Key audiovisual industry organizations collaborate to create an Indigenous Screen Office for Canada

Banff, June 12, 2017 – Today at the Banff World Media Festival, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage announced that the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada (CBC/SRC), the Canada Media Fund (CMF), Telefilm Canada, the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), have collaborated to create an Indigenous Screen Office in Canada. Associated partners include Bell Media, the Harold Greenberg Fund and VICE Studio Canada.

The creation of this Office was the primary outcome of a multi-stakeholder engagement process announced last January, led by Marcia Nickerson, Indigenous Governance Consultant, the objective of which is to develop recommendations to better support the Indigenous screen-based sector in Canada. Resulting from this process, the participating organisations launched an initiative to create an Indigenous Screen Office tasked with supporting the development, production and marketing of Indigenous content, thus contributing to a vibrant Canadian Indigenous screen-based industry.

First steps will go towards hiring a qualified individual to oversee strategic objectives and operations. This Office will then implement a long-term strategy supporting all levels of talent development, including short and feature script development; television and digital media and training. A key role of the office will be to facilitate relationships with broadcasters, distributors, training institutions and federal funders. 

All partners and key industry stakeholders acknowledge there are a number of systemic barriers in getting Indigenous stories made and seen. This is exacerbated by inadequate funding, difficulty in accessing distribution, barriers to production such as funding, geography and a lack of Indigenous representation, among other factors that will be addressed by the Indigenous Screen Office.


“Too often, Indigenous creators have faced systematic barriers in the industry that have made it difficult to share their stories. The creation of the Indigenous Screen Office will help address these barriers, provide direct support to creators and showcase Indigenous content in Canada and on the world stage."
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“The CMF has the largest program in support of Indigenous content in the country. While we led this initiative to consider future directions for our own program, it was the leadership of Marcia Nickerson, the discussion with Indigenous creators, producers and stakeholders from coast to coast to coast combined with the extraordinary collaboration of the partners that resulted in our collective ability to launch this initiative in order to address the issues faced by the Indigenous creative community in Canada’s screen-based sector. This work builds upon the At the Crossroads report authored by Jeff Bear which was commissioned by the federal government and various agencies in 2004. Very little has changed since the recommendations of that report, 13 years ago.”
- Valerie Creighton, President and Chief Executive Officer, CMF

“In developing the long-term strategy for the Indigenous Screen Office, it will be key to ensure that Indigenous Canadians, as custodians of Indigenous narratives, are in charge of telling stories about Indigenous Peoples and have a unique perspective when telling those stories; to promote and respect Indigenous cultural protocols; to guarantee that leading institutions in the audiovisual industry are responsive to Indigenous Peoples' needs and priorities; to respect the integrity and intention of Indigenous artists and ensure they have opportunities to flourish as other Canadians do; and to support their artistic visions and perspectives from across the country. These principles are the cornerstone upon which our new relationship will be based.” 
- Jean La Rose, Chief Executive Officer, APTN


About APTN
September 1, 2016, marks the 17-year anniversary of the launch of the first national Aboriginal television network in the world with programming by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples to share with all Canadians and viewers around the world. APTN is available in approximately 11 million Canadian households and commercial establishments with cable, direct-to-home satellite, telco-delivered and fixed wireless television service providers. The network launched its high definition channel, APTN HD, in the spring of 2008. APTN does not receive government funding for operations but generates revenue through subscriber fees, advertising sales and strategic partnerships. APTN broadcasts programming with 56% offered in English, 16% in French and 28% in Aboriginal languages. For program schedule or for more information, please contact APTN at (204) 947-9331 or toll-free at 1-888-278-8862 (Canada), or visit the website at

About CBC/Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective. In 2017, CBC/Radio-Canada will at the heart of the celebrations and conversations with special 2017-themed multiplatform programming and events across Canada.

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

About the CMPA
The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) is the country’s leading member-based advocacy organization for independent producers, representing hundreds of companies engaged in the development and distribution of English-language content made for television, cinema and digital media channels. The CMPA works to promote the continued success of the Canadian production sector and ensure a future for diverse content made by Canadians for both domestic and international audiences.

About the NFB
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation. The NFB has produced over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 15 Canadian Screen Awards, 11 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies.

About Telefilm Canada—Inspired by talent. Viewed everywhere.
Celebrating 50 years in 2017, Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2013, the Talent Fund accepts private donations to principally support emerging talent. Visit and follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at

About Bell Media
Bell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home with a network of more than 30,000 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit

About The Harold Greenberg Fund
The English-Language Program of the Harold Greenberg Fund, with contributions from Bell Media and The Movie Network, provides reimbursable financial assistance for the development and production of feature films, as well as sponsoring industry workshops, training programs, festivals, special events, and awards. Since its inception in 1986, the French and English Programs of the Fund have supported nearly 4,500 projects and initiatives, for an investment of over $100 million to date in the Canadian film and television industry. It is proud to support the vision and works of Canadian storytellers.

About the VICE Studio Canada
VICE Canada is a leader in producing and distributing high quality youth content to a Canadian audience, in both official languages, reaching millions of Canadians a month. VICE's original, multifaceted and often provocative content is available across multiple platforms including, ten award-winning digital verticals, mobile apps, linear television, print and a suite of record-breaking YouTube channels. Since entering into a joint venture with Rogers Media in 2014, VICE Canada has been aggressively expanding, launching a state of the art production studio in Toronto, Daily VICE – a daily mobile news show and VICELAND – VICE Media’s first television channel. VICE Canada has received numerous awards for its content including Canadian Screen Awards, Webby’s and Gemeaux awards.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Canada Media Fund
André Ferreira
Communications Manager
[email protected]

Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary

Canadian Heritage
Media Relations
[email protected]