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Business Intelligence Program (BIP) Guidelines

Ontario Creates offers financial support to incorporated not-for-profit industry organizations undertaking business intelligence initiatives that support or complement the following elements of our mandate:

  • contribute to the continued expansion of a business environment in Ontario that is advantageous to the growth of the cultural media industry and to the growth of new employment, investment and production opportunities in Ontario; and/or
  • facilitate and support innovation, invention and excellence in Ontario’s cultural media industry by stimulating creative production, format innovation and new models of collaboration among sectors of the cultural media industry.

For purposes of the Ontario Creates Business Intelligence Program (BIP), “business intelligence” is defined as information and/or insights that industries and businesses require in order to increase their capacity and effectiveness, with a view to creating long-term stability and competitive market advantage. “Business intelligence” is primarily forward-looking, and includes the following (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Interpretation of data and statistics
  • Market intelligence
  • Analysis required in order to prepare for challenges and take advantage of opportunities
  • Insights that will allow companies to formulate strong strategies

The BIP will support projects aimed at gathering, formulating and disseminating business intelligence relevant to the growth of one or more content creating sectors in Ontario.

Ontario Creates values and supports diversity and gender parity within creative industries. The evaluation criteria for this program includes a bonus score for projects/activities that support and reflect diversity and gender parity in Ontario, and/or applications from Francophone, Indigenous, culturally and otherwise diverse applicants. Please see Section 5 for more information.

Ontario Creates is committed to fostering respectful workplaces in all sectors and companies we support. A respectful workplace is one that values diversity and inclusion, dignity, courteous conduct, fairness, positive communication and professional working relationships. A respectful workplace is free from harassment and discrimination including sexual harassment.

Ontario Creates expects that all funding recipients maintain the principles of a respectful workplace including taking every reasonable step to:

  • Cultivate and sustain a respectful, positive, inclusive and supportive work culture
  • Provide a safe mechanism for staff to report incidents or allegations of inappropriate behavior
  • Take action to prevent, identify and eliminate workplace harassment and discrimination in a timely manner

An eligibility requirement for this program includes the applicant organization confirming that they have in place both guiding principles and a process for maintaining a respectful workplace. Please download the Applicant Affidavit from the Ontario Creates website or from the application form in the OAP, sign, and include with your application as instructed.

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1. Program Deadlines 2020/21

Spring Deadline: Tuesday, April 14, 2020 5:00 PM ET

Summer Deadline: Tuesday, August 4, 2020 5:00 PM ET

Fall Deadline: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 5:00 PM ET

NOTE: Please read the complete guidelines thoroughly before starting your application. Applications must be submitted via the Online Application Portal (OAP) (for instructions on the OAP, please review the section entitled “Application Process” set out in these Guidelines). If you are unsure of your organization or project eligibility after reviewing the “Applicant Eligibility” and “Project Eligibility” sections below, please contact us in advance of a deadline to discuss.

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2. Applicant Eligibility

Applicants must be incorporated not-for-profit Ontario organizations or incorporated not-for-profit national organizations offering significant benefit to the Ontario creative industries (book, film, interactive digital media, magazine, music or television industries). In order to ensure that the projects funded best meet the needs of the industries, preference will be given to creative industry trade organizations.

Applicants are welcome to partner or collaborate with other organizations (whether eligible or ineligible as applicants) if doing so would further the goals of the project. If the application is successful, Ontario Creates will contract with a single lead applicant which must be an eligible organization.

Colleges and universities are not eligible to apply directly to the BIP program but may be partners in a project.

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3. Project Eligibility

Projects proposed should achieve one or more of the following goals in the creative industries:

  • provide information needed by an industry to further industry development or growth (e.g., regarding markets, consumer information, business models, product trend information, etc.)
  • provide analysis or interpretation of existing data and statistics
  • offer intelligence regarding a consumer base, segment or geographic market
  • provide insight, analysis or strategic direction aimed at helping content creating companies counter challenges and pursue opportunities
  • be of benefit to content creating companies in one or more creative industry sectors.

Projects must address an existing information gap or gaps.

The following types of projects are not eligible for Ontario Creates BIP funding:

  • Strategic planning for an organization
  • Feasibility studies

Applicants should note that this is a competitive application process and submitting an application does not guarantee that your project will be funded.

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4. Application Process

  • Interested applicants must submit their application to Ontario Creates by 5:00 pm on deadline day. Upcoming deadlines are listed above and on the Ontario Creates website.
  • All applications must be submitted electronically through the Ontario Creates Online Application Portal (OAP) at https://apply.ontariocreates.ca/.
  • If you do not have a user account on the Ontario Creates OAP, please go to https://apply.ontariocreates.ca/ and click on “Register”. For assistance, please see Ontario Creates’s website for a “How to Get Started” guide to the OAP. To start the application, click on “Start new application” and follow the directions through the five step wizard to access the application form.
  • For technical assistance, please contact the OAP Helpdesk at applyhelp@ontariocreates.ca.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin the application process early to allow ample time to compile the necessary information and complete the application. You may start an application at any time and save changes to it up until the time you submit.
  • Organizations planning to apply for the BIP should contact the Ontario Creates Research Department to determine the eligibility of the organization and the project. Ontario Creates is pleased to provide input on applications, however, we are unable to review material submitted less than seven days before the deadline.
  • Applications must be received before the scheduled project commencement date.

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5. Decision Criteria

Applicants should note that this is a competitive application process and submitting an application does not guarantee that your project will be funded.

The agency’s decision to participate will be based on the following criteria:

  • Mandate alignment and degree to which project is an industry priority (30%):
    • “Mandate alignment” is the degree to which the project achieves the following, which are part of the Ontario Creates mandate:
      • contributes to the continued expansion of a business environment in Ontario that is advantageous to the growth of the cultural media industry and to the growth of new employment, investment and production opportunities in Ontario; and/or
      • facilitates and supports innovation, invention and excellence in Ontario’s cultural media industry by stimulating creative production, format innovation and new models of collaboration among sectors of the cultural media industry.

Applications with a score of less than 20 out of 30 in the alignment/ industry priority category will be considered to have failed to meet the Project Eligibility Requirements.

  • The quality of the project plan and the suitability of the proposed approach / methodology to achieve the stated objectives; degree to which the project timeline is realistic and communication/dissemination/ knowledge sharing plan is of high quality (25%);
  • “Value for money” of the proposed budget for the project and of the Ontario Creates contribution to the project; other funding sources committed and projected; demonstrated gap in funding (20%);
  • The track record and demonstrated capacity of the applicant organization and the project personnel including demonstrated ability to deliver stated project outcomes (15%).
  • A 5% bonus will be applied for projects where the funding request to Ontario Creates represents 50% or less of the total project budget.
  • A 5% bonus will be given to Ontario creative industry trade organizations or national creative industry trade organizations offering significant benefit to Ontario-based corporations. To qualify for this bonus all of the following criteria must be met:
    • At least 50% of the organization’s national membership must be Ontario-based corporations; and
    • The organization must serve the interests of one or more of the book, film, interactive digital media, magazine, music and television industries; and
    • The organization must have been in operation for at least one full year at time of application; and
    • The organization must be recognized as an industry organization that works to promote the interests of the industry it serves.
    • A bonus of up to 5% will be applied following an evaluation of the extent to which project/activity supports and reflects diversity in Ontario as described in the Government of Ontario definition of diversity and/or gender parity; and/or applicant organization is primarily Francophone, Indigenous, or culturally diverse.
  • A bonus of up to 5% will be applied following an evaluation of the extent to which project/activity supports and reflects diversity in Ontario as described in the Government of Ontario definition of diversity and/or gender parity; and/or applicant organization is primarily Francophone, Indigenous, or culturally diverse.

Ontario Creates may request clarification of the budget or application during the application process. Before contracting, Ontario Creates may request modifications to project design in order to enhance value or address gaps.

Ontario Creates will confirm its participation in a project within eight weeks of the application deadline. Once Ontario Creates has confirmed participation, applicants will be expected to finalize project funding and sign an agreement with Ontario Creates within 60 days.

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6. Funding

The value of our financial contribution for selected projects will be determined by the type of project, the size and scope of the project plan and the relevance of the proposed project to the program objectives and to the industry. Our contribution may not exceed 75% of the project budget.

In addition:

  • Ontario Creates funding is contingent upon proof of full financing for the project being provided prior to contracting.
  • Payments will be tied to receipt and acceptance of the following:
    • A fully executed Agreement
    • A Draft Report
    • A Final Report (in the format stated in the Agreement) and a Final Project Cost Report.
    • Depending on the length of the proposed project, an Interim Status Report may also be required.
  • Ontario Creates funding will be limited to a percentage of the project’s total budget (to a maximum of 75%). Applicants are expected to contribute to the financing of the project, whether in cash or in-kind, and are expected to seek other sources of financing where appropriate.
  • Administration costs for the project may not exceed 15% of the total budget. Administration costs include but are not limited to the cost of utilities, payroll costs, couriers, photocopying, office staff salaries, office supplies and rental of office space. The definition of an administrative cost is, within reason, at the discretion of Ontario Creates.

Ontario Creates funds are to be used only for the purposes of carrying out the proposed project. Where consultants are engaged to undertake the work, Ontario Creates funds may not be used to cover travel, hospitality or other personal expenses incurred by consultants for the project.

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7. Reporting Requirements

Organizations receiving funding will be required to provide Ontario Creates with status and other reports throughout the life of the project. These reports may include (but are not limited to):

  • A file copy of any agreements signed with any consultants retained for the Project.
  • An Interim Status Report.
  • A Draft Report.
  • A Final Report (in the format stated in the Agreement).
  • A Final Cost Report for the Project.

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8. Other Requirements

  • Projects must have a minimum budget of $30,000. As noted under “Funding,” above, the request to Ontario Creates may not exceed 75% of project costs. Projects where our investment represents 50% or less of the total project budget will be prioritized.
  • Successful applicants will be required to provide Ontario Creates with a copy of an Insurance Certificate demonstrating that they have commercial general liability insurance for not less than $2 million dollars with an insurer having a secure A.M. Best rating of B + or greater (or the equivalent). The policy will need to include the following clauses:
    • Ontario Media Development Corporation* and Her Majesty the Queen must be named as additional insureds with respect to liability arising in the course of performance of the Recipient’s obligations under, or otherwise in connection with, the Agreement;
    • cross-liability clause;
    • contractual liability coverage; and
    • thirty (30) day written notice of cancellation, termination or material change.
    • The Insurance Certificate will need to be provided prior to the execution of the funding agreement with Ontario Creates. Failure to do so could result in our funding offer being rescinded.
    • Prior to entering into an agreement with Ontario Creates, organizations will be required to provide proof of incorporation as a not-for-profit entity.

* Ontario Media Development Corporation is Ontario Creates’ legal name.

Please note that:

  • The final report will be public.
  • We will have the right to post the completed study on the Ontario Creates website (ontariocreates.ca) and Online Research Library (researchlibrary.ontariocreates.ca) and to distribute the completed report at our discretion.
  • Ontario Creates will have the right to review and comment on all materials before they are finalized as well as ensure the final report meets all contractual obligations before it is finalized and released.
  • Successful applicants will be required to enter into a signed agreement with Ontario Creates prior to receiving any funding. (A copy of the Template Agreement is available on request).
  • Accessibility: Ontario Creates encourages applicants who host event-based activities to choose accessible venues and offer accommodations for people with disabilities as required. More information on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act can be found here https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/05a11.

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9. More Information

Ontario Creates Research Department
(416) 314-6858
research@ontariocreates.ca


Ontario Creates
An agency of the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Ontario Creates facilitates economic development opportunities for Ontario’s cultural media industries including book and magazine publishing, film and television, music and interactive digital media industries.

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