Toronto – Canadian viewers will have better access to Canadian programming on all media platforms following the creation of the Canada Media Fund (CMF), announced today by the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.
The CMF will be created as the Canadian Television Fund and the Canada New Media Fund are combined, reformed and rebranded through a renewed partnership with the industry. Its mandate will be to ensure the production of quality content and to make it available on multiple platforms.
The announcement was made on the set of Flashpoint. A television series that is broadcast on conventional television and is also available online, Flashpoint is one of the many Canadian scripted series that will benefit from this initiative. (editor’s note – this is good news to me – Flashpoint is one of my favourite shows).
Joining the Minister were Ivan Fecan of CTV, Chris Frank of Bell Video Group, Phil Lind of Rogers Communications, Pierre Karl Péladeau of Québécor/Vidéotron, Ken Stein of Shaw Communications, Mark Bishop and Matt Hornburg of marblemedia, and Tim Casgrain of CBC/Radio-Canada.
“The Canada Media Fund will help our producers and broadcasters to do what they do best: create, entertain, and connect with Canadians,” said Minister Moore. “We are confident that the broadcasting and interactive digital media sectors will continue to contribute to Canada’s economic well-being and will benefit Canadians from all regions of the country.”
Four key principles have guided the Government in its decisions:
- get governance and accountability right;
- reward success and require innovation;
- focus the investment on what Canadians want; and
- level the playing field.
“Our Government recognizes the challenges currently facing broadcasters and producers,” said Minister Moore. “The most important thing the Government can do is ensure that the policies in place are not impediments to the changes required in the media industry. That is where this partnership becomes even more important.”
The reformed and integrated fund will be fully implemented and in place by April 1, 2010.
In order to minimize the disruption of the business cycles of both the television and interactive digital media sectors, the CTF and the CNMF will continue to operate under the status quo for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
The funds announced for the broadcasting and new media sectors in the 2009 Budget will be combined and joined through this partnership with the industry. By adding an ongoing allocation of $20.4 million to this funding each year, the Government will contribute a total of $134.7 million annually to support the production of Canadian programming–through the work of Canadian producers–over the next two years.
“This change will help our producers and broadcasters contribute to the Canadian economy while putting Canadians first. We are levelling the playing field at a time when the industry is undergoing structural change,” added Minister Moore. “Through this investment in the broadcasting and interactive digital media sector, we are contributing to the strength of the Canadian economy and supporting job creation.”