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  1. Kickstarter in Canada!

    Today Kickstarter is officially open to projects based in Canada!

    We’re thrilled that Kickstarter is now available to creators in Canada. We've been waiting a long time for this day to come, and we can’t wait to see what creative projects our friends in Canada will launch — films, art, games, albums, plays, performances, and much more. 

    Since we announced that people based in Canada could begin building projects, more than 2900 (!!) people have started making one. Already several dozen Canada-based projects have launched today. This was the first project to launch.

    Projects in Canada function just like every other Kickstarter project, with a few small differences. Let’s go over how it works. 

    Can people outside Canada pledge to Canadian projects? 

    Yes! Backers from anywhere in the world can pledge to any project on Kickstarter. 

    Is there a Canada-specific Kickstarter site? 

    No. Canada-based projects are listed alongside all of the other Kickstarter projects. Backers can check out projects based in Canada specifically through the location sections of the Kickstarter homepage (the first row of projects under Staff Picks) and the Discover page (the Cities area in the sidebar). 

    What currency are Canada-based projects listed in? 

    Projects from Canada-based creators are listed in Canadian dollars (CAD). If you are pledging from outside Canada, you will see the approximate conversion rate to US dollars before you complete your pledge. 

    Will backing Canadian projects be similar to backing US projects? 

    The mechanics of Kickstarter (all-or-nothing funding, rewards, etc.) are identical for all projects. When pledging, however, backers of Canadian projects will enter their payment information directly on Kickstarter rather than through Amazon Payments. All pledges will be processed securely through a third-party payments processor.

    Are the fees for Canada-based projects the same as UK and US projects? 

    Yes, Kickstarter will charge a 5% fee to successfully funded projects and no fee to unsuccessfully funded projects in Canada. 

    Payment processing fees for Canada-based projects are similar to those for UK projects. For Canada-based projects, the processing fees are: 

    • Pledges less than $10 CAD are charged 5% + $0.05 CAD 
    • Pledges of $10 CAD or greater are charged 3% + $0.20 CAD 

    If a project is not successfully funded, there are no fees.

    Will Kickstarter host workshops for Canadian creators leading up to the launch? 

    We're glad you asked! We've hosted a few workshops and meetups across Canada in the weeks leading up to launch, and we plan on hosting more. You can request an event in your city here!

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  2. The Truth About Spike Lee and Kickstarter

    Last week, “The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint” reached its funding goal thanks to more than 5,000 backers. While filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh cheered Spike Lee’s project, outlets like CNBC and Bloomberg accused him of abusing Kickstarter and taking money from other creators. As we’ve shown before here and here, arguments like these are not grounded in fact. Kickstarter is not a zero-sum game where projects compete for pledges. All projects benefit from the network effect of a growing Kickstarter ecosystem.

    Artists like Spike Lee don’t hurt other projects. They help them!

    Spike Lee brought three decades of fans to Kickstarter when he launched his project. He introduced many of them to this new way of funding creative works, and to the thousands of other projects that are funding on Kickstarter. Of Spike’s backers, 47% had never backed a Kickstarter project before.

    The Veronica Mars and Zach Braff film projects were similarly criticized for hurting other projects, but in reality were a windfall for creators. Those projects brought thousands of new people to Kickstarter who have since pledged more than $1 million to 6,000 other projects (film projects have received most of those pledges).

    In the past 90 days alone, more than $21 million has been pledged to filmmakers on Kickstarter not named Rob Thomas, Zach Braff, or Spike Lee. Even without counting these projects, it’s been the biggest three months for film ever on Kickstarter!

    Almost five million people have backed a project on Kickstarter, and more than a million have backed two or more projects. These repeat backers are responsible for 59% of the total money pledged to Kickstarter projects — a whopping $444 million. On average, 2,130 people a day have become new repeat backers this year. This is huge! Future creators will benefit from more and more people using Kickstarter.

    Kickstarter projects are not charity.

    Others have accused creators of asking for a handout by using Kickstarter. This is silly. Every project offers a range of rewards to backers in exchange for their pledges. Spike’s backers get online screenings, tickets to the premiere, and access to the creative process of one of the most important voices in independent film. Just because an artist funds the creation of their work upfront rather than waiting until later to sell it doesn’t somehow make it charity.

    The people launching and backing Kickstarter projects are participating in a new way of funding. In Spike’s case, an alternative to film’s traditional investment model. Backers are supporting Spike not to buy into the potential profits of the film, but because they connect with his body of work, they think the rewards he’s offering are great, and they want to be a part of bringing this film to life. This isn’t charity. It’s a direct exchange between an artist and a willing audience, similar to the model Mozart and others used to fund works centuries ago.

    All creators should be allowed to invite the public to be a part of their work.

    Kickstarter is a place where creators share their work directly with the public, and audiences show their support for the projects they love. The results are amazing: more creative work by a greater diversity of creators than ever before. This isn’t just a different way of doing things, it’s a better way — for creators and audiences alike.

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