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 2014-2015 and it was fully spent. Fifteen convergent production projects were funded. Aboriginal-language production projects received $1.3M in additional CMF funding from the Performance Envelope, regional and convergent digital media incentive programs.
Aboriginal projects came from Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, , Ontario, and Quebec. Funding support was predominantly in Documentary, at 58.8% for 9 convergent projects. Children’s and Youth funding received a 34.8% share. One Drama movie-of-the-week (MOW) received 6.4% of funding. A total of 14 digital media components received $0.8M in funding out of the Aboriginal program in 2014-2015. Twenty development projects were supported in 2014-2015 with $690K in funding.
In 2014-2015, APTN licensed 13 projects, Nunavut Independent Television Network licensed two, and Knowledge licensed one. A total of 74 television hours were funded. The average television production budget per hour was $173K. Ten out of 15 television projects had production budgets of $900K to $1.1M.
CMF funding provided 52.8% of television production budgets (an increase from 50.9% last year) and 72.0% of digital media budgets in 2014-2015. Broadcasters provided 17.8% of television budgets, another increase from the previous year, helping to boost total budgets. Government sources contributed 26.0% to television financing. Broadcasters contributed 18.0% of digital media component financing.