CMF report sheds lights about Canadian content creatives needs

Industry professionals aspire to extend Canadian content beyond borders, emphasizing global resonance while preserving their distinct identity.

14 SEP 2023

Canada Media Fund

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Canada Media Fund (CMF) released "New Futures for Canadian Content: What You Said", a report by the independent research firm La Société des demains. "Our industry stands at a pivotal juncture. After over 1,000 hours of feedback, the insights gathered in this report prove that Canadian content matters more than ever,” said Valerie Creighton, President & CEO, CMF. “It's heartening to see the collective aspirations and determination of so many individuals eager to elevate Canada’s audiovisual industry to new global heights. We're committed to ensuring that our distinct identity resonates at home and internationally, and this What You Said report is a testament to that commitment."

• Industry professionals aspire to extend Canadian content beyond borders, emphasizing global resonance while preserving their distinct identity, embracing inclusion, and shining our light in all content formats.

• There's a strong desire to move beyond being labeled as 'Hollywood North.' The industry yearns to establish a unique, Canada-based identity that authentically represents our many cultures and communities.

• There was a clear call to amplify and prioritize Indigenous narratives, voices, and perspectives, distinct from Canadian content. Recognizing historical barriers, there's a strong desire to support Indigenous-created content, promote mentorship and employment opportunities, and foster collaborations to ensure a reflection of Canada's rich Indigenous heritage and its contemporary realities.

• A call to maximize fluidity and collaboration. This extends to partnerships across sectors, such as digital creativity and music. The report champions the ideas of tackling fears around systemic changes, accentuating individual and collective voices, and navigating risk with clarity and purpose.

• There's a consensus on the need for innovative funding mechanisms that foster creative risk-taking. Transparent funding processes are essential to benefit the broader creative community.

• Professionals stressed the importance of retaining the value of Canadian creative assets within domestic companies, ensuring the industry doesn't become exclusively a service hub for foreign production.

• Participants voiced concerns about ensuring that francophone content does not get overshadowed in the global market. There's a strong desire to prioritize and amplify these voices, ensuring that content not only caters to francophones within Canada but also reaches global audiences without compromising its cultural essence.

• The evolving role of intellectual property signals a new era for the industry. Adaptability is crucial.

• For the industry to thrive, there must be flexibility in content creation, catering to international markets and niche genres. This might mean updated agreements and fewer restrictions for creators.

• True diversity and authentic representation are more than buzzwords; they are imperative for the future. The industry expressed a deep need for more stories that reflect Canada's rich tapestry of cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

"While ‘Canadian content' may have once embodied a collective vision, our report shows that the term now has difficulty encompassing the intention of public policies, the resulting production support infrastructure, the range of audiovisual products it enables, and the evolution of societal and self-perception intertwined with these narratives,” said Catalina Briceño, lead researcher and author of the report. “By methodically examining Canadian content through these four fundamental dimensions, with invaluable feedback from industry professionals, we hope to foster an ongoing dialogue that will positively influence the future of the industry.”