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CanWest net bows Canuck producer fund

Producers in Canada's four western provinces to benefit

VANCOUVER — The CanWest Global television network is spending C$23.9 million ($16 million) over five years to set up and run a fund to help film and television producers in Canada’s four western provinces.

About $11 million of the Western Independent Producers Fund is earmarked for developing dramatic productions, with the remainder to be spent on children’s programming, documentaries and new media. An administrative office will open Oct. 1 in Edmonton.

Fund is part of Global’s new $18 million aid package to promote production in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Global will also give $840,000 to the National Screen Institute, which produces Edmonton’s Local Heroes Film Festival and offers training programs.

Another $840,000 will go to scholarships and other programs at Alberta universities and colleges. The Alberta Motion Picture Industries Assn. will receive $330,000 to help Alberta producers participate in trade shows.

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