Diverse Languages Program
The Diverse Languages Program is designed to support independent production in languages that reflect the diversity of Canadians by funding projects in languages other than English, French, or Aboriginal languages. This program is part of the Canada Media Fund’s (CMF) 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 according to a selective process using an evaluation grid.
The Diverse Languages Program committed $3.0M to 11 convergent projects in Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Urdu, and Hindi, spending the total amount budgeted for the program. Production activity triggered by this program totaled $8.8M. The increase in budgets from 2016-2017 is due to a second season of a big-budget drama series (the first season was funded in 2015-2016). A total of 40.3% of funding went toward four Spanish-language productions. Three Italian projects received 30.3% of funding, and Mandarin-language projects received 16.8% of funding. A total of 40.4% of funding went to Children’s & Youth projects, while 39.3% went to Documentary and 20.3% went to Drama projects. Nine out of 11 projects were complemented with digital media components receiving a total of $859K or a 29.0% share of total Diverse Languages Program funding, the highest level of the CMF Convergent Stream.
Broadcasters provide 30.6% of financing, which the CMF contributes 41.7% to television projects. The CMF contributed 74.4% of digital media financing and broadcasters paid a 23.6% share, with a small amount coming from producers. The other significant sources of television financing were provincial tax credits and private funds. Diverse Languages Program projects received an additional $1.3M in funding from the Performance Envelope Program.