Since 1997, Bell Fund has contributed more than $150 million to more than 1,500 projects. In 2014 alone we contributed $17.6 million to 186 projects. That’s more money in more projects than ever before. But numbers only tell part of the story. Every day we continue to be inspired by the talented producers with whom we have the privilege of working. They continue to push the envelope of excellence by exploring new ways to tell stories on digital platforms and by innovating business models for the new ecosystem that includes broadcast television, Internet distribution, and mobile apps. Bell Fund continues to listen to producers and broadcasters, to monitor their evolving technical, creative, and business environments and to remain at the forefront of new opportunities.
While we have much to celebrate, our industry continues to operate in a state of flux as we evolve and respond to new realities. It’s clear that there are no simple solutions and that change has become the new norm. While it’s impossible to speculate where the current road will lead us, we firmly believe that audiences will continue to require content produced by good storytellers and that production business models will evolve to monetize that content.
We acknowledge the contributions of Andra Sheffer, Bell Fund's former Executive Director, made over her many years at our helm. Andra’s vision, hard work and dedication contributed strongly to what Bell Fund is today. She is a tremendous leader and trail blazer who helped put Canadian digital media production on the map.
Bell Fund's new Executive Director, Nancy Chapelle, comes to Bell Fund after many successful years as President of Catalyst Entertainment and Managing Director of Content and Programming at TVO. She has a stellar track-record at the intersection of broadcast and digital media and, among her many awards, in 2011 she was voted into the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Arts and Communication.
We continue to search for operational efficiencies while strengthening our producer services. By the time you read this we will have launched the Bell Fund's online application portal. This will improve our operational efficiency and make our application processes more streamlined for our clients.
Bell Fund activities are made possible by annual contributions from Bell TV (including Bell Aliant and Câblevision du Nord de Québec) and from the BCE/CTV Benefits.
I am inspired by the projects we funded this past year. I hope as you read through this report and see the breath and diversity of what we’ve accomplished that you will be as well.