Accepting applications year-round on a rolling basis until the annual funding allocation limit is reached or until March 1, 2023

Applicants are required to review these program application guidelines along with the ISO General Funding Guidelines  and the Application Requirements before completing the application in the ISO Apply portal


This program provides support to Indigenous screen-based content creators for the production of New Media projects. Applicants to this program may undertake project work in the Production of high calibre ​​game design, AR/VR/XR, apps, podcasts and narrative audio/visual immersive projects. We encourage ISO applicants to this program to access this funding for activities during the production phase that will ensure a strong project, including fees for the project team and technology costs, Cultural Advisors/Knowledge Carriers, community liaisons, and/or legal advice. 

*If your project intersects on multiple mediums and platforms or does not fall under one of these practices, please contact the

All applicants to this program are highly encouraged to book a meeting with the ISO Story Fund Program Manager prior to completing an application.  Please contact to set up a meeting.


Applications must be completed in the ISO portal Projects will be assessed on a continual basis until funding for the program is depleted for that fiscal year. Projects will be assessed as quickly as possible, with notifications provided within 2-3 months. Please expect delays for the holiday closure in December.


The spirit and intent of ISO funding is to support Indigenous storytellers and companies that are controlled by Indigenous people, who have decision-making authority and creative control.

For the purposes of ISO programs, “Indigenous” is defined as status and non-status First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples of Canada.  All applicants must be residents of Canada.  


  •  Are a First Nations, Inuit or Métis person residing in Canada and who is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada who has resided in Canada for at least eight months over the last one-year period; 
  •  Work in screen-based content, including digital narrative content, gaming, apps, podcasts, and XR (VR, AR);
  • The project is under the financial and creative control of Indigenous persons; of the key members of the creative team (director, writer/creator, key animator/designer) at least the writer or director must be Indigenous;
  • Is not in a state of bankruptcy within the meaning of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada).

Individual Applicants (this includes sole proprietors): 

Please be advised the Canada Revenue Agency considers this funding as taxable income.  Please keep all expense receipts related to these funds to offset your tax obligations. If you are incorporated as a sole proprietor, you must apply under your business name for the funding to be deposited to your business bank account. The funding will not be deposited to an account in any name other than the applicant name.

If you are an emerging creator, during the application process you must have a minimum of one (1) previous credit in the key role you hold in the project: director, writer/creator, producer, or key animator/designer and be able to demonstrate your ability to accomplish this project. 


  • Are Indigenous-controlled (minimum 51% ownership by person/s who are First Nations, Inuit or Métis); 
  • The project is under the financial and creative control of Indigenous persons; Of the key members of the creative team (director, writer/creator, key animator/designer) at least as writer or director must be Indigenous;
  • Registered as a corporation with its head office in Canada;
  • Letters of Incorporation, a shareholder registry, and bios for each owner of the company must be provided, as well as their individual percentage of ownership.
  • Main activity of the company is the production or support of screen-based content, including digital narrative content, gaming, apps and XR (VR, AR). 
  • Is not insolvent or bankrupt, or in the course of the reorganization of its business within the meaning of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada);

First Nation, Inuit or Métis Collective or Ad Hoc Group 

  • Indigenous-controlled (minimum 51% ownership by person/s who are First Nations, Inuit or Métis); 
  • The project is under the financial and creative control of Indigenous persons; two of three key members of the creative team (director, writer/creator, , key animator/designer) at least as writer or director are Indigenous;
  • Bios for each owner of the collective must be provided as well as their individual role in the project. 
  • Main activity of the collective is the production or support of screen-based content, including digital narrative content, gaming, apps, and XR (VR, AR); 

First Nation, Inuit or Métis Band Office or Registered community or Settlement

  • Must currently be recognized as an Indigenous nation/established community;
  • The project is under the financial and creative control of Indigenous persons; Of the key members of the creative team (director, writer/creator, key animator/designer) at least the Director or Writer are Indigenous.
  • Must demonstrate capacity for undertaking a screen-based project and secured individuals working in production or support of screen-based content, including digital narrative content, gaming, apps and XR (VR, AR);


All applicants:

  • Can accept a direct deposit in the name of the applicant.
  • 100% of the copyright of the project must be owned and controlled, or optioned and controlled by the applicant (except for inter-provincial or international treaty co-productions).
  • A project should be completed in the conceptual and prototype stages and be able to demonstrate a clear path for a final, market-ready version of the project.
  • Submitted before full production has been completed, ideally before it has commenced.
  • You must be in good standing with ISO.


$50,000.00 for individuals, sole proprietors, collectives, companies and community groups.

*Applicants may receive less than the request amount as determined  in the assessment review, which will include consideration of the budget and the ISO funding available. 

ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES  include, but not limited to:

We encourage Indigenous applicants to this program to access this funding for the production costs of interactive, online or digital storytelling content that falls under new media, AR/XR/VR, game software, podcasts, and app creation or for storytelling via established digital platforms (ie. TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube)

  • Research and development of content including continuation of cultural and community engagement work; 
  • Engagement with experts, consultants, mentors, or knowledge keepers or other professional development in relation to the project;
  • Activities that increase audience impact and reach;
  • Awarded (upon completion) a minimum of 6/10 in Canadian content certification;
  • Covid Contingency related costs (cap 10% of production related costs)

*For projects with a budget of $250,000.00 or less, a festival and online release strategy will be acceptable, however applicants are encouraged to still pursue distribution opportunities.

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES may include, but are not limited to; 

  • Fees for Key Creatives, Production staff, mentors, trainees, advisors, and contractors engaged for consultation; 
  • Translation and language support; 
  • Accessibility costs during production and post production;
  • Fees and honorariums for community engagement; 
  • Facilitator and consulting fees; 
  • Travel costs (must include COVID contingency plan); 
  • Technology costs; 
  • Networking and participation at media arts festivals.


  • Articles of incorporation, and/or relevant ownership agreements, individual percentages of ownership; 
  • Bios and CVs for all owners, and key roles in the project;
  • A Community Engagement Plan (max 2 pages);

And a Letter of Support for projects that intend to hold production in or collaborate with Indigenous communities;

  • For training costs: Applicants must submit a detailed training plan, including bios/CVs for trainees. If trainees are unconfirmed, a detailed recruitment plan must be submitted. Outcomes for trainees must be explained and impact should be clearly articulated;
  • Link to a project trailer, demo reel, lookbook, or previous work of Key Creatives;
  • A Chain of Title and current agreement/contract to Produce the project’s IP in the name of the applicant (except for inter-provincial or international treaty co-productions);
  • A detailed production schedule and list of collaborators involved;
  • Schematics or preliminary design plans, and description of user/audience experience;
  • A Project budget Including a financial structure and Covid contingency plan (Please use Template provided to list ISO funding related expenses).


The review process will be based on the following criteria:

  •  This program will be assessed by a peer review committee made up of Indigenous individuals representing different nations, a range of industry practices, and regions of Canada.  
  •  The evaluation criteria will be slightly different for emerging applicants and applications within the ultra low total budget level (under $250,000), recognizing the different needs and ideal pathways for projects in those categories.  
  • The following priorities may be considered as part of the assessment process:

○ Regional representation; 

○ Representation of diverse Indigenous perspectives and intersections including women, non-binary and 2SLGBQTIAP+; 

○ Emerging voices; 

○ Representation of Indigenous languages. 

○ The background and experience of the key creative team (or potential, in the case  of emerging applicants).

The scoring criteria will be based on the:

    • Vision and strength of the project idea including the script and treatment;
    • Process used within the production and the viability of the project and readiness to proceed to production, including its leads, scope, timeline, budget and community engagement; 
    • Impact, including the advancement of the applicant’s career or history in Indigenous storytelling and the enrichment of the cultural life of your community and contribution to the Indigenous Screen Sector.


The ISO provides up to $500.00 CAD in additional funding to cover accessibility costs incurred during the stages of applying for, completing a project, and writing a final report. Requests for support are encouraged at least two weeks prior to the application deadline date.

If you have barriers to access including but not limited to language, internet or physical barriers, please contact the ISO to discuss accommodations and support at


All applicants to ISO programs must confirm they have read the General Funding Guidelines prior to submitting an application.


An initial review for eligibility and missing documentation will be conducted by the ISO Story Fund Program Manager. The ISO program manager will reach out if any of this information is needed and applicants will be given a short period (maximum 10 days) to submit anything outstanding. 

*Ineligible or incomplete applications can be withdrawn at any time in the process. Applicants will be notified by the ISO when the application is withdrawn.

The ISO is flexible with the types of content that this funding can cover, and Applicants with innovative project proposals are encouraged to apply. The following, however, are types of Projects that are ineligible for the New Media Program: 

  • Curriculum-based content (including but not limited to e-learning applications, software and technologies), with some exceptions made for Indigenous language and storytelling-based learning.
  • Projects which essentially serve the Applicant’s current activities, including obtaining contracts or orders from other businesses; 
  • Partial or split Projects (and Project portions) that are not independently owned;
  • Pure research and development, such as Projects or activities that are part of an educational program or would be eligible for the Federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program;
  • Gambling in any form;
  • Gamification of non-narrative content (e.g., scientific, research, medical, etc.)


If at any time, an Applicant, as required by the Criteria or as requested by the ISO, provides false information or omits or misrepresents material information in connection with an application, including  with respect to Indigenous identity, such provision of false information, omission or misrepresentation will be considered an event of default and the ISO may exercise the following contractual rights: 

▪ termination of any contracts, including any remedies thereunder;

▪ denial of eligibility for existing and future funding; 

▪ repayment of any funds already advanced; and 

▪ civil and potential criminal prosecution, in the case of fraud. 

These measures may be imposed not only on the Applicant but also on related, associated and affiliated companies and individuals that are parties to the application. Any Applicant receiving approval for funding will be required to sign a legally enforceable agreement, which includes provisions concerning misrepresentations, defaults, and related matters.  


A final report will be required within three months following the completion of the project. Applicants with overdue final reports will not be eligible for Indigenous Screen Office funding until the report is submitted and approved.  


Recipients must acknowledge ISO support with textual reference and/or logo in the credit sequence, or appropriate placement in the completed work (where applicable). ISO logos are available for download on the ISO website at

When sharing information about your participation in the proposed activity. Please also tag the ISO on any social media posts related to this funding: 

Questions are encouraged at least two weeks prior to submission or the application closing date and may be directed at any time to