Consistent with its overarching goal to be an open and responsive organization, the Canada Media Fund (CMF) has adopted a Consultation Policy to guide its approach to consultation of industry stakeholders.
Principles and Objectives of the CMF’s Consultation Policy
The CMF’s Consultation Policy abides by the principle that its consultations with industry stakeholders be meaningful, formal, ongoing and inclusive. The values that the Policy espouses include transparency, co-operation, communication, balance and results.
The objectives of the consultation process are five-fold:
- To gain high-level stakeholder input into CMF planning and program development and design;
- To be informed of emerging stakeholder issues and priorities;
- To make fully informed policy decisions;
- To maintain two-way communication between the CMF and its stakeholders; and
- To allow stakeholders to be part of, and understand, the CMF’s policy making process.
Overview of Accomplishments
A wide range of industry stakeholders attended or participated via the different elements of the consultation process in 2010-2011. The knowledge and input of the participants assisted the CMF in drafting program policies that reflect the needs of the industry. As well, the process enabled the industry to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by the CMF in developing program policies that must take into consideration divergent and competitive needs and interests. Overall, there was a high level of engagement and interest by industry stakeholders.
New Mandate and Guidelines Tour
In April, staff from the CMF and its Program Administrator, Telefilm Canada, conducted a cross-country tour to provide an overview of the new mandate and Guidelines of the CMF. Staff visited every province and held more than 20 sessions, attended by approximately 1,600 stakeholders.
During the Fall, the CMF held consultation sessions to discuss mid-year program results and key policy issues for the upcoming year. Overall, 23 sessions were held in 19 cities, covering every province and territory. In total, more than 550 participants attended.
Working Groups and National Focus Group
The CMF called upon industry Working Groups and a National Focus Group to examine in greater detail the key policy issues discussed in the Fall outreach sessions. The National Focus Group is comprised of representatives from the BDUs, broadcasters, producers, unions and guilds, private funds, provincial funding agencies and other associations from the television and digital media industries, for a total of approximately 40 industry representatives. The eight industry Working Groups were for their part attended by smaller groups of representatives that had a specific interest in the policy issue at hand.
On-line Discussion Forum and Survey
On-line consultation tools were also introduced in the Fall. A discussion forum was created on the CMF website and an online survey was conducted to obtain feedback on 2010-2011 policies and programs.
The Program Guidelines for 2011-2012 were released in December 2010. In February 2011, the major changes to the Guidelines were presented in English and French via webcasts. The webcasts were successful, with close to 400 connections registered (as some of the connections were used by large groups of people, the number of stakeholders reached through the webcast was undoubtedly higher). Stakeholders had the opportunity to ask questions and more than 50 of them were answered “live”, while others were answered subsequently via email.