Message from the Chair
Faced with ongoing transformation of the audiovisual sector, the CMF continued to demonstrate its responsiveness, agility and commitment to its mandate in support of Canada’s screen-based industries. This commitment enabled the CMF to pursue strategies that build on its numerous endeavors, while at the same time developing new approaches, initiatives and programs that respond to the industry’s rapidly changing needs.
With the support of Canadian Heritage, in 2016-2017, the CMF introduced more streamlined convergence requirements, providing the industry with the necessary flexibility to determine which forms of digital content are best suited to complement individual television projects in the Convergent Stream. In the Experimental Stream, we launched the Commercial Projects Pilot Program that places an increased emphasis on commercially-driven digital projects. We also introduced a Web Series Program intended to meet the ever-increasing demand in the marketplace for linear content created for online consumption. These changes, we believe, will ensure that our programs and in turn, the projects we support, continue to align with how content is consumed in Canada and around the world.
In April of 2016, the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced the Government of Canada’s intentions to complete a comprehensive review of Canada’s cultural policies in view of updating the various support levers for Canada’s creative industries in the digital era. To ensure a positive outcome for Canada’s television and digital media sector, the CMF participated in the process through ongoing communications with Canadian Heritage and industry stakeholders. In addition, the CMF initiated a dialogue with Global Affairs Canada in order to develop an export program in support of the Government of Canada’s cultural export strategy, which is expected to be announced in 2017.
To showcase the success of the Canadian content industry to parliamentarians and government officials, the CMF hosted a lively and memorable event in Ottawa. Rick Mercer (Rick Mercer Report) and Charles Lafortune (La Voix) entertained guests at the event which brought together the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Mélanie Joly; thirty-seven of her parliamentary colleagues; the on- and off-screen talent behind several Canadian productions; as well as audiovisual industry leaders and members of the public service.
The CMF took an active part in the CRTC’s Discoverability Summit held in May 2016, where the CMF released one of two research reports on Discoverability. In addition to its support of the Summit, the CMF leveraged several of its partnerships with industry events across the country to further contribute to discussions on this topic.
To further leverage its resources and generate market opportunities for Canadian producers, the CMF pursued its strategy to develop codevelopment and coproduction agreements with international partners. In addition to renewing incentives with partners in Belgium, Brazil, Italy and New Zealand, the CMF signed new international incentives with the Broadcast Authority of Ireland, the Jerusalem Film Fund of the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Danish Film Institute. These initiatives were complemented by the CMF’s actions at several international markets, where the CMF hosted several matchmaking sessions for Canadian producers.
Looking ahead, the CMF will continue to deliver on its commitment to invest in, support and promote Canada’s television and digital media sectors. The Board of Directors understands many consequential changes lie ahead for the industry and we look forward to the results of the government’s policy review.
The Board of Directors acknowledges the efforts of the CMF management team and all staff in the successful execution of the CMF mandate. On behalf of the Board, I wish to congratulate Valerie Creighton on her investiture into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and on being named one of the top 20 most powerful women in global television by The Hollywood Reporter. Both these accolades are a testament to her unwavering dedication and leadership. The Board would also like to thank the staff of our Program Administrator, Telefilm Canada, for their administration of our funding programs with a consistent commitment to client service and operational efficiency.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I also wish to express our gratitude to the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors for their significant investments in Canadian audiovisual production and innovation. Their commitment to the CMF and to the industry it serves ensures a thriving audiovisual sector in Canada. Just as importantly, these investments support the telling of Canada’s stories on a variety of screens; an enduring manifestation of Canadian creativity and its position as a leader in the global digital economy.
Chair of the Board of Directors