CMF to invest $364M in Canadian television and digital media production
Toronto, April 1, 2021 - The Canada Media Fund (CMF) announced today it will invest $364M in Canada’s television and digital media industries. It also published Program Guidelines for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. The breakdown of the 2021-2022 program budget can be accessed here.
“Over the past year, our industry has overcome some of the most challenging times in decades,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF. “The COVID-19 pandemic brought most sectors of the economy to a standstill, including ours. Over that period, the CMF remained a reliable partner to our clients and stakeholders, as we effectively delivered over $100M in emergency relief funds, in addition to the $353M contributed to our regular programs.“
“The CMF also led an industry-wide conversation on how to tackle issues of systemic racism and discrimination in our sector. We’re proud to introduce tangible measures to our 2021-2022 programs which promote equity, inclusion, and diversity. Our industry will not flourish without the voices and stories from underrepresented communities. Canada’s culture will be made richer still thanks to the diversity of perspectives and stories on our screens.”
“Beyond the updates to increase equity and inclusion, we are limiting the breadth and scope of changes to our 2021-2022 programs. Considering the significant industrial disruption caused by the pandemic, the upcoming changes to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts through Bill C-10, and the ongoing consultation with the industry, our focus for the year will be on flexibility, predictability and continuity, until the new CMF Program architecture is introduced and the larger legislative changes to Canada’s screen-based industry are implemented.”
“The CMF is currently undergoing a wide-ranging consultation process, with stakeholders from coast to coast to coast, the results of which will inform the future of the organization and the key role it plays in supporting Canada’s screen-based creators. I encourage all involved in the creation, production, and distribution of screen content to participate in our virtual town halls and through the survey process.
"Now is the time to – together – explore the best ways to support our industry as it recovers and position it for future growth. The CMF continually evolves its programs as a direct result of the ongoing and valuable feedback from our clients and stakeholders. Thanks to all who provide their experience, knowledge and time to this process.”
“We would also like to thank 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.”
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 Broadcast Distribution Undertakings (BDUs) to the CMF.
The following main changes will be implemented to CMF programs. A more detailed summary of changes can be accessed here.
The CMF will continue most of the Flexibility Measures it introduced last May in response to the pandemic in order to help stakeholders continue adapting until production picks back up to pre-pandemic levels.
While the CMF may revise these Flexibility Measures – as necessary – during the year, it will also aim to provide more flexibility to the industry by launching a Convergent Stream program later in the year for projects at the development-stage that will not require a Canadian Broadcaster commitment to trigger CMF support.
The CMF is also introducing a four-pronged approach to improve equity and inclusion in the industry.
First, the CMF is introducing a new Performance Envelope Factor that rewards Broadcasters that licence projects from production companies that are owned/controlled by Indigenous peoples of Canada, Black people and people of colour. For 2021-2022, the CMF will define individuals in these communities as members of a “Diverse Community”.
Second, it is launching a new $10.5M Pilot Program for Racialized Communities. The program will exclusively support production companies that are owned/controlled by Black people and people of colour.
Third, the CMF will update the evaluation grid points in the majority of selective Convergent and Experimental Stream Programs to award additional points to projects from production companies that are owned/controlled by members of a “Diverse Community.”
Finally, it will also carve out at least 25% of the Conceptualization Program, Predevelopment Program and Early-Stage Development Program for production companies that are owned/controlled by members of a “Diverse Community.”
In addition to these program changes, the CMF will also increase its Sector Development Support budget to $2M with $1.25M of this budget devoted exclusively to national and regional initiatives for Black people, Indigenous peoples of Canada and people of colour.
The CMF will host a webcast on April 22 11:00AM (EST) for the French-language market and 2:00PM (EST) for the English-language market. The details to participate in this webcast will be communicated at a later time.
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.
Senior Communications Manager