The Canada Media Fund (CMF) is committed to addressing systemic racism that has long been established in Canada’s cultural institutions, including the CMF.
The CMF’s mandate to “enable a diversity of voices” includes a responsibility to widen support to Canada’s talent and creators from racialized communities, to amplify their voices, stories, and perspectives.
We cannot thrive as an industry when Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities face discrimination and barriers to access, financial resources and support.
Working together, we will actively dismantle the many ways Canada’s screen-based sector has reinforced systemic racism, including in funding, programming, staffing and stakeholder engagement.
We will continue to engage racialized communities in our consultations and in our actions.
The CMF convened a group of Black Industry Leaders on June 30, 2020 for a national conversation to determine immediate actions the CMF can take to dismantle anti-Black racism in the industry and launch a future-focused discussion on program and policy changes over the next year.
The Black Industry Leaders Group includes:
Myriam Achard (Chief New Media Partnerships & PR, PHI)
Shamier Anderson (Actor/Producer/Co-Founder of B.L.A.C.K.)
Minnijean Brown Trickey (Activist)
Fabienne Colas (Actor, Director, Producer)
Ngardy Conteh George (Filmmaker)
Ella Cooper (Founding Director, BlackWomenFilm Canada)
Kelly Fyffe-Marshall (Director & Activist)
Jennifer Holness (President, Hungry Eyes Media Inc.)
Stephan James (Actor/Producer/Co-Founder of B.L.A.C.K.)
Richard Jean-Baptiste (Global Head of Studio / Sid Lee Partner)
Karen King (Founder, Productions Without Borders)
Joy Loewen (CEO, National Screen Institute)
Lea Marin (Producer)
Erica Meus-Saunders (Independent Filmmaker & Emerging Producer)
Will Prosper (Filmmaker)
Natasha Semone Vassell (Film and Television Producer)
Haydn Wazelle (Co-Founder/CEO - ZedDrive)
Tonya Williams (Actress & Founder/Executive Director Reelworld Film Festival and Reelworld Screen Institute)
Starting now, the CMF will:
- Deliver COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funding to support BIPOC companies in the industry that have been disproportionately affected and/or are ineligible for other CMF or Telefilm COVID-19 emergency funds.
- Review human resources practices to hire, promote and retain Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Colour.
- Include more Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in juries for the CMF’s selective programs.
- Work with and support partners to develop approaches to data collection that respect and engage community in methodology and interpretation.
- Feature BIPOC leaders in communications, promotions, and industry events to champion their achievements and contributions to the industry.
At the CMF, we pride ourselves on our consultative approach. We welcome all suggestions and constructive criticism on the steps we are taking and will proactively engage BIPOC communities in our consultations.
As members of Canada’s cultural community, we operate from a privileged position. We can use this position to work with racialized communities to create the change that is needed.
We know we may not always get things right the first time, but we will listen, learn, change and influence others as we go.