Annual CMF Trends Report shows the resilience and innovation of the screen industry in a moment of profound change

The pandemic has redefined the way we consume content and altered the entire content distribution, production, and creation ecosystems. Titled 'Pause and Rethink,' the report details the magnitude of these transformation and explores the trends that will shape the audiovisual landscape in 2021. It goes even further in pointing out how an industry that contributes $12.8 billion to Canada’s GDP ingeniously adopts new technologies, responds to the environmental crisis, and commits to inclusion as a core priority.

Montreal and Toronto, February 1, 2021 – The annual CMF Trends Report is eagerly awaited by the most respected screen industry observers. Structured in four thematic sections, 'Pause and Rethink' showcases the key trends to watch out for in 2021. These are most likely to have a significant impact on both our media consumption habits and on the activities of Canadian producers, distributors, and content creators.

“What are the major transformations that we’ve observed, and that have been accelerated by the pandemic? Which ones are permanent? The stories, data, and case studies in the report come from across the country and show how resilient and innovative the Canadian screen industry is. Not only is the report taking stock of where we are today, it contributes to the conversation we are launching with the industry about how we can work together to thrive in an environment marked by profound disruption.”, says CMF Chief Strategy Officer Kelly Wilhelm.

“There’s no denying that 2020 was a year of tremendous upheaval, and that the screen industry must get a grasp of everything that’s emerged. Under lockdown, audiences have massively turned to digital content for relief. The streaming wars have intensified, and strategies to better position Canadian content in the fray have become more sophisticated,” says CMF Director of Industry and Market Trends Catherine Mathys. “The audiovisual industry has been digitizing at warp speed, integrating new technologies as soon as they become available to ensure on-set safety in particular, while seeking to reduce its significant environmental footprint. The industry also seems to be finally reckoning with calls for change from under-represented communities as audiences hunger more than ever for content they can relate to on screen.”

Trends on the CMF radar include:

  • Traditional niche content and platforms (like Twitch) that are opening up more to the general public to get everyone’s attention as the steaming wars rage on;
  • Theatres are looking at reinventing themselves through new partnerships and event-based approaches in a bid to win back audience during lockdown;
  • Further pandemic-induced experimentation with new pricing models for traditional streaming services;
  • The democratization of metaverses through virtual and augmented reality;
  • The increased importance of intimacy coordinators on film sets during the pandemic;
  • The growing use of virtual production technologies as an eco-friendly alternative, especially in reducing waste and air travel;
  • The progressive integration of environmental best practices to create healthier and more energy-efficient workplaces;
  • The emergence of extended reality as an option for closed entertainment venues during the pandemic;
  • The successes of certain virtual festivals, namely increased sales, and better access for emerging creators and international festivalgoers;
  • Culturally specific content and international markets: navigating markets not familiar with the local Canadian context;
  • Actions and resources needed to increase the participation and inclusion of creators from underrepresented communities and to enable a more inclusive industry.

'Pause and Rethink,' the 2021 edition of the CMF's annual trends report, is available online at

About the Canada Media Fund
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, promotes, develops, and finances the production of Canadian content and relevant applications for all audiovisual platforms. It also provides guidance to content producers to help them compete in the global digital environment by supporting industry innovation, rewarding success, promoting a diversity of voices, and encouraging access to content through partnerships with industry and the private sector. The CMF is funded by the Government of Canada and by Canadian cable, satellite, and Internet Protocol television (IPTV) distributors.

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For more information:

André Ferreira
Senior Communications Manager
Canada Media Fund
[email protected]


Olivier Lapierre
Media Relations Officer
[email protected]

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.
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