Racialized producers: Four key takeaways from the IPSOS survey

The CMF, as part of the Allocation for Black-and-Person-of-Colour-Owned Companies, conducted an in-depth survey of funding recipients. Through an online questionnaire, the survey was designed to gather information to better understand the current status of Canadian screen industry companies owned by Black and other racialized individuals. A summary of the information gathered in the survey is available online. The findings in the survey provide an unprecedented snapshot of more than 150 companies owned by Black and other racialized entrepreneurs.

CMF equity and inclusion program lead Diego Briceño will cover four key takeaways on the status of surveyed producers, some more surprising than others. Decryption included.

1. Identity terminology: the more specific, the better!

The survey provided some grassroots insight into the hotly contested and ongoing debate on the right terminology to use when referring to the various under-represented communities.

Preferred Terminology BPOC 2

What is clear from the survey is that the respondents have a preference for specific terms reflecting their heritage rather than generic designations like BIPOC. Younger generations though, tend to be more accepting of general racialized terms.

Diego Briceño explains why it is essential to pay special attention to the terminology we use and why we can describe the preference for terms that reflect the particular ancestry of each individual as "very Canadian" in essence.

2. Just 25% of the funding recipients were under 40

The profile of recipients skews older, with more than 60% in their 40s or older. A full third were over 50.

Age Des Recipiendaires

This raises some important questions: Where were the younger players and why were they conspicuous by their absence? What could be the consequences of not hearing the voices of younger racialized producers and creators? Diego Briceño provides some answers.

3. 64% of recipients were first-generation Canadians

The vast majority of those surveyed were not born in Canada. Only about one-third were. Third-generation racialized Canadians are relatively rare, even in the general population, but the same cannot be said for the second generation, a cohort that was not well represented in the survey.

First Gen Canadians

What’s behind the second-generation discrepancy and what can be done to remedy it? Diego Briceño provides some context.

4. Close to 40% of the recipients earned less than $30,000 a year

Unlike the stereotypical association of big money with the cinema and screen-industry sector, many of the racialized producers surveyed were living under financially precarious conditions to say the least. In fact, they earned less than the average and median Canadian income, a predicament that’s greatly exacerbated for anyone in a major urban centre, where the cost of living is considerably higher.


What are the consequences of this state of affairs for the industry and its creative potential? How can we help these individuals improve their earning power? Diego Briceño weighs in.

Gaëlle Essoo
Gaëlle Essoo works for the Canada Media Fund as the Lead Editor for the Now & Next editorial platform, and as the French market liaison for the organization's Growth & Inclusion team. Prior to joining the CMF, she worked as a producer for international news channel France 24 where she focused on programs dedicated to women’s rights across the world. She also worked as a press counselor for the Embassy of France in Canada.
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