By providing a number of incentives in its Convergent Stream programs, the Canada Media Fund (CMF) strives to encourage productions from outside Canada’s main production centres of Toronto and Montréal.
In 2010-2011, the share of funding to English-language regional production was just over 30%, a full 7 share points lower than the prior 5-year average, mostly attributable to the cancellation of certain big budget drama series.
By contrast, the share of funding to French-language regional production increased to 18%, exceeding the prior 5-year average by 2 share points. The rise in French regional funding was due to an increase in funds flowing to the regions from the Performance Envelope and Francophone Minority programs, as well as an increase in funds available in the French Regional Production Incentive (Quebec only).
In the English market, production budgets of regional projects are relatively similar to projects from the centres. In the French market, however, budgets of regional projects are markedly lower, amounting to only a 7% share of total production budgets, compared to 23% of the total number of projects.
English Production Incentive Program
The English Production Incentive (EPI) provides additional funding support to producers in areas of Canada where English-language production volumes have declined more than 20% below their five-year historical average. The program provides 10% of project budgets to a maximum of $1 million.
This program is part of the CMF’s Convergent Stream; thus, projects funded through this stream 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 on a first-come, first-served basis within each eligible area.
Based on the declines experienced in these two areas, producers from British Columbia and Quebec were eligible to apply for EPI funding in 2010-2011. The CMF contributed $8.08 million to 35 projects, generating almost $98 million in production volume. The drama genre, with five projects, received a 42% share of funding; the documentary genre, with 26 projects, received a 32% share of funding; and the Children’s and Youth genre, with four projects, received a 26% share of funding. Four projects received the maximum amount—three in the Drama genre and one in the Children’s & Youth genre.
The EPI had a program budget of $10 million. Funds allocated to British Columbia were fully committed, while almost $2 million of the allocation to Quebec was left unspent.
Six projects received funds from the EPI only, with no funds from Performance Envelopes.
Charts present funding results for television components only.