Toronto, March 28, 2018 - The Canada Media Fund (CMF) announced today Program Guidelines for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The CMF also announced it is committing $352M to invest in Canada’s television and digital media industry in 2018-2019. The breakdown of the 2018-2019 program budget can be accessed here.
The CMF program budget is supported by revenue estimates for the coming year based on ongoing and newly announced funding contributions from the Government of Canada; as well as contributions from Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors. Recoupment and repayment revenues from funded productions also support the program budget. This year’s budget reflects a stable contribution from the Government of Canada, with the addition of a top-up of up to $15M to offset declining contributions from Broadcast Distribution Undertakings to the CMF.
“It is reassuring for Canada’s audiovisual industry to see government policies that provide stability in our funding organizations,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF. “Thanks to the invaluable support of our public and private funders, we find ourselves on more solid footing to provide a stable level of investment in quality Canadian content that reaches audiences around the world. We’re especially grateful to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, for delivering on the government’s commitment to stabilize funding to the CMF.”
“Our funding programs align with the CMF’s corporate objectives, policy direction from Canadian Heritage including the Creative Canada framework, and are based on an analysis of results from 2017-2018, as well as ongoing and valuable feedback from stakeholders,” she added. “Last fiscal, we announced a series of measures aligned with the CMF’s priorities to increase gender balance and Indigenous representation in the screen-based sector. We’ve seen positive results from these initiatives, with 83 per cent of broadcasters meeting our gender requirements, as well as with the launch of Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office. Much work is still to be done on both fronts, but we remain confident our efforts in 2018-2019 will continue to yield concrete results towards ensuring that the industry we serve is a reflection of Canada’s diversity.”
“In line with our objective to support the success of Canadian content in the global marketplace, the CMF will renew and increase funding for the pilot export programs launched in December of 2017,” she concluded.
Key Changes to the Convergent Stream
To continue to increase gender balance and as announced in March of 2017, the CMF will require broadcasters to direct a minimum of 25 per cent and a target of 35 per cent of their respective Performance and Development Envelope Allocations to eligible projects where, of all the enumerated cumulative Producer, Director and Writer positions on a TV Component, at least 40 per cent of the total number of positions are held by women. This is an increase from the previous 15 per cent minimum and 25 per cent target.
A number of changes are being made to the Development Program – English and French Pre-Development sub-Program. Specifically, the CMF will remove the current “regional” restriction and open eligibility to non-regional applicants; however, funds will be earmarked for regional producers in both language markets. This will allow more applicants to access funding at an increasingly important stage of their project’s lifecycle. In order to enable applicants to prepare more sophisticated material to present to broadcasters, distributors and other funders, the CMF will increase the overall maximum contribution per project and add eligible expenses connected to early project writing.
The CMF is continuing to consult with the industry, Canadian Heritage and the Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage to enhance early-stage development funding. Details on this will be announced in the near future.
Performance Envelope factor weights and genre allocations for 2018-2019 remain unchanged. This information is available on the CMF website in the Performance Envelope Manual. The CMF will be sending agreements outlining the amounts allocated for the upcoming year to broadcasters shortly. Details about each broadcaster’s Performance Envelope will be posted on the CMF website in mid-April, 2018.
Key Changes to the Experimental Stream
The CMF has amended the language used in the C3P’s Evaluation Grid to more clearly delineate the objectives and selection criteria of this program from those of the Innovation program. Further, the CMF is raising the maximum contribution amount in the C3P for the production stage from the lesser of 50 per cent or $1.2M of a project’s eligible costs to 60 per cent or $1.2M. In addition to this, projects will be able to access marketing-stage funding through the C3P.
In an effort to respond to market demand and fund more projects at the Prototyping stage (formerly known as “Development”) through the Innovation Program, the CMF will reduce its maximum contribution in Prototyping from $300K to $250K.
Other changes and updates have been made to existing program guidelines for 2018-2019. Complete Program Guidelines, application deadlines, and a summary of changes are available on the CMF website.
During the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the CMF will work with the industry, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage to ensure that CMF programs respond to the disruption faced by the industry. Programs will place an added focus on innovation to enable the policy vision expressed in the Creative Canada Policy Framework announced by Minister Joly.
About the Canada Media Fund
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors. Please visit cmf-fmc.ca.