Toronto, March 31, 2017 - The Canada Media Fund (CMF) announced today Program Guidelines for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The CMF also announced it is committing $349.7M to support Canada’s television and digital media industry in 2017-2018. The breakdown of the 2017-2018 program budget can be accessed here.
The CMF program budget is supported by revenue estimates for the coming year based on contributions from the Government of Canada; Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors; and recoupment and repayment revenues from funded productions. The program budget reflects a stable contribution from the Government of Canada and an expected decline in contributions from Broadcast Distribution Undertakings to the CMF for the year to come.
“We understand that a program budget decrease of 5.8 per cent will have an impact on Canada’s audiovisual industry. Faced with declining revenues, we remain committed to making our programs as efficient and accessible as possible. We have reduced the CMF’s administration budget to direct the most funds possible to our programs,” explained Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF. “Our funding programs align with the CMF’s corporate objectives, requirements established by Canadian Heritage, and are the result of an analysis of results from 2016-2017 and important feedback from stakeholders.”
“The changes to the 2017-2018 guidelines are also aligned with the CMF’s priorities to increase gender balance in the screen-based sector. Initiatives to advance audiovisual production by Indigenous Canadians are also part of our key priorities,” she added. “The CMF values stakeholder input and is committed to maintaining an ongoing dialogue with the industry, including formal consultations at key moments throughout the year. I want to thank all stakeholders that continuously provide the CMF with extensive market intelligence that can shape the CMF’s direction in the years to come.”
Key Changes to the Convergent Stream
The CMF will implement a number of new policies aimed at increasing the contribution of women in key roles on CMF-funded productions. Among numerous other changes that support this objective, the CMF will require that broadcasters direct at least 15 per cent of their respective Performance Envelope allocation dollars to eligible projects where at least 40 per cent of the total number of key leadership positions are held by women. To access a complete list of the initiatives the CMF will undertake to increase gender balance, please click here.
In the upcoming fiscal year, the CMF will ensure that the selection committee responsible for evaluating projects in the CMF’s Aboriginal Program will be individuals from Canada’s Indigenous communities. This is part of an overarching Indigenous strategy spearheaded by the CMF and key industry partners as announced in January 2017.
In light of the increased flexibility introduced in 2016-2017 to meet convergence requirements and the results observed, and in order to address the substantial pro-ration of funding experienced in the Convergent Digital Media Incentive (CDMI), the CMF will move to a selective mechanism for the CDMI this year. This will ensure that funded projects obtain the necessary financing to produce top-tier, landmark Convergent projects and eliminate the substantial pro-ration experienced by applicants under the first-come, first-served structure.
The CMF will migrate to a new online application platform called Dialogue to better serve our clients’ needs. Implemented last year for Experimental Stream applications, the new platform will now be used for both Convergent Stream and Experimental Stream applications and will fully replace all eTelefilm systems as of April 2017.
Key Changes to the Experimental Stream
Based on experience gained in 2016-2017 from the Commercial Projects Pilot Program (C3P), changes have been made to the evaluation grids of the C3P and the Innovation Program, to more clearly distinguish the objectives of these two programs.
A number of changes will also be implemented to increase gender balance in projects funded through the CMF’s Experimental Stream. Going forward, three points will be reserved in the team evaluation criteria for projects where at least 40 per cent of the top creative and production positions are held by women.
Based on positive stakeholder feedback and considerable uptake in the Web Series Pilot Program introduced in 2016-2017, the CMF will both increase its budget allocation and expand eligibility under this program to include Documentary projects, in addition to the already eligible Drama or Children’s and Youth projects.
Other changes and updates have been made to existing program guidelines for 2017-2018. Complete Program Guidelines, application deadlines, and a summary of changes are available on the CMF website.
Performance Envelope Program
Performance Envelope factor weights and genre allocations for 2017-2018 remain unchanged. This information is available on the CMF website under Performance Envelope Calculations. The CMF will be sending broadcaster agreements outlining the amounts allocated for the upcoming year to individual broadcasters in the weeks to come. Details about each broadcaster corporate group’s Performance Envelope will be posted on the CMF website in mid-April, 2017.
Webcast and comments
The CMF will host webcasts on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 to provide an overview of changes to the programs and to answer any questions. The French-language webcast will be at 11 a.m. ET and the English-language webcast will be at 2 p.m. ET. Details on how to join the webcasts will be communicated shortly.
Stakeholders are invited to share comments and questions on CMF programs by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or through the CMF Twitter feeds @CMF_FMC (English) and @CMF_FMC_FR (French). For questions about the application process, please contact the Canada Media Fund Program Administrator at 1.800.463.4607.
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.