Government announced two new funding programs today, Jan. 12, to help strengthen communities and the economy and generate more local content in the Nova Scotia film industry. A $1.5 million Culture Innovation Fund is seeking initiatives and projects that use culture in new and innovative ways to address social, physical, human, and economic issues and opportunities. The fund will also help strengthen the role of museums and libraries across the province. The $262,000 Screen Writers Development Fund is a new model to increase Nova Scotia content in the film industry by supporting local writers and producers. “We are building stronger and more inclusive communities by increasing cultural engagement and cultural opportunities whether it is through music, film, the arts, locally led initiatives or at our museums,” said Communities, Culture, and Heritage Minister Leo Glavine. “Through innovation, we will focus on the strength and positive impacts of our culture to create healthy, diverse and vibrant communities.” The fund is available to not-for-profit organizations, social enterprises, First Nations communities, museums and libraries. Registered Nova Scotia businesses and municipalities can submit proposals in collaboration or partnership with the above organizations. It will help to support programs like Discovery Centre International in Halifax, a collaboration of various partners who through innovative thinking and technology created a program and exhibit that illustrates how the ocean ecosystem impacts our environment, climate, food, culture and heritage. Information about the Culture Innovation Fund and how to apply is available at novascotia.ca/cultureinnovation. The Screen Writers Development Fund, developed through consultation with Screen Nova Scotia, will help increase Nova Scotia content in the film industry by supporting local writers and producers. “We support government’s efforts to encourage Nova Scotia producers and screenwriters,” said Mike Volpe, chair of Screen Nova Scotia. “We know that this province is home to wonderful writers and highly capable producers and feel that this program will foster a wealth of new ideas and stories that will further help to create new film production work, here at home.” The fund will also encourage diversity and gender parity within the industry and support expansion of global markets and audiences. Approved applicants will receive up to 50 per cent of the cost of their project. Details on the Screen Writers Development Fund are available at novascotia.ca/screenwritersdevelopmentfund. Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan was created to establish priorities and clear actions to support creativity and innovation, inclusive and welcoming communities and sustainable cultural growth and productivity for the communities in the province.