The Aboriginal Program is designed to support Aboriginal-language independent production in Canada. This program is part of the Canada Media Fund’s (CMF) Convergent Stream; thus, projects funded through this program 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 budget of the Aboriginal Program for development and production was $7.0M in 2015-2016 and it was fully spent. Twelve convergent production projects were funded. Aboriginal-language production projects received $0.5M in additional CMF funding from the Performance Envelope and regional incentive programs.
Aboriginal projects came from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nunavut, and Quebec. Funding support was predominantly in Children’s and Youth, at 51.3% for 6 convergent projects. Documentary funding received a 34.8% share. One Drama movie-of-the-week (MOW) received 13.9% of funding. All television components had an accompanying digital media component, which received $0.6M in funding out of the Aboriginal program in 2015-2016. 35 development projects were supported in 2015-2016 with $880K in funding.
In 2015-2016, APTN licensed 10 projects, Nunavut Independent Television Network licensed one, CBC co-licensed one and Canal D licensed one. A total of 65 television hours were funded. The average television production budget per hour was $180K. 8 out of 12 television projects had production budgets of at or over $1M.
CMF funding provided 51.4% of television production budgets and 72.2% of digital media budgets in 2015-2016. CMF’s share of financing has been stable the last 3 years. Broadcasters provided 17.3% of television budgets. Government sources contributed 29.3% to television financing. Broadcasters contributed 20.1% of digital media component financing, an increase from last year.