge Fund, which was created to support BIPOC creators during COVID-19 and marks the first initiative started by the Independent Media Producers Association of Cinematic Talent (IMPACT), and the CMF’s allocation of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport. Inspirit Foundation also made a contribution to the Solidarity Fund. Applications for both are due by Oct. 16.

“A beautiful collaboration is unfolding between ISO, REMC and BIPOC TV & Film,” said BIPOC TV & Film founder Nathalie Younglai in a statement. “We are proud to be partners on the Solidarity Fund and are grateful to all of the organizations and producers who have contributed. These funds will encourage BIPOC producers and creators to persevere in a system that needs to start investing in BIPOC voices in a more meaningful way.”

Finally, the Partnership Program aims to address the business continuity needs of Indigenous creators at all stages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting online training and learning as well as innovation strategies, the initiative “recognizes that learning and training is a critical component to ensuring the continued momentum and sustainability for the Indigenous screen sector during an unpredictable and economically unstable period,” according to its website.

Notably, all funding for the program will be delivered by the ISO before March 31, 2021. The maximum recommended amount for grants is $30,000 and eligible applicants include Indigenous or BIPOC non-profit organizations or registered charities; Indigenous companies; and other non-profit organizations. Funding for this program is provided through the COVID-19 Emergency Response Funding delivered through the CMF.

Photo by Chronis Yan on Unsplash