Don’t miss an upcoming deadline: Special Call for Web Series: February 3, 2020 | Production financing: April 20, 2020 | Discoverability financing: April 20, 2020

What is an “Invitation to Apply” and how does it work?

Between application deadline dates prospective applicants may request an “invitation to apply” for production or discoverability financing. Requests for an invitation to apply will not be considered during the 4 weeks leading up to an application deadline date until the Board’s decision meeting 8-10 weeks later. Consult the TELUS Fund’s website to determine if requests for an “invitation to apply” are being received.

There are no deadline dates to apply for development financing and an “invitation to apply” is not required. However, you are strongly encouraged to contact the TELUS Fund to discuss your project before applying for development financing to increase the likelihood of success.

HOW DOES THE "INVITATION TO APPLY" PROCESS WORK?

Step 1: Prospective Applicants submit to info@telusfund.ca a brief project synopsis, short bios of key personnel and copies of written support obtained to date from Expert Organizations, Third Party Financiers and Distribution Platforms (see Minimum Support Requirements in the Program Guidelines).

Step 2: TELUS Fund will confirm alignment of the project with the mandate and compliance with Minimum Support Requirements within 5-10 business days. Eligible projects will then be evaluated to determine their likelihood of receiving a positive funding decision from the Board of Directors. Those with high likelihood of success will receive an invitation from the Executive Director to submit a complete application. Those with low likelihood of success will not receive an invitation to apply and the process stops. The applicant may only reapply at a future deadline date if the submission has materially advanced.

Step 3: TELUS Fund will confirm eligibility of completed applications received by invitation within 5-10 business days. Submissions by invitation are evaluated both individually and in comparison to other submissions which have previously received a positive funding decision. Those with a high likelihood of success will be presented to the Board for decision. Those with low likelihood of success will not be presented to the Board and the process stops. The applicant may only reapply at a future deadline date if the submission has materially advanced.

Step 4: The Board will convene decision calls as needed to render funding decisions on applications received by invitation with a high likelihood of success. If the Board declines, the process stops. The applicant may only reapply at a future deadline date if the submission has materially advanced. Positive funding decisions will have 90 days to meet the Fund’s due diligence requirements and enter into a long form financing agreement. Typically funding decisions will be rendered within 8-10 weeks depending on availability of the Board of Directors to convene a decision call.

We have not yet produced a pitch video or sizzle reel for our project. Can we still apply for funding?

No. The application form must include a hyperlink to either a pitch video or sizzle reel for the project.

A professional trailer or pilot episode will be considered for production applications and a pitch video of less than 3 minutes for development applications.

The quality of the submitted video is an Evaluation Criteria (see Appendix A in the Program Guidelines)

Who makes the funding decisions?

Funding decisions are the sole discretion of the Board which operates at arm’s length to the TELUS Corporation and any of its affiliates. The Directors of the Fund are also responsible for the consideration of official language minority communities’ realities in their decision making.

How long does it take to receive a funding decision?

Depending on the volume of applications, applicants can expect to receive an email acknowledging receipt of their submission within five business days. The Board of Directors will typically render a funding decision within eight to ten weeks of submission.

Is the funding repayable?

The Fund provides a recoupable advance similar in nature to an unsecured, non-interest bearing, forgivable loan. The Fund does not acquire an equity interest in the copyright or participate in profits. Amounts paid back to the Fund are reinvested into the financing of more exceptional health and wellness content.

At the development stage, financing is repayable to the TELUS Fund if the Content moves forward to a next stage or if Content rights are transferred, sold or exploited in any manner. At the production and discoverability stages, financing is repayable from production revenue, if any is earned.

How do provincial and federal tax credits treat financing from the Fund?

As provincial and federal tax credit policies are complex, Applicants are encouraged to consult with them directly on this question. To date, many of these programs have determined financing from the Fund to be akin to a grant or subsidy reducing the eligible tax credit.

Does the Fund have standard budget templates and business policies?

Not yet. Wherever possible we align with and rely upon excellent templates and policies already developed by more mature Certified Independent Production Funds.

The content is at early development stage and not yet obtained Minimum Support Requirements. Can I still apply?

Perhaps. The Fund will consider, on a case by case basis, waiving or delaying receipt of letters of commitment from Third Party Financiers and deal memos with Distribution Platforms. The Fund’s decision making will be strongly influenced by the support obtained from Expert Organizations.

Must the Distribution Platform be owned by Canadians?

No. The Distribution Platform must be accessible by Canadians.

Must the Programming be available in both English and French languages in Canada?

No. However, Programming that has obtained distribution commitments on platforms accessible by both English and French Canadians will be more competitive than those that have not.

Do I need a health expert attached to the Content?

Yes, all submissions are required to attach health expertise at all stages of financing. The Fund seeks to ensure a high standard of accuracy, integrity, fairness and comprehensiveness in the treatment of the health and wellness subject matter by requiring minimum support from Expert Organizations.

Can I apply with more than one application at the deadline?

Yes. You will be required to verify all submissions are feasible and can be successful before selecting more than one for funding.

If the submission is rejected may I reapply?

You may apply again provided there are material changes in the submission to better align with the evaluation criteria.

How many times may I apply for funding with the same project?

There is no cap. However, as the content plans progress, the Fund will seek to ensure an increasing level of diversity in the financial structure with other sources sharing in the risk.