Toronto, July 3, 2020 – The Canada Media Fund (CMF) today released details of the COVID-19 emergency relief funding for underrepresented groups and to support regional diversity in the screen-based industry. Fifteen per cent of the Government of Canada’s CMF allocation of the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations will be invested through targeted initiatives to ensure equity, including by region, language and for underrepresented groups. This is $13.3M in emergency funding.
“We recognize many historically marginalized communities within the industry are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis and were not eligible for other CMF emergency relief funds,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF. “We are consulting with industry leaders and partners from these communities to determine how these funds can be best used to support Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, Women, Official Language Minority Communities, under-served regions and other groups affected by COVID-19. Through these funds, we will work with partners such as the Indigenous Screen Office and build new relationships and partnerships that will last well beyond the current crisis and help inform the CMF’s policy and program directions in the future.”
“The funding support announced today by the Canada Media Fund is part of a long-term effort that our Government intends to pursue with our partners to combat systemic racism,” said Stephen Guibeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “We all have a responsibility to question our organizational practices to ensure that Black, Indigenous and racialized people have equal access to the opportunities they need to thrive and shape, from their own perspective, the Canadian cultural and media landscape.”
The funds will be allocated to the following communities. Details on how to access these funds will be released in the coming weeks.
Black and People of Colour
A total of $4M, or 31 per cent, of the emergency relief funds will be reserved for companies and organizations owned and led by Black people or People of Colour. Consultations are underway to determine the best use of these funds. As a first step, the CMF held the first meeting of the Black Industry Leaders Group on June 30 to discuss immediate and longer-term action needed to support Black storytellers and fight systemic anti-Black racism in Canada’s screen-based industry.
In partnership with the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO), the CMF will support the launch of the Solidarity Fund, which will provide development grants to racialized creators. The CMF will contribute $300K to this fund. The ISO is partnering with the Racial Equity Media Collective (REMC) on this fund and will continue to liaise with other private and public partners on this initiative.
The CMF will provide $3M to the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) to support COVID-19-related business continuity and expenses such as health and safety measures, fees and additional insurance costs for Indigenous-led production companies. Training and skills development, and development funding for Indigenous creators will also be supported.
The CMF is presently working with Women in Film and Television and Femmes du cinéma, de la télévision et des médias numériques on a proposal to provide funding to support research and issues related to the barriers and impact of women returning to work as a result of COVID-19 activities.
Regional and Official Language Minorities
The CMF is developing additional measures for support in the regions, including a top-up to companies that have already received a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds - CMF Allocation and have declared to be Regional or from an Official Language Minority Community.
The CMF will consult and work with leaders of the LGBTQ2+ community on ways to deliver emergency relief funds to help creators from that community who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 shutdowns.
To help workers and companies in the screen-based industries navigate the many programs and resources available to those affected by the crisis, the CMF launched an online information hub. Information on financial support offered through hundreds of programs, as well as other essential resources can be found at covid.cmf-fmc.ca.
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.