Statement by Telefilm Canada regarding program and administrative impacts stemming from the Federal Budget 2012

Montreal, April 11, 2012 – In its March 29th budget, the Government announced that Telefilm Canada would be required to achieve a total cost savings of $10.6 million, which represents a 10% reduction in both its administrative and program budgets, over a three-year period.

For Year 1, this entails cost savings of $2.7 million – savings which apply to both our program and administrative expenses.

Two important criteria guided our final cost savings decisions:

  • The need to focus on our core activities; and
  • The necessity to use a balanced approach in terms of where reductions will be made so that we can maintain our capacity to deliver on our 2011-2012 – 2014-2015 corporate plan.

Program and administrative impacts

The breakdown of cost savings for Year 1 is as follows:

  • Programs: $1.7 million
  • Administration: $1 million

Programs

  • Development financing: a total reduction of $700,000.
    • $150,000 will be achieved from the recent non-renewal of the Fonds Francophone d’Aide au Développement Cinématographique partnership). The Fonds was a two-year pilot project to pool funds with other francophone countries, in order to support the co-development of French-language feature-film screenplays.
    • $550,000 will be achieved from reductions in development financing available to clients.
  • Promotion & Training: a total reduction of $500,000 for the support of training initiatives and events.

An announcement regarding our redesigned Event Support/Promotion programs will be made shortly.

  • Production financing: a reduction of $500,000 from a total budget of $1 million for the financing of theatrical documentaries.
    • Telefilm is currently in promising discussions with potential partners to make up the difference in funding for the Theatrical Documentary Program.
    • We also recently announced the creation of a new private donation fund to support the production, distribution and promotion of Canadian features.

Any changes will be implemented taking into account clients’ production cycles. In addition, we will propose other funding sources whenever possible and develop transition plans in collaboration with our clients. 

Administration

  • Administrative cost savings will be achieved, in part, through the total reduction of 30 full-time positions. In Year 1, a total of 16 FTEs (full-time equivalents) were identified.
  • Other administrative savings were achieved in the following way:
    • 30% reduction in professional services;
    • 14% reduction in travel expenses; and
    • 20% reduction in other administrative expenses. 

Program Redesign initiative

A portion of these savings have been achieved by Telefilm’s ongoing Program Redesign initiative.

In 2011, Telefilm started work on a major redesign of its programs to address one of the main objectives of its corporate plan: organizational excellence. This initiative is distinct from the Government’s Review of Spending.

Under this redesign, we are putting in place a simpler and more flexible approach focused on client needs. We are automating processes and, as much as possible, reorganizing client requests. We are also regrouping the number of programs, simplifying guidelines and clarifying eligibility criteria. As we announced recently, Telefilm introduced these changes first to its development programs.

The changes made to the programs are based on results of a major consultation process conducted both internally and externally. The consultations allowed us to conclude that Telefilm and the industry’s stakeholders agree on what needs to be done to ensure the long-term viability of Canada’s audiovisual industry.

Over the next few months, this same thorough and inclusive process will be followed in order to redesign programs related to production and marketing making them more efficient and client-focused. At the same time, this will allow Telefilm to finalize proposals which will be required to achieve cost savings targets for Year 2.

As always, Telefilm remains committed to working closely with its clients and to maintaining an ongoing dialogue with industry partners.