Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

July 02, 2015 10:15 ET

MP Schellenberger Announces Important Investment in Stratford's Innovative Film Industry

STRATFORD, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 2, 2015) - Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
(FedDev Ontario)

Today, Member of Parliament for Perth-Wellington Gary Schellenberger announced support for a digitization project that will help diversify the economy in Stratford and surrounding areas by creating a regional film industry centred in Stratford.

FedDev Ontario is providing the Stratford Economic Enterprise Development Corporation (SEED Co.) with a contribution of up to $3-million to deliver the Stratford Festival HD project, the first of its kind in Canada. SEED Co. is delivering this project in partnership with Melbar Entertainment Group and the Stratford Festival.

This three-year project aims to enhance the Stratford Festival's offerings by digitizing nine live theatre performances from the festival, which will be made available to national and international audiences through cinemas, television and video-on-demand services. The first three films were screened by Cineplex Front Row Centre Events earlier this year and will air on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) this fall.

In addition to this, SEED Co. and the University of Waterloo will develop complementary products that will include interactive games and applications specifically for the education market. The Stratford Festival HD project also leverages the region's existing cultural and digital industries and supports the tourism sector. This project aligns with Digital Canada 150's goal to provide easy online access to Canadian content that celebrates Canadian history, arts and culture, which can be shared with a global audience.

The Government of Canada's contribution is through FedDev Ontario's Investing in Regional Diversification (IRD) initiative, which is aimed at supporting the long-term development of stronger, more diverse economies in southern Ontario communities. IRD leverages unique regional assets and local expertise to attract new investment and opportunities for economic growth and development.

Quick Facts

  • SEED Co. anticipates creating up to 70 high-quality jobs during the life of the project, and 236 additional employment opportunities are expected in the community as an indirect result of this project.
  • Every 10,000 visitors to the Stratford Festival is estimated to lead to 59 jobs in the community, according to a 2011 Conference Board of Canada economic impact analysis of the Stratford Festival.
  • In addition to this federal contribution, SEED Co. and the Stratford Festival are leveraging $3.45 million, 53 percent of the project costs, from private investors and the not-for-profit sector.


"The Stratford Festival HD project will leverage the long history and success of the Stratford Festival and merge it with the knowledge and innovation spurred by the region's emerging digital media industry. Diversifying and enhancing the way audiences access, experience and connect with the Stratford Festival aligns with the goals of Digital Canada 150 while also creating high-quality jobs and prosperous communities."

- Gary Schellenberger, Member of Parliament for Perth-Wellington

"The Stratford Festival HD initiative is leading a traditional industry into the digital world. Innovation is at the core of Stratford's economic future, creating jobs and growth for our community."

- Marlene Coffey, Chief Executive Officer, Stratford Economic Enterprise Development Corporation

"Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino and I aspire to capturing the entire Shakespeare canon on film over the next 10 years. We are enormously grateful for the support of FedDev for Southern Ontario and the collaboration of SEED Co. to help enable our aspiration, ultimately allowing us to share the Stratford experience with audiences around the world and for generations to come. It's a ground-breaking development for the Festival, the local region and the broader cultural community across the country."

- Anita Gaffney, Executive Director, Stratford Festival

Related Products

Speech: Investing in Regional Diversification Funding Announcement - Stratford Economic Enterprise Development Corporation

Associated Links

Investing in Regional Diversification

Stratford Festival HD

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