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 $12.7M, or 6.3% of English-language funding for 2014-2015. A total of 26.0% of this funding support came from the Anglophone Minority Incentive, first launched in 2013-2014. Of that, 69.3% was committed from the Performance Envelope (PE) program and the remainder of funding came from the English POV program.
Funding to Francophone production outside of Quebec was stable at $10.6M compared to the previous two years and met the mandated target of 10.0% of overall French funding. The Francophone Minority (FM) Program contributed $9.7M and $0.9M came from the PE program. Four 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. $10.2M was allocated to the FM program for 2014-2015 and it was fully spent.
The FM program supported 116 television hours and 16 convergent projects with 16 digital media components in 2014-2015. Total budgets rose by $2.2M from last year to $27.0M in 2014-2015. The number of projects was halved from last year, showing a steep increase in budgets. The average television budget per hour was $218K, compared to $170K last year. Drama received 41.1% of funding; Documentaries received 24.5% of funding (compared to 0.0% and 62.3% respectively last year); Children’s & Youth received 27.0% and Variety & Performing Arts 7.4%. A total of $545K was earmarked out of the FM program to support development of 24 projects. $545K was committed to 24 Francophone Minority development projects in 2014-2015, a 5-year high.
The CMF, including the FM program, provided 34.6% of television project financing and 71.9% of digital media financing. Broadcasters provided a slightly larger share of financing than CMF for television and 20.4% for digital media projects. TV5 licensed 7 projects and Radio-Canada licensed 5 projects, while TFO licensed 3, and Canal D and RDS 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 $3.5M, a $0.5M increase from 2013-2014, was fully subscribed in 2014-2015 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 42.1% went to Drama, 35.4% went to Documentary, and 22.5% went to Children’s & Youth projects.