CMF to Receive $29.5 Million to Support Underrepresented Voices


The Canadian federal government’s newly unveiled budget proposal outlines an additional C$40 million ($29.5 million) to the Department of Canadian Heritage for the Canada Media Fund (CMF) to make funding more open to traditionally underrepresented voices and to increase funding for French-language screen content.

“I am pleased to see the federal government’s ongoing support for Canada’s audiovisual sector,” said Valerie Creighton, president and CEO of the CMF. “We believe that this new investment is a first step toward the government’s commitment to double its annual contribution to the CMF, which will bolster the domestic content production sector in both linear and immersive media production and contribute to Canada’s economic recovery.”

The Canada Media Fund is a non-profit organization that supports artists, storytellers and producers in bringing Canadian content to audiences at home and around the world. However, in recent years, changing viewing habits have resulted in declining revenues for the CMF, making it harder for them to support homegrown talent.

The proposed funding would be dispersed over two years, starting in 2023-24. It is meant to ensure support for the production of Canadian content while the government continues to review and modernize its support for the Canadian screen sector.

The initiative would contribute to featuring more content from Francophone and “equity-deserving” communities. It would also provide employment and training opportunities for creators and others from these communities.

Canada’s screen sector is primarily concentrated in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. However, these investments would generate economic activity in multiple communities across Canada. People employed in the sector tend to have slightly below-average incomes, the impact assessment stated. The proportion of women in projects supported in production is more than 50 percent for directors, writers and producers.

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA)’s president and CEO, Reynolds Mastin, commented: “We applaud the federal government’s announcement of an increase to the Canada Media Fund to make funding more open to traditionally underrepresented voices in Canada’s screen industry.

“We strongly support the CMF’s efforts to advance equity, diversity and inclusion within the audiovisual sector. Access to these additional funds will provide incredible new opportunities for creators, from coast to coast to coast, to create high-quality content and bring their stories to life on screen.”