On Wednesday of this week, I attended the announcement by the OMDC and Ontario Minister of Culture Caroline Di Cocco of the first 14 projects to be funded by the Entertainment & Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund (ECCPF). I am glad that my prior work with the Ontario Government contributed to the creation of this Fund in the first place, and Wednesday was a proud moment for me. The diversity of cool projects in the mix show what is possible when we cooperate to compete. Check out the exciting CONCERT consortium project to develop an entertainment R&D network: Full List of Funding Recipients.

I am Project Manager for one of those projects, the Creative Convergence Centres Project:

The Creative Convergence Centres Project seeks to accelerate the development of vibrant physical places that become major innovation hubs and economic engines for the creative industries cluster. The project is lead by a consortium of institutions currently involved in the development of creative convergence projects including: Artscape, Canadian Film Centre, MaRS, Evergreen, Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD), New Media Business Alliance (NMBA) and Toronto International Film Festival Group. Additional partners include Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation, TEDCO and the City of Toronto.

Canadian Film Centre is the primary partner, the project is managed through Artscape and I have been contracted to manage the project. I have been really looking forward to this, as one of my research interests is around the intersection between global innovation and local place. What can projects such as these do to anchor a cluster of firms and institutions densely interlinked with many weak ties in the Toronto region? How can these places be created with intention in order to foster collaboration and to offer the possibility of creative serendipity – the unexpected next big thing that comes from a random conversation at the cafe or at an event. It is about physical infrastructure together with social infrastructure.

I will be blogging about this project through its duration. I believe it is important that the wider community understands what the project hopes to accomplish and how they can link into these hubs, whether currently existing or proposed. The project is also not exclusive, and will be looking at other similar creative hubs currently in place or proposed.

I look forward to the day when Toronto is home to a network of vibrant interlinked creative hubs where the best content, design, science and technology in the world is developed and commercialized; important new engines of economic development and prosperity.

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