Official Minority Language Support
A key mandate for the Canada Media Fund (CMF) is to support official languages in minority settings. The CMF achieves this objective through a number of programs.
Funding to English-language production in Quebec has risen to $18.0M, or 8.9% of English-language funding for 2015-2016, a five-year high. 21.2% of this funding support came from the Anglophone Minority Incentive, now in its third year. 73.9% was committed from the Performance Envelope (PE) program and the remainder of funding came from the English POV program and Convergent Digital Media Incentive (CDMI).
Funding to Francophone production outside of Quebec has risen to a five-year high at $12.6M and exceeded the mandated target of 10.0% of overall French funding by over 2 percentage points. The Francophone Minority (FM) Program contributed $10.3M and $2.3M came from the PE program and CDMI. 9 minority language projects received PE or CDMI funds without FM program support.
FRANCOPHONE MINORITY PROGRAM
The Francophone Minority Program (FM) is designed to encourage the creation of projects that reflect the realities experienced by French-language communities living outside the province of Quebec. This program is part of the CMF’s 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. $10.8M was allocated to the FM program for 2015-2016 and it was fully spent.
The FM program supported 151 television hours and 22 convergent projects with 22 digital media components in 2015-2016. Total budgets rose by $7.4M from last year to $34.4M in 2015-2016. All measures show a five-year high for the program. The average television budget per hour was $228K, compared to $218K last year. Documentaries received 36.6% of funding (usually Drama receives the largest share); Drama received 21.6%; Children’s & Youth received 27.5% and Variety & Performing Arts 14.3%. A total of $500K was earmarked out of the FM program to support development of 18 projects.
The CMF, including the FM program, provided 31.7% of television project financing and 70.1% of digital media financing. Broadcasters provided a slightly larger share of financing (34.0%) than CMF for television and 21.0% for digital media projects. TV5 licensed 9 projects and Radio-Canada licensed 7 projects, while TFO licensed 4, and Canal D, RDS, TVA, and APTN licensed 1 each.
ANGLOPHONE MINORITY INCENTIVE
The Anglophone Minority Incentive (AMI) was established in 2013-2014 to create a predictable source of official minority language support for the English market. The program allocation of $4.0M, a $0.5M increase from 2014-2015, was fully subscribed in 2015-2016 and 19 projects were supported. AMI was formulated to supplement PE funding for television projects at a maximum of 10% of the budget or $1.0M, whichever is less. A total of 60.0% went to Drama, 35.0% went to Documentary, 3.6% went to Children’s & Youth projects, and 1.4% went to Variety and Performing Arts.
Broadcasters provide a high level of financing in Anglophone Minority Incentive projects, compared to overall English-language television production. Distributors and foreign financiers provide small, but significant contributions.