Telus Fund backs health, wellness projects

The Telus Fund in Canada has selected 14 health and wellness-focused projects from Canadian production companies to receive funding in its latest round of grants.
August 15, 2014

The Telus Fund in Canada has selected 14 health and wellness-focused projects from Canadian production companies to receive funding in its latest round of grants.

The fund, which was launched in 2013, supports each project with up to approximately CAD$250,000 (US$229,000) in financing. The fund aims to support programming that promotes the health and well-being of Canadians. All of the projects supported include a TV component (eligibility for the grant included having a development or licence agreement with a broadcaster), and an integrated digital media component such as a website, mobile app or game.

The fund is an independently governed, not-for-profit corporation that is funded by Telus. Seven of the 14 projects have been greenlit for production, while the remaining seven will use the financing to support development.

Among the projects greenlit for production include: the #STI TV series, website and game from Convergent Production; Stornoway Productions’ Don’t Die Here! TV series, webisodes and website; Westmount Road’s Food Detectives TV series, website and mobile appAtomic Cartoons’ I Can Dance! TV series, app and curriculum materials; Capsana’s Health Challenge 5/30 TV shorts, website and app; Canamedia’s Teens 101 TV series, lesson plans, app and website; and the TV documentary One Sweet Film and its accompanying mobile app and website, from a production company by the same name.

Of the greenlit productions, four received financing for both development and production from the fund: #STI, Don’t Die Here, One Sweet Film and Teens 101.

The seven projects that received financing to support development and have not yet been greenlit for production include: May Street Productions’ A Change of Mind TV series and website; Antica Productions’ Double Blind TV doc, website and app; Ruby Tree Films’ Fearless TV series, website and mobile app; Anaid Productions’ Hospital Rescue TV series, website and app; DKW Media’s Kids on the Skids TV series, website and mobile apps; SOMA Television’s National Stress Test TV series, website and app; and Film One Media’s Mind, Body and Soul Show TV series, website and app. Mind, Body and Soul is also developing wearable technology that viewers can use while watching the series.

Geographically, five of the selected projects are from British Columbia and six are from Ontario, with one project each from Quebec, Alberta and Nova Scotia.

Financing is provided in the form of a recoupable advance. If the project earns revenue, then the fund receives a share along with the producer and other financiers. If the project does not earn revenue, then the financing acts as a forgiven loan. The fund does not acquire any of the copyright to the content that is produced. When the financing is repaid, the producer keeps all profit participation. The next application period for the Telus Fund opens on September 22.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.