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Big boost for Alberta digital media

Alberta's digital media industry is set to get a big boost, courtesy of the federal government.

Announced Sunday, the BANFF World Media Festival Foundation will receive a $730,000 grant from Western Economic Diversification Canada to bolster the growth of Canada's digital, Internet and video gaming industries.

"By supporting the BANFF World Media Festival, we are showcasing to the world internationally recognized events that are made here in western Canada, while helping to create jobs for Canadians," said Wildrose MP Blake Richards.

Blake made the announcement on behalf of Calgary Centre-North MP Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

In addition to creating a digital media venue at BANFF's annual conference, the money will promote western Canada around the world as a leading market for digital entertainment, gaming and media -- estimated to be worth nearly $2 Trillion worldwide.

Canada's video game industry is the third largest in the world, behind the United States and Japan.

"As the industry changes and digital technologies influence consumer habits, we are pleased to be working with Western Economic Diversification to keep Canadian companies at the forefront of opportunity in this important and rapidly developing industry," said Ferne Cohen, executive director of BANFF World Media Festival.

Formerly the Banff World Television Festival, the BANFF World Media Festival is celebrating its 35th year being a destination for leading figures in emerging media to meet and collaborate, as well as a forum to announce and demonstrate new projects and ideas.

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