Diverse Languages Program
The Diverse Languages Program is designed to support independent production in languages that reflect the diversity of Canadians by funding projects in languages other than English, French, or Aboriginal languages. This program is part of the Canada Media Fund’s (CMF) Convergent Stream; thus, projects funded through this stream must include content to be produced for distribution on at least two platforms, one of which must be television and the other, digital media. Funding from this program is allocated according to a selective process using an evaluation grid.
The Diverse Languages Program committed $2.5M to ten convergent projects in Mandarin, Spanish, Cantonese, and Italian, spending the total amount budgeted for the program. The program has supported 10 projects for the last five years running. Production activity triggered by this program has doubled in size to $10.0M, due to one major drama. CMF’s share of convergent project financing was at 48.8% in 2015-2016. A total of 53.8% of funding went toward five Mandarin-language productions. Three Spanish-language projects received 32.7% of funding. 40.3% of funding went to Drama, while 36.9% went to Documentary and 22.8% went to Children’s and Youth projects. All but one of the projects were complemented with digital media components receiving a total of $846K or a 33.8% share of total Diverse Languages Program funding, the highest level of the CMF Convergent Stream.
Broadcasters and CMF provided similar shares of financing to diverse language television projects at 37.4% and 39.7% respectively. The CMF contributed 68.6% of digital media financing and broadcasters paid a 24.2% share. Diverse Languages Program projects received an additional $2.4M in funding from the Performance Envelope Program. There was more participation from Provincial and Federal tax credits due to an increased number of independent productions funded in 2015-2016.