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Grants to Canada Independent Production Companies
to Develop Original Intellectual Property

Slate Development Program

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Bell Fund

Deadline Date:

11/29/21 7:00 PM EST


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Grants to Canada independent production companies to develop original content and intellectual property. First-time applicants must contact the funding source prior to applying. Funding is intended to help companies create materials for commercial distribution. Priority will be given to applications that support multiple projects (no more than three), which can be multi-platform. At least one of the programs must be an audio-visual project.

Funding is available as a non-interest bearing advance, of 100% of eligible costs repayable from production financing (on a per project basis). 

Eligible Content:

Short or Long Form* scripted series (live action and animated) in the genres of drama, documentary, lifestyle, and factual for television and/or digital platforms.

*Including limited series and podcasts, as well as one-off feature-length documentaries made for TV.

*Excluding subsequent seasons

Eligible Costs:

  • Production of non-broadcast demo
  • Research
  • Extension or change to option fees or underlying rights acquisition fees paid to an unrelated party. (Note: the initial cost to option or buy rights is not an eligible cost)
  • Writing (Outline, Treatment, Bible, 1st and 2nd Draft Scripts, etc.)
  • Script workshops
  • Development of production budget and financing plan
  • Scriptwriting consultant/Story editor
  • Audience Research
  • Focus Groups
  • Reasonable costs for travel and accommodation for research and demo shoot Producer fees and corporate overhead (subject to the Finance and Budget Policy)
  • Accounting fees (if review engagement is required as per the Finance and Budget Policy)
  • Reasonable, third-party legal costs
  • Third-party preparation of the production budget breakdown
  • Production of drawings (animation)
  • Preliminary Casting
  • Creation of ‘one sheet/look book’

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182878

Estimated Size of Grant:

Per Project: Maximum Request $25,000
2 Project Slate: Maximum Request $50,000
3 Project Slate: Maximum Request $75,000

Minimum Request for any slate is $20,000.

Bell Fund has the discretion to reduce the amount awarded in order to allow funding for more applicants.

Broadcaster-affiliated companies are limited to a maximum of 15% of the available funds in a program.

Term of Contract:

Timelines will be assessed based on the deliverables. However, the expectation is that the projects will be delivered within a maximum 12 months from Bell Fund approval.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicant must operate as a Canadian independent Production Company. Incorporation isn’t required at the time of application but is required if application is successful.

Canadian independent production company:
Is a for-profit company (a taxable Canadian corporation within the meaning of Canada’s Income Tax Act) carrying on business in Canada, with a Canadian business address, owned and controlled by Canadians, whose business is the production of film, video or live programs for distribution.

Applicants are ineligible if they meet the following criteria:
- Applicant received funding from the previous deadline (November 20, 2020).
Going forward those applicants that received funding in the previous year, can only return every two years.

Ineligible content includes; interactive digital media (apps, games, digital books, webdocs), feature films, MOWs (movies of the week), short (one-off) films, subsequent seasons, news/current affairs, reporting and actualities (conferences/events), sports (events/analysis), gameshows, infomercials/instructional/industrial/corporate/promotional content, talk shows, variety (awards shows), wraparound segment/interstitials/filler content, content mainly comprised of repurposed footage, and, content with a primary mission to provide a public service.

An application with only one project is not eligible.

Pre-Application Information:

Deadline: November 29, 2021 (7 pm EST)

The portal opens approximately one month prior to deadline.

It is the intent that funding decisions are made by the Board of Directors eight to ten weeks after the application deadline.

First-time applicants must book a one-on-one information session via email.

A Company, comprised of and/or exercising common control over several production companies, is only entitled to one application per deadline.

The following conditions must be met:
- Slate must contain two or three projects.
- Proposed development activities have not commenced at time of deadline
- Project is not under consideration for production financing from any source.
- The Intellectual Property (IP) of each project in the slate is original, though it may be an adaptation of an existing licensed property.
- At time of application all rights and underlying rights are owned, optioned or controlled sufficiently to develop, produce and exploit the program throughout the world.

Although 100% of eligible funds may be requested from Bell Fund, producers may include financing from another source.

Application Deadlines:
Application Components:
How to Apply:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply online:

First-time applicants must book a one-on-one information session via email at

Bell Fund
2 Carlton St., Suite 1709,
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1J3
Telephone: (416) 977-8154

4067, boulevard Saint-Laurent,
bureau 303A
Montréal, Québec H2W 1Y7
Telephone: 514 845-4418

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

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