CMF to Invest C$357 Million in Canadian Screen Industry


The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has revealed plans to invest C$357 million ($264 million) in the Canadian television and digital media industries during the 2024-25 year, starting April 1.

“In 2024-25, the CMF will offer more flexibility and balance to the industry as we await a new regulatory framework following the adoption of the Online Streaming Act,” said Valerie Creighton, president and CEO of the CMF. “Despite a lower budget and the sunsetting of the C$60 million ($44 million) Government of Canada Budget 2021 allocation for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the screen industry, the CMF remains dedicated to supporting underrepresented creators and EDI initiatives. Amidst a whirlwind of change in technology and media consumption habits, we are also furthering our transition to a content-centric, platform-agnostic funder—notably by reorganizing our program offering across three pillars—Ideation, Creation and Industry—and abandoning the funding stream-based model.”

She continued, “We are grateful for the ongoing support from our public and private funders, and thank the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, for continuing to deliver on the federal government’s commitments to support Canada’s screen-based sector.”

The 2024-25 budget includes the second and final C$20 million ($15 million) installment that the federal government revealed in March 2023 for the French-language market and underrepresented communities.

The CMF has reiterated its commitment to a more inclusive sector by making the Pilot Program for Racialized Communities an ongoing program; implementing new Broadcaster Envelope Factors to incentivize licensing content with greater representation of gender and diversity; and shifting its Diverse Languages Program from a selective one to an Envelope.

Additionally, the CMF is increasing the genre allocations devoted to Children & Youth and Documentary content in both English and French. The Documentary genre is being divided between one-off documentaries and documentary series to ensure that broadcasters have an increased incentive to license the one-off sub-genre.

Other plans for 2024-25 include expanding the existing Canada broadcaster market test in linear content programs and allowing Canadian-owned and -controlled distribution companies to contribute financing to help unlock funds; combining the Development and Performance Envelopes into a single Broadcaster Envelope system to provide broadcasters more flexibility; and giving Indigenous producers expanded flexibility in some eligible genres. Indigenous producers in the North will benefit from expanded market tests and flexibility on current rules related to Canadian key personnel and from the removal of barriers to production across the circumpolar region.

Also, the CMF is moving away from the Convergent and Experimental Streams model and instead separating programs across three pillars: Ideation, Creation and Industry. The CMF Program Guidelines are also being divided, into a core set of Linear and IDM Guidelines detailing the rules that apply to all programs, and separate Guidelines for each specific program.

Funding devoted to interactive digital media (IDM) is increasing as a percentage of total CMF funding. The CMF also plans to better balance between broadcaster-focused and other CMF funding triggers, with plans to renew its Slate Development Pilot Program and introduce additional pilot programs later in the year.

The CMF’s program budget is supported by revenue estimates for the coming year based on ongoing funding contributions from the Government of Canada and contributions from Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors. Tangible benefits, recoupment and repayment revenues from funded productions also support the program budget.