Toronto 1, a new free-to-air station launching in Canada’s largest city on September 19, is looking to commission docs for primetime transmission. As part of the initiative, the broadcaster (owned by Calgary-based Craig Media) has launched two five-year, CDN$7.4 million (US$5.3 million) funds to finance factual and drama programs.
One envelope, the New Voices Fund, is open to ‘producers of color’ and is headed by Karen King, formerly a producer at Canada’s National Film Board. King says its mandate is to support producers ‘who before now have been denied access to conventional TV stations.’
The other, the Priority Program Fund, will finance projects from small and medium-sized prodcos in Toronto. The station’s mandate is to service the city’s diverse multicultural communities, both in terms of programming and independent production.
‘We are looking for one-offs and projects that have series potential,’ explains Barbara Williams, the station’s VP and GM. Adds King, ‘We want programming that reflects Toronto…but also has an ability to speak to an international audience.’