Message from the Chair
As a forward-looking corporation with an effective track record of supporting the industry, the Canada Media Fund (CMF) is today well-prepared to offer continued support to Canada’s creative community. On behalf of the Board of Directors I am happy to report on the 2018-2019 activities of the corporation. It was a year that saw much disruption in the industry, but one in which the CMF continued to adapt and forge a path to ensure the long-term sustainability of Canada’s screen-based sector.
In 2018-2019, the Government of Canada, through its Creative Canada Policy Framework began a funding stabilization allocation to the CMF of $172M over five years, with $16.9M in 2018-2019. It also provided much-needed flexibility to the CMF program, enabling the corporation to update program guidelines for 2019-2020.
Throughout the year, the CMF proactively worked with the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, and his staff at Canadian Heritage to develop a set of major policy changes to the CMF’s programs, some of which are among the most impactful, both in breadth and scope, since the establishment of the CMF in 2010.
Staff undertook a cross-Canada consultation tour to gather stakeholder feedback on the areas of flexibility accorded by the government, as well as other proposed changes to CMF programs to be reflected in the 2019-2020 program changes. New financing models and changes to both the Convergent and Experimental streams were also widely discussed with the industry during the cross-country Focus Groups, Working Groups and Industry Leaders Roundtables.
Canada’s screen-based sector finds itself today at a crossroads. The Telecommunications and Broadcasting Legislative Review Panel is currently examining issues such as content creation in the digital age, cultural diversity, and how to strengthen the future of Canadian media and Canadian content creation. To expand on the CMF’s key role and activities in the sector, staff met with and submitted a proposal to the expert panel.
Staff also collaborated with Global Affairs Canada to highlight the importance of audiovisual content as a viable and strong Canadian export. The CMF was an active participant in the 2019 Canadian creative industries trade mission to Latin America, where agreements were signed or renewed with partners in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico.
Celebrating the success of Canada’s content and the screen-based sector, the CMF hosted its third annual Showcase event in Ottawa. An occasion to educate and inform government stakeholders on the importance of our sector, the event brought together approximately 350 guests, including audiovisual industry leaders and key parliamentarians – most notably the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez.
Further leveraging its resources and generating market opportunities for Canadian producers, the CMF pursued its strategy to execute codevelopment and coproduction agreements with international partners. One new codevelopment matching fund was signed with Northern Ireland. CMF has also signed an agreement to support the creation of an Arctic Fund dedicated to Indigenous creators and producers in the Circumpolar Region with the Sami Film Institute in Norway, Russia, Greenland and Nunavut. Incentives with Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxemburg, New Zealand and South Africa were renewed. These initiatives were complemented by the CMF’s activities at 14 international markets in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank the CMF management team and all staff for another successful year. The Board would also like to acknowledge the efforts of our Program Administrator, Telefilm Canada, for their administration of our funding programs with a steady commitment to client service.
I also wish to express, on behalf of the corporation, our gratitude to the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors for their continued trust in the CMF, as well as their ongoing and significant investments in Canadian audiovisual production and innovation. Thanks to their commitment to the CMF’s mission and vision, we can ensure that Canada’s content industry thrives and is well-positioned to continue feeding the pipes of Canada’s digital economy in the global marketplace.
Chair of the Board of Directors