Wayne Clarkson, general manager of Telefilm Canada, announced an industry-led, peer-driven competition, in order to further develop the Canadian video game industry. The announcement was made at the start of the 2006 Montreal International Game Summit.

Telefilm Canada, a federal organization promoting the film industry, is investing 2 million dollars in the Great Canadian Video Game Competition, a competitive design challenge intended to "appeal to the industry's sense of excitement and opportunity."

Ten Canadian game development companies will be selected to compete, and each given up to $50,000 to develop concepts, in order to develop playable prototypes of their games.

Four finalists will then be announced at the Game Developers Conference in March 2007, each earning an additional $250,000 to further commercialize their products.

The winning company will receive $500,000, on top of the money already invested into their game's development.

The event has been devised to promote "made-in-Canada content, and made-in-Canada jobs," as Telefilm Canada hopes to foster country-wide advocacy of the industry. During his announcement, Clarkson referred to France's Minister of Culture, who recently honored game designer Shigeru Miyamoto with one of the country's highest honors.

"Call me the minister of games if you want," the French representative had said. "I am proud of this."

Mr. Clarkson also noted that in addition to the 2 million dollars being invested in the competition, Telefilm Canada is already committing 14 million dollars annually through the Telefilm New-Media Fund.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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