Diverse Languages Program
The Diverse Languages Program is designed to support independent production in languages that reflect the diversity of Canadians by funding projects in languages other than English, French, or Aboriginal languages. This program is part of the Canada Media Fund’s (CMF) Convergent Stream; thus, projects funded through this stream must include content to be produced for distribution on at least two platforms, one of which must be television and the other, digital media. Funding from this program is allocated according to a selective process using an evaluation grid.
The Diverse Languages Program committed $3.0M to 11 convergent projects in Arabic, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Ukrainian, spending the total amount budgeted for the program. Production activity triggered by this program totaled $5.4M, the lowest amount in four years. The decrease in budgets and hours produced from previous years may be due to the large number of Documentary projects, in comparison to past funding of drama series. A total of 50.8% of funding went toward five Italian-language productions. Two Spanish projects received 20.3% of funding, and Russian-language projects received 7.9% of funding. Ukrainian and Tagalog-language projects were funded for the first time in 2018-2019. 79.7% of funding went to Documentary and the rest went to Children’s & Youth projects. All 11 projects were complemented with digital media components receiving a total of $1.1M or a 37.0% share of total Diverse Languages Program funding, the highest level of the CMF Convergent Stream.
Broadcasters and CMF provide a combined 93.7% of financing to television projects. The other significant source of television financing was tax credits. The CMF contributed 73.2% of digital media financing and broadcasters paid a 25.9% share, with a small amount coming from producers.