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CMF Announces $19 Million “Audiovisual Allocation” of COVID-19 Relief Funding for Film and TV Producers


The Canada Media Fund (CMF), with the support of Telefilm Canada (Telefilm), has announced a further new funding initiative to support the Canadian audiovisual industry, the “Audiovisual Allocation,” as part of Canada’s “Phase 2” COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations (for more information, please see our article from May 11, 2020). As announced on July 7, 2020, $12 million was allocated as funding for audiovisual producers creating Canadian film and television content that did not receive any of the Phase 1 funding support1. This allocation was followed by a top-up in September 2020 of an additional $7 million, bringing the total Audiovisual Allocation to $19 million.

An applicant for the Audiovisual Allocation must meet specified eligibility criteria, which includes, among other things, that the applicant is a for-profit film or television production company, has not received any previous funding under the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations from the Government of Canada, including but not limited to, the $88.8 million CMF allocation and the $27 million Telefilm allocation that were available between May 20, 2020 and June 12, 2020 (for more information, please see our article from May 21, 2020). Additionally, an applicant will not be eligible if they are receiving funding from other Government of Canada COVID-19 response initiatives such as the Emergency Response Benefit or the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to cover the same costs as those applied for through the Audiovisual Allocation.

An applicant must have applied for the Part A Certificate under the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit Program for at least one film or television project no earlier than April 1, 2017 and for which a Part A Certificate has been issued by the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office no later than September 15, 2020.

The CMF will assess whether the applicant can prove a projected negative financial impact of at least 25% of its activities. Upon completion of the applicant’s submission, the CMF will distribute between $5,000 and $100,000 through a formula-based approach taking into account the following factors: (i) the gross production value connected to the applicant’s project; (ii) the total gross production value declared by all eligible applicants; and (iii) the number of other eligible applicants who apply to the Audiovisual Allocation. Further details on eligibility are available here.

Applications open September 21, 2020 and close October 16, 2020.

1 https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/news/2020/07/backgrounder-final-component-of-phase-2-of-the-covid-19-emergency-support-fund-for-culture-heritage-and-sport-organizations.html.

This publication is a general summary of the law. It does not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

For more information, please contact the authors of this article or any member of our Entertainment & Sports Group.