CMF releases new report with insights from year-long Canadian content research initiative
Toronto, September 13, 2023 – Today at Content Canada, the Canada Media Fund (CMF) officially released New Futures for Canadian Content: What You Said, a report by the independent research firm La Société des demains. A collection of diverse viewpoints from over 2,800 industry professionals and the public from coast to coast to coast, the landmark report is the culmination of a year-long research initiative on Canadian content that included interviews, a survey, in-person and virtual workshops, and written submissions.
The report is now available at https://cmf-fmc.ca/newfutures.
"Our industry stands at a pivotal juncture. After over 1,000 hours of feedback, the insights gathered in this report prove that Canadian content matters more than ever,” said Valerie Creighton, President & CEO, CMF. “It's heartening to see the collective aspirations and determination of so many individuals eager to elevate Canada’s audiovisual industry to new global heights. We're committed to ensuring that our distinct identity resonates at home and internationally, and this What You Said report is a testament to that commitment."
The report suggests a four-facet framework to organize and help comprehend the many different perceptions that participants had of Canadian content and its complexity:
- CanCon as a Policy Instrument—balancing cultural and economic goals
- CanCon as a Support Ecosystem—executing the policies through government programs
- CanCon as a Product—bringing the project to life
- CanCon as an Expression of Identity—the expression of personal and collective identities
Ten Key Takeaways: What You Said
A Global Vision with Local Roots: Industry professionals aspire to extend Canadian content beyond borders, emphasizing global resonance while preserving our distinct identity, embracing inclusion, and shining our light in all content formats.
Celebrating Cultural Identity: There's a strong desire to move beyond being labeled as 'Hollywood North.' The industry yearns to establish a unique, Canada-based identity that authentically represents our many cultures and communities.
Creating More Space for Indigenous Content: There was a clear call to amplify and prioritize Indigenous narratives, voices, and perspectives, distinct from Canadian content. Recognizing historical barriers, there's a strong desire to support Indigenous-created content, promote mentorship and employment opportunities, and foster collaborations to ensure a reflection of Canada's rich Indigenous heritage and its contemporary realities.
Collaboration is Key: A call to maximize fluidity and collaboration. This extends to partnerships across sectors, such as digital creativity and music. The report champions the ideas of tackling fears around systemic changes, accentuating individual and collective voices, and navigating risk with clarity and purpose.
Reimagining Funding Models: There's a consensus on the need for innovative funding mechanisms that foster creative risk-taking. Transparent funding processes are essential to benefit the broader creative community.
Ownership and Value: Professionals stressed the importance of retaining the value of Canadian creative assets within domestic companies, ensuring the industry doesn't become exclusively a service hub for foreign production.
Amplifying French Content: Participants voiced concerns about ensuring that francophone content does not get overshadowed in the global market. There's a strong desire to prioritize and amplify these voices, ensuring that content not only caters to francophones within Canada but also reaches global audiences without compromising its cultural essence.
Adapting to Technological Revolution: The evolving role of intellectual property signals a new era for the industry. Adaptability is crucial.
Flexibility in Content Creation: For the industry to thrive, there must be flexibility in content creation, catering to international markets and niche genres. This might mean updated agreements and fewer restrictions for creators.
Emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: True diversity and authentic representation are more than buzzwords; they are imperative for the future. The industry expressed a deep need for more stories that reflect Canada's rich tapestry of cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.
"While ‘Canadian content' may have once embodied a collective vision, our report shows that the term now has difficulty encompassing the intention of public policies, the resulting production support infrastructure, the range of audiovisual products it enables, and the evolution of societal and self-perception intertwined with these narratives,” said Catalina Briceño, lead researcher and author of the report. “By methodically examining Canadian content through these four fundamental dimensions, with invaluable feedback from industry professionals, we hope to foster an ongoing dialogue that will positively influence the future of the industry.”
Read the full report at https://cmf-fmc.ca/newfutures.
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 voices, 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. Visit the Canada Media Fund’s website for more information.
About La Société des demains
La Société des demains—where research, foresight, and strategy harmonize. Specializing in creative industries and media markets, we wield a rigorous and systemic approach to reduce the uncertainty of organizations in an increasingly noisy and complex world. At Demains, we don't just uncover and analyze trends, we understand their roots, ensuring our clients are equipped to respond to market shifts and discover lasting opportunities.
Senior Manager, Communications
Canada Media Fund