Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) announced the launch of its BIPOC Emerging Producer program – a new initiative that provides financing of up to $500,000, as well as access to experts and resources, to eligible emerging media producers in the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community in Canada.
Across the arts and entertainment industry, growing demand for inclusive representation – as well as new content platforms and channels – is increasingly opening the stage for a new generation of diverse storytellers and creatives. However, many emerging BIPOC producers continue to face barriers when it comes to accessing capital at the onset of their projects to support their productions. Many lenders look for a track record of completing and delivering projects as a pre-condition for funding, resulting in many non-established Black, Indigenous and racialized producers to opt for more expensive private financing or to relinquish equity in order to bring their projects to life.
“There’s no shortage of diverse voices and creators in Canada who have important stories to tell to help foster more vibrant and inclusive communities and economies,” says Greg Grice, Executive Vice-President, Business Financial Services, RBC. “Unfortunately, we’re continuing to see a gap in diverse storytelling and industry representation in today’s broadcast and television industry because many emerging BIPOC producers encounter significant barriers such as access to critical funding or advice before they’ve even begun production.”
RBC’s new BIPOC Emerging Producer program aims to provide easier access to financing earlier in the production journey to help get projects off the ground and on a successful path to completion. This initiative will provide qualifying emerging producers in the Canadian BIPOC community with interim funding of $100,000 to a maximum of $500,000 for their Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) broadcast licensed production projects with budgets of approximately $500,000 to $2,000,000. Through the program, clients will also receive tailored advice, resources and ongoing support from highly specialized RBC Advisors in the media and entertainment industry.
“RBC is committed to supporting our country’s emerging BIPOC producers from the start of their artistic journey and ensuring they have the advice and resources they need to successfully complete their production. Building on the RBC Black Entrepreneur Program that we launched in 2021, we’re proud to introduce our BIPOC Emerging Producer program to enable up-and-coming producers on their journey and foster a more inclusive and diversely represented film and television industry in Canada,” says Grice.
RBC’s BIPOC Emerging Producer program supports the key pillar of Enabling Economic Growth and Wealth Creation in the bank’s Action Plan Against Systemic Racism which addresses issues of inequity and systemic bias, and aims to expand opportunities for BIPOC clients, colleagues, and communities.
The BIPOC Emerging Producer program also aligns to RBC’s multi-year commitment of supporting emerging artistic talent in Canada and helping them progress from emerging to established talent through the RBC Emerging Artists program, which has invested over $90 million in training, networks and exposure to new and diverse audience programming.
Source: Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)