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Not a Love Story : Can Canadians Create Systems to Promote Canadian Culture in the 21st Century?

by dougwork, over 2 years ago

I represent a Canadian based motion picture digital distribution initiative that has been in the works in Vancouver, B.C. since late 2008. The company, mediAm digital distribution, was incorporated in 2009 with a mandate to build a world class, world wide, community based, distribution portal — designed to promote, facilitate and monetize professionally produced Canadian motion picture content of all kinds — and to provide a worldwide distribution platform for all Canadian culture(s) and for a range of diverse audiences from large to small.

Over our first 6 years we attempted to engage various agencies of the Harper government in order to encourage them to recognize and address the emerging challenges and vast opportunities presented by 21st Century digital technology. In 2009 and 2011 we made development-funding applications to the “Canadian New Media Fund” and the “Canadian Media Fund” only to discover that Canadian based digital distribution of Canadian motion picture content was neither part of the CMF mandate nor the concern of TeleFilm Canada.

Regardless, we continued with the development of the mediAm architecture and user interface. In the summer of 2013 we structured the company based on the principles of Social Entrepreneurship and offered limited private investment in order to complete our content provider and viewer community interfaces. With limited seed funds, largely from members of the local Vancouver film industry, we took our website live in August 2014.

Since going live we have encountered several distinctly Canadian obstacles (including an outrageously punitive sales tax structure) that have forced us to re-evaluate our position as a Canadian company. As CEO of mediAm I placed the company in a “holding pattern” in January 2015 informing shareholders that we must either look for a buyer outside of Canada, fold the company or wait for some progressive change in the Canadian political landscape.

For the past year I have followed the bold initiatives of our new Minister of Canadian Heritage - and I am hopeful that progressive change may finally come.

For Canadian entrepreneurs the story may not be over . . . stay tuned.

Doug Hardwick, Pender Harbour, British Columbia, Canada

To understand mediAm view our landing pages for audiences and creators.

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