CMF to invest $353M in Canadian television and digital media production

Toronto, April 1, 2020 - The Canada Media Fund (CMF) announced today it will invest $353M in Canada’s television and digital media production. It also published Program Guidelines for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The breakdown of the 2020-2021 program budget can be accessed here.

“Among all the challenges our industry has overcome, none has been as destabilizing as the one we currently face,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF. “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to a standstill most sectors of the economy, including ours. We understand these are challenging times for all—both from a business and personal perspective. The CMF will continue to be a reliable partner to our clients and stakeholders. We remain fully operational as does our Program Administrator Team at Telefilm Canada.”

“Given the numerous program changes we introduced last year and the current situation in the industry, we will be making limited updates to our program budget, guidelines and policies for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Our investment will be comparable to previous years. We hope this will provide our clients and their businesses with much-needed stability and predictability. However, as the effects of the COVID-19 virus unfold, further flexibility to the Guidelines may be required.”

“The CMF has evolved its programs over the past 10 years thanks to ongoing and valuable feedback from our clients and stakeholders, many of whom share their views through our various outreach and consultation initiatives. Thanks to all who participate in this process and thanks to our public and private funders for their invaluable support. We’re especially grateful to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, for delivering on the government’s commitments to support Canada’s screen-based sector, especially during these uncertain times. We are in regular communication with the government to look at added flexibility for our programs and funding, as well as what critical relief measures may be necessary.”

“Our collective responses to the changes that lie ahead will determine how quickly Canada’s screen-based sector recovers from the crisis,” she concluded.

The CMF program budget is supported by revenue estimates for the coming year based on ongoing funding contributions from the Government of Canada; as well as contributions from Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors. Tangible benefits, recoupment and repayment revenues from funded productions also support the program budget. This year’s budget reflects a steady contribution from the Government of Canada, and the stabilization funding to help mitigate declining contributions from the private sector to the CMF.

The following main changes will be implemented to CMF programs. A more detailed summary of changes can be accessed here.

In consultation with the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO), and as a result of the community consultation undertaken by the ISO, the CMF will strengthen both the Indigenous Program’s definition of an eligible applicant, and the ownership and control requirements of an eligible project. Further, applicants in all CMF programs will be encouraged to respect the best practices and guiding principles outlined in the recently published On Screen Protocols & Pathways: A Media Production Guide to Working with Indigenous Canadian Communities, Cultures, Concepts & Stories.

The Early-Stage Development Program introduced last year has now been divided into two separate programs: The Early-Stage Development Program exclusively for Writers and the Predevelopment Program for Producers.

The Early-Stage Development Program is now selective instead of first-come, first-served and there is a 15 per cent “Diversity of Voices” reserved allocation.

The Predevelopment Program will award funding on a first-come, first-served basis and applicants will be required to have both an agreement with an attached Writer and letter of interest from an enumerated triggering entity.

The Gender Balance requirement in the Performance Envelope Program is moving from 35 per cent to 50 per cent.  Further, on a pilot basis, educational Canadian Broadcasters in both language markets will be permitted to provide a maximum CMF contribution of 60 per cent of a project’s eligible costs.

In the Experimental Stream there will be a 40 per cent regional carve-out for the Conceptualization Program.

The Innovation & Experimentation and Commercial Projects Programs will now have equal budgets, the same number of funding rounds and the same recoupment policy. Further, there will be additional revisions to the Innovation & Experimentation Program’s evaluation grid in order to distinguish it from the Commercial Projects Program and provide two distinct programs that can accommodate the range of interactive digital projects from Canadian digital producers.

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


Media Contact:

André Ferreira
Communications Manager
[email protected]