Five of Creative Saskatchewan's grant programs are not opening as per usual this new fiscal year due to COVID-19. Here's how we made these difficult, but necessary, decisions:
This decision was made in collaboration with the Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA), in response to Canada’s nationwide shutdown of the feature film and dramatic television production sector. Web Series are modest productions requiring small crews, a fact given careful consideration. However, a review of our previously funded Web Series projects revealed that close-contact between members of the production team is commonplace, if not essential. Therefore the decision was made to suspend the program due to COVID-19.
These decisions were made in collaboration with the Saskatchewan Association of Theatre Professionals and SaskMusic. Both these grants invest in projects that require large, in-person audiences in order to be successful. COVID-19 restrictions do not permit public gatherings, so projects funded by these grants are not feasible at this time.
This grant funds travel across the country and around the world. Under COVID-19, such travel is not recommended by Public Health officials, and in some cases, is not permitted by law.
Remaining Open: Television Production Grant
Importantly, our Television Production Grant remains open. Lifestyle and animated television projects, commonly produced in Saskatchewan using this grant, do remain possible while respecting COVID-19 restrictions.
All programs On Hiatus due to COVID-19 will be regularly re-evaluated. We are exercising caution while working to invest in the creative industries however possible during this challenging time. Collaboration with industry stakeholders will continue. When appropriate and safe, programs will be reopened.
Under Review: Micro-Budget Feature Film Production Grant
To clarify: the Micro-Budget Feature Film Production Grant is now under review. It had previously been scheduled to be On Hiatus this year for assessment and evaluation after a two-year run. This was not related to COVID-19.