History

Milestones in Telefilm Canada’s history

1967

The Government of Canada allocates $10 million to the newly created Canadian Film Development Corporation (CFDC) to support the Canadian feature film industry.

1968

The CFDC opens offices in Montreal and Toronto.

1969

Michael Spencer is named first executive director.

1976

The CFDC’s budget increases to $25 million, and the government decides to fund it with an annual parliamentary appropriation.

Canadian cinema classics from the 70s: Act of the Heart (Paul Almond), The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (Ted Kotcheff), Les Bons débarras (Francis Mankiewicz), Goin’ Down the Road (Don Shebib), Réjeanne Padovani (Denys Arcand), La Vie rêvée (Mireille Dansereau) and La Vraie nature de Bernadette (Gilles Carle).

1983

Creation of the Canadian Broadcast Program Development Fund, aimed at revitalizing Canadian television.

1984

The CFDC is renamed Telefilm Canada to better reflect the full range of the Corporation’s activities in film and television. Offices are opened in Vancouver and Halifax.

Memorable feature films from the 80s: Anne Trister (Léa Pool), The Grey Fox (Phillip Borsos), La Guerre des tuques (André Melançon), I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing (Patricia Rozema), Life Classes (William D. MacGillivray), My American Cousin (Sandy Wilson), Sonatine (Micheline Lanctôt), Tales from the Gimli Hospital (Guy Maddin) and Un zoo la nuit (Jean-Claude Lauzon).

Can’t-miss television from the decade: CODCO, Degrassi Junior High, E.N.G., Anne of Green Gables, Lance et compte and À plein temps.

1996

The Canadian government announces the creation of the Canada Television and Cable Production Fund (later renamed the Canadian Television Fund), a private-public partnership between the Government of Canada and the cable and satellite TV industry. Telefilm administers the Fund’s Equity Investment component.

1998

Creation of the five-year, $30-million Multimedia Fund, which aims to support creativity in the digital age and enable the Canadian industry to compete effectively in the arena of new technologies.

Noteworthy films from the 90s: Les Boys (Louis Saia), Black Robe (Bruce Beresford), Double Happiness (Mina Shum), Highway 61 (Bruce McDonald), Lilies/Les Feluettes (John Greyson), Margaret’s Museum (Mort Ransen), Crash (David Cronenberg), The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan), The Red Violin (François Girard) and Une histoire inventée (Marc-André Forcier).

Hit TV from the 90s:The Big Comfy Couch, Dans une galaxie près de chez vous, Due South, Incredible Story Studio, Les Filles de Caleb, Milgaard, North of 60, Omertà, L’Or du temps, La Petite Vie, ReBoot, Stories from the Seventh Fire and Theodore Tugboat.

Pioneering new media from the decade: Mia Mouse, Monster by Mistake and Buddy Brush and the Painted Circus.

2000

Launch of the new Canadian Feature Film Policy, entitled From Script to Screen. The new Canada Feature Film Fund (CFFF), managed by Telefilm, is a key component of this policy. The CFFF begins operations on April 1, 2001, with an annual budget of $100 million. The primary objective is building larger Canadian and international audiences through improved distribution and marketing.

2005

The Minister of Canadian Heritage announces a new collaboration with the Canadian Television Fund (CTF) and renewed funding of $100 million for television. Under the terms of the agreement, the Canadian Television Fund’s Board is responsible for governance of all programs. Telefilm Canada is responsible for the administration and the delivery of CTF programs.

2007

Launch of the Theatrical Documentary Program, a partnership between Telefilm and the Rogers Group of Funds. To date, the Program has funded 38 projects, including Sophie Deraspe’s The Amina Profile, Yung Chang’s China Heavyweight, Brigitte Berman’s Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel, Rama Rau’s League of Exotique Dancers and Isabelle Lavigne’s and Stéphane Thibault’s La nuit, elles dansent.

2009

The Canadian Television Fund becomes the Canada Media Fund (CMF), which aims to support the production of successful convergent content (television and digital media), accessible on a variety of platforms. Telefilm continues to administer the CMF’s funding programs, under the governance of the CMF. Fiscal year 2015-2106 marks the 10thanniversary of this fruitful agreement for the industry.

Canadian movies enter the new millennium: Les Invasions barbares (Denys Arcand), 3 Needles (Thom Fitzgerald), Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (Zacharias Kunuk), Away from Her (Sarah Polley), Bon Cop, Bad Cop (Érik Canuel), Cairo Time (Rubba Nada), C.R.A.Z.Y (Jean-Marc Vallée), La Grande Séduction (Jean-François Pouliot), Les Triplettes de Belleville (Sylvain Chomet) and Water (Deepa Mehta).

TV faves in the 00s: Annie et ses hommes, Da Vinci’s Inquest, Cold Squad, Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion, Ramdam, Traders, Trailer Park Boys and Un gars, une fille.

Innovative digital media from the decade: Anarchive Michael Snow, Arctic Mission: The Cyberdocumentary, Mango Plumo, Corner Gas/Comic Genius, Instant Star, Fait à Montréal, Degrassi.tv, This Is Daniel Cook and Regenesis Extended Reality.

2011

Launch of the Success Index, a tool to comprehensively measure success based on the performance of films in Telefilm’s portfolio. Includes three sub-indices: commercial (domestic and international sales), cultural (key festival selections and awards) and industrial (ratio of private versus public funding). The initiative is a first in the international audiovisual industry.

2012

Launch of the Micro-Budget Production Program, which funds debut projects from emerging filmmakers and emphasizes the use of digital platforms as a distribution and audience engagement tool. The Program has supported successes such as Christian Sparkes’ Cast No Shadow, Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s Le Dep by, Julie Lambert’s Un film de chasse de filles and Connor Gaston’s The Devout. The Program receives more than 75% of its funding from the Talent Fund.

2013

Launch of the Talent Fund, a private donation fund supported by companies, such as Bell Media and Corus Entertainment, and individual philanthropists. The Fund supports emerging filmmakers and international promotion. To date, the Talent Fund has raised more than $15 million.

2016

Telefilm’s 40thanniversary of coproduction administration. As administrator, Telefilm makes recommendations to the Minister of Canadian Heritage regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions. Canada has 55 coproduction treaties with partners around the world.

Telefilm officially announces its goal to build, by 2020, a representative and diversified feature film production portfolio that better reflects gender parity, cultural diversity and Canada’s Indigenous communities.

Acclaimed films released, including a number of coproductions, since 2010: Barney’s Version (Richard J. Lewis), Brooklyn (John Crowley), Closet Monster (Stephen Dunn), Corner Gas: The Movie (David Storey), Gabrielle (Louise Archambault), The Grand Seduction (Don McKellar), Incendies (Denis Villeneuve), In Darkness (Agnieszka Holland), Mommy (Xavier Dolan), Monsieur Lazhar (Philippe Falardeau), Nuit no 1 (Anne Émond), Room (Lenny Abrahamson), Sarah préfère la course (Chloé Robichaud), Rebelle (Kim Nguyen), Turbo Kid (François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell) and Starbuck (Ken Scott).

Chairpersons of the Board

Georges-Émile Lapalme
February 1968 to November 1969

Gratien Gélinas
November 1969 to February 1978

Michel Vennat
March 1978 to May 1981

David Silcox
September 1981 to December 1982

Claude Morin
Vice-Chair; chaired Board meetings
January to March 1983

Ed Prévost
April 1983 to June 1986

Jean Sirois
July 1987 to April 1988

Edmund C. Bovey
May 1988 to April 1990
Harvey Corn
Acting Chair
April to June 1990
Chair
July 1990 to June 1993

André Provost
Acting Chair
June to July 1993

Robert Dinan
July 1993 to July 1998

Laurier L. LaPierre, O.C.
July 1998 to July 2001

François Macerola
July 2001 to February 2002

Charles Bélanger
Chair
February 2002 to February 2007

Felix (Fil) Fraser
Interim Chair
February to October 2007

Michel Roy
October 2007

Executive Directors

Michael Spencer
Acting Secretary
April 1968 to February 1969
Executive Director
March 1969 to April 1978

Michael McCabe
May 1978 to April 1980

Pierre Thibault
Acting Executive Director
April to July 1980

André Lamy
August 1980 to June 1985

Peter Pearson
July 1985 to October 1987

Judith McCann
Acting Executive Director
October to December 1987

Michèle Fortin
Acting Executive Director
December 1987 to May 1988

Pierre DesRoches
June 1988 to June 1994

Peter Katadotis
Acting Executive Director
June 1994 to March 1995

François Macerola
March 1995 to November 1998

Peter Katadotis
Acting Executive Director
November to December 1998

François Macerola
Executive Director
January 1999 to July 2001

Johanne St-Arnauld
Acting Executive Director
July 2001 to January 2002

Richard Stursberg
Executive Director
January 2002 to July 2004

Carolle Brabant
Acting Executive Director
July 2004 to January 2005

Wayne Clarkson
Executive Director
January 2005 to January 2010

Carolle Brabant
Executive Director
March 2010