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Press release: Forum d'Avignon @Toronto

CFC Media Lab and the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France in Canada, in partnership with Forum d’Avignon, announce New Franco-Canadian Creative and Cultural Industry Forum for Fall 2016 

Toronto, Canada (July 20, 2016) – The Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) and the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France in Canada, in partnership with Forum d’Avignon, today announced “Enterprising Culture,” a major international forum for Franco-Canadian creative and cultural industry start-ups. With the support of Founding Partner BNP Paribas, the two-day forum will take place in Toronto on September 28 and 29, 2016 in the Corus Atrium at Corus Quay. Enterprising Culture will feature debates, keynote speakers, CFC Media Lab’s IDEABOOST Launch Pad, and networking opportunities for Canadian and French start-ups. The event will culminate in a pitch session for 12 finalists – six from Canada, six from France – with one winning company from each country to be selected by an onsite jury for the first Cultural Start-up Award.

Enterprising Culture will invite high-level Canadian and French influencers in the sectors of creative and cultural industries to discuss the economic impact of culture and creative technologies. Over 300 CEOs, entrepreneurs, academics, creators, government officials, students, investors and representatives of creative industries in France and Canada will attend, reflecting a broad spectrum of perspectives.

“Global markets have always been important for Canadian cultural start-ups,” said Ana Serrano, Chief Digital Officer, CFC. “Working with the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France in Canada and with Forum d’Avignon has been instrumental in opening up France as a gateway to commercialization in Europe, which is an important market for many of the cultural startups we support.”

“In our mission to promote French culture and creative industries, it was important to create an event where a dynamic dialogue between French and Canadian stakeholders and start-ups from the worlds of cultural, creative and media industries could happen,” said Catherine Briat, Cultural Conseillor at the Embassy of France in Canada. “As a leading destination for start-up capital in Canada and a city of both cinema and culture, Toronto seemed to be the natural place to organize a forum in partnership with Canadian production, digital entertainment accelerator and think tank CFC Media Lab.”

The event will also launch the Cultural Start-up Award, sponsored by Founding Partner BNP Paribas. A prestigious jury of French and Canadian experts will include: Nicholas DeMartino, Chair of IDEABOOST Investment Advisory Board; Olivier Dulac, Head of External Relations Group Communications, Chairman of Atelier BNP Paribas; Pauline Durand, Trade Advisor Tech & Services, Business France in North America; Sauveur Menella, Head of Brand and Communications – Canada, BNP Paribas; Ana Serrano, Chief Digital Officer, CFC, Head, CFC Media Lab, Managing Director, IDEABOOST; and Selma Toprak, Cultural Attaché – Consulate General of France in Toronto.

Twelve finalists will pitch the jury for the Award, and are among the most innovative and promising contemporary startups in the cultural field.

  • Canadian finalists are: AWE, SAM, Tribal MX (Videogami), Vubble, Wondereur and Yugen (Gepeto);
  • French finalists are: Artips, BandSquare, Delight, Editions Animées, Jamshake and Soundsgood.

The two winning companies will receive an all-inclusive startup business trip (travel and accommodation up to $10,000) for one week of intensive immersion and commercialization activities. CFC Media Lab’s IDEABOOST Accelerator will host the winning French company, while Forum d’Avignon will host the Canadian company in France. Read all about the finalists and jury members here.

Enterprising Culture also marks the fifth IDEABOOST Launch Pad. Here, the  entrepreneurs incubated in IDEABOOST, Canada’s only digital entertainment accelerator, will demo their technology-based media and entertainment products, services and brands. Since 2012, when it was launched by CFC Media Lab in Toronto, IDEABOOST has supported dozens of companies through its Accelerator Bootcamp, Network Connect start-up community and an ongoing alumni program. 

For more information on Enterprising Culture, please visit:

Social Media

Canadian Film Centre: |

CFC Media Lab: @cfcmedialab |

Forum d’Avignon: @forumavignon |

Embassy of France in Canada – Consulate General of France in Toronto: @francetoronto |


The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is a charitable organization whose mission is to invest in and inspire the next generation of world-class Canadian content creators and entrepreneurs in the screen-based entertainment industry. A significant economic and cultural driver in Canada and beyond, CFC delivers a range of multi-disciplinary programs and initiatives in film, television, music, screen acting, and digital media, which provides industry collaborations, strategic partnerships, and business and marketplace opportunities for talent and participants.

CFC Media Lab 

The Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) is an internationally acclaimed digital media think tank and award-winning production facility. It provides a unique research, training and production environment for digital media content developers and practitioners, as well as acceleration programs and services for digital entertainment start-ups and related SMEs. Program participants have emerged as leaders in the world of digital media, producing groundbreaking projects and innovative, sustainable companies for the digital and virtual age. CFC Media Lab is funded in part by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

Forum d’Avignon – culture, economy, innovation

The Forum d’Avignon is a think-tank supported by public- and private-sector partners whose goal is to expand the connections between the respective worlds of culture, the economy, and innovation by proposing avenues for reflection at the international, European, and local levels. Since its creation in 2007, the Forum d’Avignon and its partners have organized 14 international meetings: six in Avignon, five in Germany, one in Spain, one in Paris, one in Bordeaux. It has also conducted 35 international studies that went on to be published in three particular areas of focus: innovation and digital technology; financing, economic models, and tax policy; and territorial attractiveness. The last international meetings took place in Bordeaux on March 31st and April 1st, 2016, focused on the theme of “Enterprising Culture”, including the first award for cultural and creative start- ups. These international meetings are attended by 400 people of 30 different nationalities: artists, philosophers, entrepreneurs, political leaders, academics, and students. In addition to these international meetings, the think tank organizes roughly 20 debates over the course of the year.

Embassy of France in Canada – Consulate General of France in Toronto

The Cultural Service of the Embassy of France in Canada works through the five Consulates to implement a cultural policy that focuses on three principal areas: inter-university cooperation, cultural cooperation, and French-language initiatives. Canada and France develop a significant partnership in cultural and digital fields.

BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is a leading bank in Europe with an international reach. It has a presence in 75 countries, with more than 189,000 employees, including more than 146,000 in Europe. The Group has key positions in its three main activities: Domestic Markets and International Financial Services (whose retail-banking networks and financial services are covered by Retail Banking & Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking, which serves two client franchises: corporate clients and institutional investors. The Group helps all its clients (individuals, community associations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, corporates and institutional clients) to realise their projects through solutions spanning financing, investment, savings and protection insurance. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail-banking model in Mediterranean countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas as well as a solid and fast-growing business in Asia-Pacific.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Margaret DeRosia

Communications Specialist/Digital Writer & Editor, CFC

(1) 416.445.1446 x 463


Selma Toprak

Cultural attaché, Consulate General of France in Toronto

(1) 416.847.1910


Laure Kaltenbach

Managing Director, Forum d’Avignon


Valérie Escaudemaison

Responsable de la communication et des partenariats du Forum d’Avignon