CMF announces new steps to support racialized creators

Toronto, September 22, 2020 – The Canada Media Fund (CMF) today announced two key actions to support creators from Black, Indigenous and people of colour communities, including a top-up in COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds for companies owned by Black people and people of colour. It is also announcing it engaged three new team members to support and connect with these communities.

The Top-Up is part of Phase 1 of the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund designated by the Government of Canada for cultural, heritage and sport organizations and is available to companies that are majority owned by Black people and people of colour that received previous support from the “CMF Allocation” of cultural, heritage and sport emergency relief funds.

“We cannot thrive as an industry when Black, Indigenous, and people of colour communities face discrimination and barriers to access financial resources and support,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF. “We made a clear commitment this spring to act on this. Together, with our funders, the industry and leaders of racialized communities, we will work to create positive influence and dismantle the many ways Canada’s screen-based sector has reinforced systemic racism. The measures we’re announcing today are a further step in that direction.”

Funding top-up to BPOC creators

On July 3, 2020, the CMF announced $13.3M in Emergency Relief Funds for underrepresented groups, including $4M in support for Black people and people of colour in the industry.

The Top-Up directly follows the recommendation that came out of the last Black Industry Leaders Group meeting held by CMF and stakeholder discussions throughout the summer: to provide a top-up amount companies that are owned by Black people and people of colour that received support from Phase 1 of the CMF’s COVID-19 emergency relief. This is just the first of several components to distribute the $4M of support for Black and people of colour in the industry. The other components are planned for release in the months ahead, including funding for applicants who did not receive support in previous COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund phases.

Eligible businesses for the Top-Up must be majority owned and controlled by individuals that are a member of a visible minority group that meet the definition under the Employment Equity Act. Applicants will receive a Top-Up in the amount of $11,000. Click here to access the guidelines. Click here to apply.

Towards better representation

As part of CMF’s commitment to combatting systemic racism in Canada’s screen-based industries, it pledged to review its human resources practices and hire, promote and retain more Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour.

As such, CMF is announcing the hiring of two Leads, Support for under-represented communities. Tamara Dawit is an Ethiopian-Canadian producer and director. She is based in Toronto and will be the Lead for the English market. Diego Briceño is a Colombian-born media maker with over 20 years’ experience as a producer, director, concept developer and editor on social documentaries. He is based in Montréal and will be the Lead for the French market. Both bring to their roles deep experience in the industry, broad networks in Canada and internationally, and track records of developing equity initiatives across multiple communities.

Both will work with CMF executives to lead the CMF’s consultations with under-represented communities and will contribute to the development of the CMF’s anti-racism and inclusion strategy. They will also contribute to the development of COVID-19 emergency support for under-represented communities, and will advise on changes to other CMF programs and policies so they are more equitable and inclusive.

In addition to the hiring of the two Co-leads, Support for under-represented communities, the CMF and Telefilm Canada are pleased to announce that Adam Garnet Jones will act as Lead, Indigenous Initiatives on behalf of both organizations. Adam is Cree/Métis from amiskwaciy-wâskahikan. Having joined Telefilm in 2018, he is a screenwriter, director, bead-worker and novelist with a newly expanded mandate to sustain outreach activities with Indigenous communities and contribute to initiatives intended to increase the representation of Indigenous creators within both CMF’s and Telefilm’s portfolios.

About the Canada Media Fund
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors. Please visit


For more information, contact:

CMFPA Funding Application Office
1 800 567 0890

For press inquiries, contact:

André Ferreira
Senior Communications Manager
Canada Media Fund

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