Canadian fund enlists high-profile advisers

Helmers David Cronenberg, Norman Jewison and Ivan Reitman, as well as HBO Worldwide Pictures prexy Robert Cooper, are among the advisers to a newly created mutual fund designed to pump funds into the entertainment and communications industries.

Directors Guild of Canada prexy Allan King announced Friday that the org had filed a preliminary prospectus with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to set up DGC Entertainment Ventures Corp.

King expects investors will be drawn to the 20% tax credit for investors who put their money in a labor-sponsored fund. In this case, the labor organization is the DGC. The first national labor-sponsored fund, Working Ventures Fund, has raised more than $ C140 million ($ 112 million) since it was set up in 1991.

Robb Hindson, chief financial officer at Jones & Gable Co., agent to the DGC fund, hopes to raise between $ C20 million ($ 16 million) and $ C30 million ($ 24 million) in the first year.

He notes five production companies went public in the last year: Alliance, Atlantis, Paragon, Cinar and Malofilm. “Television and film are a growing business in this country,” Hindson said.

DGC’s King said areas of investment would include several profitable segs such as film labs, editing houses, software firms and tape transfer facilities, as well as providing partial financing to film and television projects.

The advisory committee includes key industry execs: Pierre DesRoches, topper of federal funder Telefilm Canada; Nelvana prexy Michael Hirsh; Douglas Leiterman, chairman of Motion Pictures Guarantors; and Ivan Fecan, senior group veep at Baton Broadcasting.

The creation of the mutual fund must first be approved by the OSC. Hindson anticipates they will begin selling the $ C10 ($ 8) shares by February.

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