Province of Ontario and Canadian
federal government incentive programs
The province of Ontario's Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation (MEDI) offers many financial assistance and incentive programs to assist business, as does the federal government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT). Also, Ontario Technology Corridor partners have produced this value proposition in PDF form: Ontario Technology Corridor Digital Media/Gaming Advantage (Dec., 2009).
A selection of incentive programs of interest to innovative, research- and labour-intensive interactive digital media companies are provided here:
Ontario Intellectual Property Development Fund: a refund of 30% of prior costs incurred in direct support of eligible early stage development activities to bring screen-based content properties closer to production. Up to $150,000 available, plus a possible additional $20,000 (for eligible early stage development activities).
Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit (OCASE): Refundable tax credit of 20% to eligible companies for qualifying Ontario labour expenses for the production of computer animation and special effect activities in film or TV. More information here.
Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC): Refundable tax credits of 25% for eligible labour, marketing and distribution expenditures for the creation of interactive digital media products.
Ontario Film and Televison Tax Credit (OFTTC): Refundable tax credit of 35% for eligible Ontario labour expenditures incurred by a production company with respect to an eligible Ontario production.
Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC): Refundable tax credit of 25% based upon eligible Ontario labour and other production expenditures.
Ontario Sound Recording Tax Credit (OSRTC): Refundable tax credit of 20% based upon eligible production and marketing costs incurred by a corporation with respect to an eligible Canadian sound recording.
Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) Interactive Digital Media Fund: Up to $150,000 available.
Ontario Book Publishing Tax Credit (OBPTC): Refundable tax credit of 30% based upon eligible pre-press, printing and marketing expenditures incurred by a qualifying corporation with respect to eligible book publishing activities in Ontario.
Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit Program (PSTC) - Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) and the Canada Revenue Agency: refundable tax credit of 16% of eligible Canadian labour expenditures (amount of expenditures is not capped).
Invest in Ontario: Select Government Programs for Businesses: Digital Media category.
Going Global Science and Technology Fund: The Going Global Fund provides financial assistance to Canadian researchers in the identification and the establishment of new international collaborative R&D initiatives.
Innovative Ontario digital media business may also qualify for Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program