Departmental Performance Report 2014-2015

ISSN 2368-304X

Minister’s Message

Commissioner’s Message

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Organizational Context

Actual Expenditures

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Departmental Spending Trend

Expenditures by Vote

Section II: Analysis of Program(s) by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome: Canadian stories and perspectives are reflected in audiovisual media and accessible to Canadians and the world

Program 1.1: Audiovisual Production

Program 1.2: Accessibility and Audience Engagement

Sub-Program 1.2.1: Conservation and Preservation

Sub-Program 1.2.2: Consumer Access and Engagement

Sub-Program 1.2.3: Educational and Institutional Access and Engagement

Sub-Program 1.2.4: National and International Industry Outreach

Internal Services

Section III: Supplementary Information

Financial Statements Highlights

Financial Statements

Supplementary Information Tables

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations

Section IV: Organizational Contact Information

Appendix: Definitions

Endnotes

 

Minister’s Message

Mélanie JolyEvery Canadian Heritage Portfolio organization, including the National Film Board (NFB), enriches the lives of Canadians in its own way. Together, they contribute to the vitality and diversity of our cultural scene, as well as to the protection and promotion of our historical, artistic and documentary heritage. They also encourage innovation that allows Canada to be a true leader as we make the digital shift, all the while upholding our linguistic duality. We have every reason to celebrate the contribution of these institutions that make our country a great place to live.

As a public producer and distributor of audiovisual works, the NFB has, over the years, contributed to defining the Canadian identity, building our culture, and telling our stories through films about the important people, places and events in our history. This past year, the NFB celebrated its 75th anniversary, which coincided with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Norman McLaren, a legend of cinema and animation at the NFB. What the Board thus celebrated was 75 years of innovation, creativity and leadership in social documentaries, auteur animation, and more recently, bold experiments in interactive production. As well, the NFB continues to fulfill its responsibility to reflect the linguistic and cultural diversity of this country and to ensure that its works are accessible to all the communities that make up our society.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage, I am pleased to present the 2014–15 Departmental Performance Report for the National Film Board. I invite you to read through it to better acquaint yourself with the NFB’s achievements and the work it has done to make the cultural, social and economic life of our communities ever more dynamic.

The Honourable Mélanie Joly

 

Commissioner’s Message

Claude JolicoeurFiscal year 2014–2015 was the beginning of my five-year mandate as head of the National Film Board of Canada. It was a year of envisioning the future and positioning the NFB as a leader in the global media landscape, by means of strategic choices that will move the entire institution toward this common objective.

It was with this in mind that I led a process of reflection to determine corporate actions and priorities, with input from NFB employees and audiovisual industry experts. The resulting action plan has enabled the management team to engage in ongoing dialogue with staff in a spirit of openness and collaboration.

The plan first of all calls for maintaining and furthering the NFB’s global leadership by exploiting its potential for creativity and innovation in all its various activities. The NFB has therefore established the new position of Director General, Creation and Innovation, whose incumbent will be responsible for developing a long-term programming vision to ensure the NFB remains a key player in the audiovisual industry in Canada and around the world.

We have also made a commitment to put audiences at the centre of our work and to continue developing our digital platforms. From its earliest days, the NFB has enjoyed a rich and enduring relationship with its audiences, but now needs to increase its efforts to boost its presence in the different communities, in the creative sectors and with the general public. This is essential if the NFB is to represent all Canadians and reflect every region of the country. Structural changes were also made within the organization, enabling us not only to better meet the challenges stemming from the action plan but also to create a fluid, dynamic structure that enhances our collective ability to work and create differently. As one example, the Management Committee was reduced from eight members to five in order to foster better synergy among the different teams.

It is in this spirit that we undertook an in-depth examination of the governance of the NFB Board of Trustees at the beginning of the year. The main goal was to achieve a better balance of powers and to beef up the Board’s oversight and advisory roles. In parallel, the Management Committee has begun a review of its own governance to enable the Commissioner and Management Committee to concentrate more efficiently on strategic issues.

During the 2014–2015 fiscal year, 61 original films were completed by NFB directors, animators and producers. These established or emerging artists and artisans from Canada’s various regions and cultural and linguistic communities created outstanding works. The NFB’s leadership in digital media and filmmaking innovation was also furthered by ten websites, five installations and three mobile apps. NFB productions won acclaim at home and abroad this year, garnering 96 awards and screening at the most important domestic and international festivals. The NFB also received its 73rd Oscar nomination, for Torill Kove’s animated short Me and My Moulton (Mikrofilm AS/NFB).

The online Screening Room, NFB.ca, was also revamped to make it the Canadian destination for discovering the best in auteur films and documentary. Two video-on-demand (VOD) channels were added: the world’s best independent fiction features and documentaries shown by Cinéma Excentris, and notable independent Canadian films curated by the First Weekend Club as part of the new Canada Screens project. NFB.ca has been enormously successful since its launch in 2009 and currently offers over 3,000 films for free streaming online. NFB productions have totalled over 68 million views on our online Screening Room, on our apps for smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, and on the platforms of our international partners.

The year’s highlight was the confirmation that the NFB’s head office will be moving to the Quartier des spectacles in downtown Montreal. This is much more than an office move; it will place the NFB at the heart of the city’s cultural life, a location that will foster connection with the public, the industry and creators in Montreal, across Canada and around the world. The new premises reflect our desire to establish an international centre of innovation and excellence in original audiovisual forms.

The year also featured various festivities marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the National Film Board. During this anniversary year, the NFB organized activities and encounters with Canadians across the country, enabling them to live or relive enriching experiences through key works reflecting our past and present. Canada Post also honoured the NFB by issuing a set of five commemorative stamps featuring five of the institution’s best-loved films. A total of 2.5 million copies of these stamps celebrating the NFB’s heritage and creativity were sold.

During its 75 years of existence, the NFB has played a major role by highlighting key moments in the life of Canada and Canadians. 2014 was the centenary of the birth of Norman McLaren, founder of the NFB animation studio. The remarkable legacy of this animation pioneer was explored in various ways in events organized in Canada, France and McLaren’s native Scotland by the NFB and/or its partners. It was also a commemoration year for the First World War and the Normandy landing, which were marked by numerous events and screenings. These commemorations are important milestones in Canadian history, leading up to the 150th anniversary of Canada, in 2017.

In conclusion, the decisions taken at the NFB during this past year will ensure financial stability over the next five years and enable us to devote our resources primarily to creating works and making them accessible to Canadians. With our industry undergoing a profound transformation, our success depends on our ability to adapt and evolve. The NFB is and will remain a space for innovation, adaptation and metamorphosis: a space for creation.

Claude Joli-Coeur
Government Film Commissioner and Chair of the National Film Board of Canada

 

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

 

Organizational Profile

Appropriate Minister: The Honourable Mélanie Joly, P.C., M.P.

Institutional Head: Claude Joli-Cœur, Government Film Commissioner

Ministerial Portfolio: Department of Canadian Heritage

Enabling Instrument(s): National Film Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. N-8

Year of Incorporation / Commencement: 1939

Other: The NFB Board of Trustees is currently composed of seven members: the Government Film Commissioner, who acts as the Board’s chairperson, the Executive Director of Telefilm Canada and five other members appointed by the Governor in Council. With the exception of the Commissioner and Executive Director of Telefilm Canada, Board members serve three-year terms. The Board’s primary role is to define the NFB’s broad directions and approve its budgets and strategic plans.

 

Organizational Context

Raison d’être

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) was created by an Act of Parliament in 1939 and is a federal agency within the Canadian Heritage portfolio. The NFB’s mandate is to produce and distribute original and innovative audiovisual works that add to our understanding of the issues facing Canadians and raise awareness of Canadian values and viewpoints across the country and around the world. Over the decades, it has become the standard for audiovisual innovation in Canada and plays an important role by highlighting the changes and key events in Canadian society.

As a producer and distributor of audiovisual works, the NFB provides a unique perspective on Canada’s cultural wealth and diversity. The NFB explores contemporary social issues through point-of-view documentaries, auteur animation and new-media content. Over the years, the NFB has played an important role in marking the major changes and events taking place in Canadian society.

 

Responsibilities

As Canada’s public producer and distributor of audiovisual works, the NFB documents the history and culture of the nation for both domestic and international audiences. Over the past 75 years, the NFB has produced more than 13,000 works and received more than 5,000 awards, inspiring and influencing generations of filmmakers in Canada and across the globe. Its audiovisual works offer special insight into the diversity and vitality of our culture and are an essential part of our national heritage.

The NFB is governed by the National Film Act and a series of other statutes, including the Financial Administration Act (which sets out the government’s financial administration structure and process), the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Official Languages Act and the Canadian Multiculturalism Act.

As a producer, the NFB carries out its responsibilities by constantly investing in new creative fields in documentary, auteur animation and interactive media. It seizes the artistic and technological opportunities that arise in the media landscape and collaborates with emerging and established filmmakers, creators and co-producers in every region of Canada, with Aboriginal and culturally diverse communities as well as partners around the world. Creativity and social relevance are the core features of its productions.

The NFB fulfills its role as a distributor by making sure that both Canadian and international audiences have access to its Canadian content and are able to interact with it on a variety of traditional and virtual distribution networks. This task is carried out through the following activities:

  • conserving and preserving its heritage film collection;
  • distributing and marketing its works in consumer markets;
  • distributing and promoting its works in Canadian and international educational markets and institutional markets;
  • promoting its works to the national and international audiovisual industry.

The NFB’s new productions and extensive film collection—the collective memory of the nation—are accessible to all Canadians, in every province and territory.

 

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture

1. Strategic Outcome: Canadian stories and perspectives are reflected in audiovisual media and accessible to Canadians and the world.
1.1 Program: Audiovisual Production
1.2 Program: Accessibility and Audience Engagement
1.2.1 Sub-Program: Conservation and Preservation
1.2.2 Sub-Program: Consumer Access and Engagement
1.2.3 Sub-Program: Educational and Institutional Access and Engagement
1.2.4 Sub-Program: National and International Industry Outreach

Internal Services

 

Organizational Priorities
Priority Type1 Strategic Outcome and Programs

Creative laboratory for programming

Ongoing

1. Strategic Outcome
Program 1.1: Audiovisual Production

Summary of Progress

  • In 2014‒2015, the NFB completed 61 original productions and co-productions and three apps for tablets. The organization also launched 10 interactive websites and five installations that include 29 films in all.
  • During the year, the NFB received 96 awards: 49 Canadian and 47 international. Among the awards won, 29% are considered prestigious honours.
  • 25% of the works completed during the year were created by emerging filmmakers.
  • 45% of the completed works were created by filmmakers from diverse ethnocultural, regional, linguistic or Aboriginal communities.
  • Filmmakers in official-language minority communities (anglophones in Quebec and francophones elsewhere in Canada) created 19 original productions and four films for the Web.
  • During the year, the NFB marked a number of major events with works created for the occasion: four films and four interactive works for the McLaren Wall-to-Wall event; the animated short 54 Hours to mark the centennial of the SS Newfoundland disaster; and the launch of the Making Movie History: A Portrait in 61 Parts site for the NFB’s 75th anniversary.

 

Priority Type Strategic Outcome and Programs

Creative laboratory for technology

Ongoing

1. Strategic Outcome
Program 1.1: Audiovisual Production
Program 1.2: Accessibility and Audience Engagement

Summary of Progress

  • The digitization plan was accelerated last year. As of March 31, 2015, 4,750 titles in the NFB’s active collection have been digitized, representing 63% of the collection, and 6,195 titles, or 79% of the collection, now have mezzanine files.
  • The first phase in implementing the MAM (multimedia asset management system) was completed in 2014‒2015 and resulted in more efficient management of the NFB’s digital assets.
  • The final phase of the plan to relocate backup copies of digitized works has been postponed until the NFB has the critical minimum of works needed to justify making a transfer.

 

Priority Type Strategic Outcome and Programs

Build, reach and engage audiences

Ongoing

1. Strategic Outcome
Program 1.2: Accessibility and Audience Engagement

Summary of Progress

  • In 2014‒2015, 45.2 million views were recorded for NFB productions on a variety of platforms in Canada and internationally.
  • A new version of NFB.ca | ONF.ca was put online in early April 2015. The new version’s features include a more extensive offer of films because of the partnership with Excentris and the First Weekend Club, an improved search function, and enhanced appearance and navigation.
  • 335 films in both official languages were added to the NFB.ca | ONF.ca online Screening Room last year, many of which enrich the thematic channels and playlists that explore a broad range of issues and historic events.
  • The CAMPUS educational platform’s features were improved to enable teachers and students to share their playlists and film excerpts.
  • Numerous educational works were acquired in order to provide a wide variety of pedagogical tools on many topics in a single location. The learning module selection was also expanded during the year.
  • A US version of CAMPUS was launched in September 2014 and the NFB has taken steps to find one or more partners for its entry into the US market.
  • NFB productions were selected on 442 occasions in conjunction with Canadian and international festivals.
  • Numerous activities throughout the year, both at home and abroad, marked the NFB’s 75th anniversary. In addition, the NFB collaborated on a number of events in Canada and at 41 locations in the UK to commemorate the centenary of the birth of animation filmmaker Norman McLaren.

 

Priority Type Strategic Outcome and Programs

Organization Excellence (processes, collaboration and communication)

Ongoing

1. Strategic Outcome
Program 1.1: Audiovisual Production
Program 1.2: Accessibility and Audience Engagement
Internal Services

  • On September 25, 2014, the federal government announced the relocation of NFB headquarters to downtown Montreal.
  • The NFB implemented the MAM under the Information Management Plan.
  • The NFB underwent a MAF assessment in 2014‒2015. Shortcomings were identified with respect to information management. Following receipt of the MAF results, the NFB implemented new procedures to better comply with the Directive on recordkeeping.
  • In 2014‒2015, the NFB continued to invest in honing the skills of its managers and provided a number of leadership training sessions, on the topics of engaging communication, optimal performance, drafting SMART objectives and positive change management.
  • Focus groups were held with studio employees across the country in conjunction with the continuation of the internal communication plan’s implementation.
  • The NFB developed an organizational code based on the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and provided 19 training workshops to NFB employees.

 

Risk Analysis

Key Risks
Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture
1.   Significant reduction in the NFB’s revenues Ongoing implementation of the NFB’s Business Plan: in addition to this mitigation strategy planned for 2014‒15 were added a budgetary review and a redesign of the NFB brand strategy. Accessibility and Audience
Engagement
2.   Controversy stemming from production projects or relationships with our partners Project and partnership risk-analysis process redesign. Audiovisual Production
Accessibility and Audience Engagement
3.   The NFB is not relocated Implementation of the relocation project (incl. Headquarters relocation project financing plan). Audiovisual Production
Accessibility and Audience Engagement

 

Significant reduction in the NFB’s revenues

The external risks that the NFB faced in 2014‒2015 are ongoing and stem from its business environment. The audiovisual industry continues to experience major transformations and the NFB is obliged to adapt to this context and evolve with it. The institution must therefore continuously implement measures to mitigate the significant reduction of its distribution revenues and annual budget. In the spring of 2015, NFB senior management completed a rigorous budgetary exercise. Internal savings were announced to respond to this risk and stabilize the financial situation.

The NFB also focuses on business development and new funding alternatives in order to address the risk of decline in revenues. At the same time, an in-depth study of the NFB brand strategy became essential to maximize the NFB’s visibility, and a brand study was initiated this year. This mitigation measure is aimed at strengthening the brand and fostering better recognition of the NFB in various markets.

Controversy stemming from production projects or relationships with our partners

As noted in the 2014‒2015 RPP, the NFB manages risks of controversy on an ongoing basis with respect to editorial choice, the sensitive nature of the topics covered in its productions and its relationships with its partners. For instance, it does so through an analysis of the risks of film projects, which can begin as soon as a project is approved. This risk analysis process remained in effect throughout the year and was even made more stringent.

Confirmation of the future location of the NFB Headquarters

On September 25, 2014, the government announced the relocation of NFB headquarters to a brand-new building in downtown Montreal. The head office’s move to the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles is slated for 2017. It is a historic opportunity for the NFB to further connect with the general public, its partners and its various clienteles. Implementing the relocation project therefore helped mitigate risk factors such as a lack of funding or difficulty finding partners.

 

Actual Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Total Authorities Available for Use
2014-15
Actual Spending (authorities used)
Difference
(actual minus planned)
59,912,241 59,912,241 64,385,242 62,139,004 2,226,763

 

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
384 390 6

 

Budgetary Performance Summary for Strategic Outcome and Program (dollars)
Strategic Outcome(s), Program(s) and Internal Services 2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Planned Spending
2015-16
Planned Spending
2016-17
Planned Spending
2014-15
Total Authorities Available for Use
2014-15
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2013-14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2012-13
Actual Spending (authorities used)
Strategic Outcome: 1. Canadian stories and perspectives are reflected in audiovisual media and accessible to Canadians and the world.
1.1 Audiovisual Production 37,939,001 37,939,001 38,068,603 38,068,603 38,202,722 36,188,094 40,451,187 41,309,421
1.2 Accessibility and Audience Engagement 13,696,531 13,696,531 13,742,245 13,742,245 16,658,947 17,493,394 18,949,388 19,209,203
Subtotal 51,635,532 51,635,532 51,810,848 51,810,848 54,861,669 53,681,488 59,400,575 60,518,624
Internal Services Subtotal 7,876,709 7,876,709 7,841,529 7,791,129 9,523,573 8,457,516 7,186,528 7,644,722
HQ’s Relocation 400,000 400,000 2,000,000
Total 59,912,241 59,912,241 59,652,377 61,601,977 64,385,242 62,139,0042 66,587,103 68,163,346

 

The $59.9 million in planned spending for 2014‒2015 includes an initial segment of the loan for relocating the Montreal head office totalling $400,000. Total authorities of $64.4 million include the carry forward of 2.7 million from 2013‒2014, funding for severance pay and parental leave, as well as the transition payment for implementing salary payment in arrears. Actual spending amounts to $62.1 million, allowing a carry forward of $2.2 million.

Audiovisual production expenses are less than anticipated due to the production cycle of works, which is non-linear and takes place over several years. On the other hand, efforts required for strategic projects made it necessary to allocate a greater amount of technical resources to digital distribution.

The expenditure increase of the Accessibility and Audience Engagement Program is largely due to investments for the digital distribution platform’s transition to e-commerce. A new catalogue of documentaries available to Canadian consumers for digital rental will be launched in 2015‒2016. Educational market teams are continuing to develop the CAMPUS offer in order to increase its presence in the US educational market. Additionally, the technical teams are working to install the new media management system that will lead to better use of the NFB’s collection.

The increase in internal services is due to the space reduction initiative of the Halifax offices and headquarters in Montreal to generate savings.

 

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2014−15 Actual Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework (dollars)
Strategic Outcome Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2014−15
Actual Spending
1. Canadian stories and perspectives are reflected in audiovisual media and accessible to Canadians and the world. 1.1 Audiovisual Production Social Affairs A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage 36,188,094
1.2 Accessibility and Audience Engagement Social Affairs A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage 17,493,394

 

Total Spending by Spending Area (dollars)
Spending Area Total Planned Spending Total Actual Spending
Economic Affairs
Social Affairs 51,635,532 53,681,488
International Affairs
Government Affairs

 

Departmental Spending Trend

Spending trends

[D]

Since 2012‒2013, the NFB has been reducing its spending as a result of its participation in the Deficit Reduction Action Plan. Starting in 2014‒2015, spending reflects the permanent 10% reduction for a total of $6.7 million.

From 2014‒2015 to 2016‒2017, funds have been allocated to the NFB for the temporary financing of its headquarters relocation project. The $400,000 in funds received in 2014‒2015 is carried forward to 2015‒2016. The project passed all stages of approval and implementation work began in spring 2015.

 

Expenditures by Vote

For information on the National Film Board’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2015 on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.

 

Section II: Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

 

Strategic Outcome: Canadian stories and perspectives are reflected in audiovisual media and accessible to Canadians and the world.

Performance Measurement
Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results

Percentage of Canadian population who indicate that NFB productions reflect Canadian stories or perspectives

75% by March 31, 2015

83%3

Canadian stories and perspectives: percentage of completed productions exploring Canadian diversity

75% by March 31, 2015

65%

Canadian stories and perspectives: percentage of completed productions exploring socially relevant issues

75% by March 31, 2015

77%

Number of titles available on NFB.ca/ONF.ca

2,500 by March 31, 2015

2,994 titles

 

Program 1.1: Audiovisual Production

Description

This program activity contributes to Canadians’ understanding of the issues facing our country and raises awareness of Canadian viewpoints around the world.

As a public sector producer, the NFB produces original audiovisual works that reflect diverse Canadian perspectives, including cultural, regional and Aboriginal, and emanate from the diverse creators and communities that make up the country. This program activity operates where the private sector doesn’t, allowing creators to explore artistic and technological advances in form and content. It also ensures the identification, development and nurturing of talent and creative skills within filmmaking and other creative communities.

NFB programming is necessary to ensure that Canadians have access to diverse voices and content in both official languages. It promotes Canadian culture and values in events of national historic and cultural significance. As Canadians’ media consumption migrates online, the NFB provides leadership in the creation of innovative digital content in both official languages. Production activities include the conceptualization, research, development and production of documentaries, animation, new media content and other emerging forms.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Total Authorities Available for Use
2014-15
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
37,939,001 37,939,001 38,202,722 36,188,094 -1,750,9074

 

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
233 194 -395

 

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results

The NFB’s audiovisual works are innovative

Percentage of Canadian public that perceives the NFB as an innovative, creative institution

65% innovative
75% creative
by March 31, 2015

70% innovative6
81% creative

Percentage of prestige awards and tributes among total number of awards earned at Canadian and international festivals (i.e., innovation-related awards, creative excellence awards, tributes, Canada Award for Diversity)

20% by March 31, 2015

29%

Emerging and established Canadian creators at the NFB reflect Canada’s diversity

Percentage of completed audiovisual works by emerging filmmakers7

30% by March 31, 2015

25%

Numbers of emerging filmmakers working on a film at the NFB or participating in NFB-organized talent-nurturing initiatives, including competitions

120 by March 31, 2015

175

Percentage of completed audio-visual works by culturally, regionally and linguistically diverse filmmakers, Aboriginal filmmakers and people with disabilities

55% by March 31, 2015

45%8

Events of historic and cultural significance promoting Canadian culture and values include NFB participation

Number of productions for major national and international projects

13 by March 31, 2015

16

 

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Over the past year, two Acting Directors General—of the French Program and of the English Program—oversaw the implementation of the NFB’s Strategic Plan, initiated a process of reflection, and determined the broad outline of a programming strategy for documentaries, animation and interactive productions.

The position of Executive Director, English Program, was confirmed following announcements made on March 12, 2015. The new position of Director General, Creation and Innovation, was also created, with a mandate to reposition the current structure of the French and English Programs. The position will be filled in 2015‒2016. The future Executive Director of the French Program will also be appointed during that time. The objective of these new changes is not only to position the NFB as a key player in the international arena, but also to foster synergy between the two programs.

Programming

In 2014‒2015, the NFB completed 61 original productions and co-productions comprising 37 documentaries, 17 animated films, 2 experimental films and 5 fiction works. The NFB also created 44 supporting films for 10 original Web productions and 5 installations, in addition to producing 3 apps for tablets.

Awards and tributes

In 2014‒2015, the NFB received 96 awards and tributes at a variety of Canadian and international festivals. Twenty-nine percent of these honours are considered to be prestigious.

NFB artists are recognized in Canada and around the world for their pioneering work. It bears noting that the animated short Me and My Moulton by Torill Kove received an Oscar nomination in the Best Short Film (Animated) category, giving the NFB its 73rd nomination since its founding.

The documentary Jutra, a portrait of filmmaker Claude Jutra by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre, who brilliantly assembled archival footage and animated sequences, was selected to screen in the Directors’ Fortnight program at the Cannes Film Festival.

High-profile projects

A particularly noteworthy year for high-profile projects, 2014‒2015 saw the launch of several major documentary works dealing with extremely varied topics, such as Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd by Patricio Henríquez. The film was released in theatres in February 2015 after making its world premiere at the 43rd Festival du nouveau cinéma in Montréal and was acclaimed at its screening in competition at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). The Amina Profile by Sophie Deraspe (Esperamos/NFB) world premiered at the prestigious Sundance Festival. Part love story, part international thriller, the documentary chronicles an unprecedented media hoax. The feature documentary Out of Mind, Out of Sight by John Kastner expands the series of works focusing on mental health recently produced by the NFB. The film garnered the Best Canadian Feature Documentary Award at Hot Docs.

Released in 2014‒2015, the feature documentary Les héritiers du club by Renée Blanchar, produced at the Canadian Francophonie Studio – Acadie and shot in Sainte-Anne-du-Bocage, New Brunswick, made its world premiere at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie and screened at the 2015 edition of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie. Also at the Francophonie Studio, the Histoires francophones project, a documentary series that takes a comprehensive look at language rights in the country, was in production during the year and is slated for release in Fall 2015.

Two projects of major importance are still underway: Vancouver director Mina Shum’s film Ninth Floor, which has completed post-production and is slated for official release in Fall 2015, and the Wall project, scheduled to be launched in Winter 2016.

Again this year, the NFB’s interactive works demonstrated the pioneering achievements that the NFB is accomplishing by pushing the boundaries of creation. A case in point is Circa 1948, created in collaboration with internationally renowned artist Stan Douglas. This innovative, immersive fiction work made its grand premiere in the Storyscapes section of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Circa 1948 was launched in three interactive formats: a 3D art app for iPad and iPhone, an online photo essay, and an installation. Additionally, Way to Go, an interactive experience by Vincent Morisset, produced by the NFB in collaboration with France Télévisions Nouvelles Écritures, made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and was launched in a virtual reality public event at Excentris Cinema.

Seven Digital Deadly Sins, an interactive work resulting from a collaboration with the British daily The Guardian, explores the grey area of morality in the digital age via seven shorts— featuring well-known artists and media personalities—and 21 first-person narratives written by a broad range of collaborators. The work was launched in June 2014 on NFB.ca and theguardian.com and quickly became the NFB’s most popular interactive production of 2014.

Highly anticipated animated works were also launched during the year. They include Me and My Moulton by Torill Kove, which garnered a number of awards, including a Canadian Screen Award for Best Animated Short. The Weatherman and the Shadow Boxer by Randall Lloyd Okita won the Best Canadian Short Film Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Significant events

In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the birth of filmmaker Norman McLaren, the NFB, in partnership with the Quartier des Spectacles, invited eight artists to create works inspired by the classics of this pioneer of animation. The works were projected on eight building façades in downtown Montreal for an event entitled McLaren Wall-to-Wall. Following an international call for projects, the NFB received 93 works from which four winners were selected: Christo Guelov (Spain) with Color.rythmetic, Léna Babadjan (France) with Coexistence, Delphine Burrus (France) with Ten Anagrams for Norman McLaren and Mirai Mizue (Japan) with The Baby Birds of Norman McLaren. In addition, three interactive works were commissioned from Montreal artists (Phonophotopia by Kid Koala and Hololabs; McLarena by Daily tous les jours; Diagonales by Theodore Ushev and Iregular). Panorama by Alexis Laurence and Francis Laporte revisits nine landmark works by Norman McLaren through sounds and images. The success of these McLaren Wall-to-Wall architectural projections prompted the NFB to select four additional international works and project them during Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinéma from October 8 to 19, 2014.

For the seventh consecutive year, the NFB brought together renowned Canadian filmmakers—Philippe Baylaucq, Millefiore Clarkes, Tim Southam, Marie Clements, Michel La Veaux, Deco Dawson and Hubert Davis—and NFB producers to contribute to the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA). The eight prestige shorts that were created to celebrate the achievements of exceptional Canadians working in the performing arts bring the number of short films that the NFB has produced for the awards to 56.

Also worth noting is the animated short 54 Hours, which marks the 100th anniversary of the 1914 SS Newfoundland disaster in which 132 seal hunters were abandoned on the ice for 54 hours during a severe snowstorm. Made in Newfoundland and Labrador, the film uses an innovative blend of animation techniques to recreate, in a unique way, the harrowing ordeal experienced by these men.

On the occasion of its 75th anniversary, the NFB launched Making Movie History: A Portrait in 61 Parts, a Web project that compiles 61 profiles of Canadian cinema giants who shaped the history of the NFB, from its inception in 1939 to the mid-1960s. Directed by Denys Desjardins and Joanne Robertson, the profiles are organized into 13 thematic categories, each a mix of interview and excerpts from classic NFB works.

NFB educational programming

Regarding productions for the educational sector, the NFB in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency began the second phase of NFB Space School, producing a series of shorts for its CAMPUS educational platform. Intended for use at the grade six level, these films take a look at the subject of space exploration and convey scientific knowledge in a playful way. The modules to be launched in fall 2015 deal primarily with astrogeology and health. Also, in partnership with Dalhousie University, the initial development phase of an educational project on oceans for students in grades six to nine was completed. The NFB is currently assessing the possibility of continuing the project.

Aboriginal voices

Since its inception, the NFB has been producing audiovisual works that reflect the lives, experiences and perspectives of Canada’s Aboriginal communities. 2014‒2015 saw the launch of acclaimed filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin’s Trick or Treaty?, a feature documentary that profiles Indigenous leaders in their quest for justice by retracing events that followed the signing of Treaty No. 9. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and the imagineNATIVE Film Festival, where it won the Audience Choice Award. In order to pursue a critical dialogue with Aboriginal communities across the country, Alanis Obomsawin showed the film in several northern communities at screenings timed with key industry activities. Moreover, during the year, the filmmaker began the production of two films that will comprise the last installment of a series on children’s rights: Children’s Court Case and Norway House.

The NFB partnership with imagineNATIVE Film + Festival Media Arts resulted in the production of a third work—the interactive installation Ice Fishing, which will represent Canada at the Venice Biennale in 2015. The partnership enables Canadian Aboriginal artists to make innovative interactive digital media projects. Ice Fishing by Mi’kmaq artist Jordan Bennett blends audio and video animation with photographs. The result is a unique documentary experience about ice fishing as practised in rural Newfoundland.

Through its FAP program, the NFB in association with the National Screen Institute (NSI) lent its support to the Aboriginal filmmakers enrolled in the NSI Aboriginal Documentary course offered in 2014 and 2015. Filmmakers registered for the course spent time at the NFB’s head office in Montreal, where professionals guided them through various stages of post-production.

Finally, Thérèse Ottawa’s short film Le Chemin rouge, produced as part of the Tremplin NIKANIK competition aimed at First Nations francophone filmmakers in Quebec, in partnership with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), was completed in 2014‒2015.

Talent training and professional development

The NFB continues to play a key role in identifying, developing and nurturing the talent and creative skills of established and emerging artists and artisans. In 2014‒2015, nearly 25% of the audiovisual works completed were by emerging filmmakers; this amount is somewhat below target, mainly due to the timing of the film production cycle.

In August 2014, the NFB and its ACIC program, in collaboration with the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), launched “Regard sur Montréal,” the first residency in Montreal for emerging, culturally diverse filmmakers. The winner of the very first edition was announced in December and will begin her 11-month residency at the NFB, which will involve scriptwriting, training, directing, post-production and distribution of a short film.

The Hothouse apprenticeship program for emerging creators from across the country marked its 10th anniversary in 2014‒2015. In partnership with the Mexican Film Institute, Hothouse brought together six Canadian and two Mexican filmmakers who each created a one-minute film with the invaluable guidance of mentor and Oscar winner Chris Landreth and NFB production experts. The 12-week internship provides young emerging filmmakers with the opportunity to find their creative voices and further their careers.

During the year, two intensive workshops on the interactive production process were given for members of the Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada and staff members of France Télévisions and ARTE. Additionally, the Canadian Francophonie Studio announced the four winners of the Tremplin 2014 competition: Stéphanie David (New Brunswick), Francine Hébert (New Brunswick), Katia Café-Fébrissy (Ontario) and Marie Ka (British Columbia). Selected from a group of 12 finalists from communities across the Canadian Francophonie, the winners were able to make a short documentary film of about 20 minutes in length under professional conditions and have it broadcast by Radio-Canada, the competition’s official partner.

 

Program 1.2: Accessibility and Audience Engagement Program

Description

This program ensures that Canadians and world audiences are able to access, view, discuss and engage with innovative Canadian content that reflects Canadian stories and perspectives. As media consumption migrates online, Canadian content must be made available in all digital and mobile forms.

Delivery mechanisms include the distribution, marketing and commercialization of audiovisual works via a diverse catalogue, a well-established stock footage library, the development of diversified markets (i.e., theatrical, television, consumer and institutional) via online and traditional channels in Canada and abroad. These activities make works widely accessible across Canada, notably to underserved and remote communities and Aboriginal and official-language minority communities. The NFB’s accessibility and audience engagement activities contribute to a dynamic Canadian culture and heritage.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Total Authorities Available for Use
2014-15
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
13,696,531 13,696,531 16,658,947 17,493,394 3,796,8639

 

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
99 144 4510

 

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results

Canadian and international audiences view and engage with NFB works

Percentage of Canadian population who say they viewed an NFB production in the last year

30% by March 31, 2015

39%

Total number of views of NFB works

35 million by March 31, 2015

45,425,173

Total number of users by level of engagement (registered or customer)11

100,000 registered et 12,000 clients by March 31, 2015

425,512 registered;
17,773 clients

Total revenues generated

5.2 million by March 31, 2015

3,432,494

 

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Several changes were made in 2014–2015 to meet the NFB’s Strategic Plan objectives. A new division was created by merging Marketing and Communications with Accessibility and Digital Enterprises. The educational and institutional markets structure was revised in order to be in a position to achieve revenue and audience development objectives.

In 2014–2015, the number of views of NFB works worldwide was 45.4 million, significantly exceeding the target of 35 million. This number represents a marked increase over the previous year’s 35.4 million views. In addition, the number of online-registered users who interacted with the NFB nearly doubled compared to last year, increasing from 228,051 to 425,512 registered users. The NFB therefore surpassed its targets for the measurement of audience engagement.

Canadian audience

Overall, Canadian audience views increased by more than 20% compared to last year, reaching over 33 million views in 2014–2015. This increase is primarily due to the 62% rise in Canadian television audiences, which totalled 18.4 million views this year. This sector represents the NFB’s main audience and has been growing for the past three years, largely due to a change in television audience measurement methodology but also owing to an increase in the number of NFB works broadcast. Additionally, public screening views increased significantly, reaching 922,347, a 124% increase over 2013–2014.

However, two sectors recorded audience declines in 2014–2015. Firstly, online views in Canada declined by 9.5% compared to the previous year, for a total of 4 million views. Nearly two-thirds of these views (i.e., 2.5 million) were recorded on NFB.ca│ONF.ca. This number, however, declined by 21% compared to 2013–2014, while online views on partner sites rose by 37% for the same period.

The educational and institutional audiences sector also experienced a decline in 2014–2015. This sector continues to be significant for the NFB, with 10.2 million views, i.e., 30% of total Canadian views, but it declined by 11% compared to 2013–2014. The NFB undertook the reorganizations mentioned above and redesigned NFB.ca│ONF.ca primarily to reverse the downturn in these two sectors.

Canadian Audience by Platform
Canadian Audience 2014-2015 2013-2014
Television views 18,365,000 11,332,000
Non-theatrical views (Education and Institutional) 10,162,748 11,469,703
Views on NFB.ca and ONF.ca 2,471,577 3,119,469
Interactive production views on NFB.ca and ONF.ca 103,689 256,489
Online partner views (YouTube and Dailymotion) 1,405,105 1,023,823
Home video views 11,711 16,648
Workshop participants 27,165 23,594
Public screening views12 922,347 412,285
Grand Total 33,469,342 27,654,011

 

International Audience

International audience views continued to rise in 2014–2015, increasing by 24% this year to reach 10.2 million after recording a 35% increase last year. This strong growth is driven by the marked increase in views on partner sites, which reached 7.4 million, representing a 36% increase compared to 2013–2014. It should be noted that two million international audience views were recorded on NFB.ca│ONF.ca.

Audiovisual Revenues

The NFB’s audiovisual revenues stabilized in 2014–2015 after experiencing significant declines in previous years. However, revenues fluctuated from sector to sector. Some sectors showed a marked increase in revenues while revenues in other sectors, such as those from television, continued to decline. A more detailed revenue analysis appears in the section Revenues by Major Sectors.

Canadian and International Audiovisual Revenues by Markets13
Markets 2014–2015 (in dollars) 2013–2014 (in dollars) % difference
Television and pre-sales 552,025 763,045 -28 %
Institutional and educational 1,628,611 1,441,845 +13 %
Home video 400,270 494,489 -19 %
Theatrical 59,093 50,157 +18 %
Stock shots 612,097 524,375 +17 %
Total 3,252,096 3,273,911 -1 %

 

Sub-Program 1.2.1: Conservation and Preservation

Description

NFB productions, regardless of the work’s original source, are preserved and digitized in order to ensure their permanence and their accessibility to Canadians and the world, now and in future generations. This sub-program reduces the risks of technological obsolescence, minimizes the effects of time on the media on which works are recorded, and guarantees the physical security of works. Preservation and conservation require suitable tools and systems for identification, management, archiving and restoration. As Canadians’ media consumption migrates online, it is imperative that high-quality innovative Canadian content is available to them. Without a concerted conservation and preservation activity, this cultural heritage is at risk of loss.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Actual Spending
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
1,520,315 2,201,863 681,54814

 

Human Resources (FTEs)
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
11 10 -1

 

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results

The NFB collection is safeguarded and protected

Number of works in the collection available on two different physical media and situated at two separate geographical locations

2,600 titles per year by March 31, 2016

0

The NFB collection is made accessible digitally to future generations

Number of works in the collection that have a mezzanine file

1,500 titles per year by March 31, 2016

1,936 in 2014-15 (Total of 6,195)

 

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

The implementation of the NFB’s digitization plan for its audiovisual works was accelerated in 2014–2015. Consequently, as of March 31, 2015, 4,750 titles15 in the NFB’s active collection had been digitized since 2009, i.e., 63% of the collection. Additionally, 6,195 titles, or 79% of the collection, now have a mezzanine file.16 By accelerating the digitization of its works, the NFB is ensuring that it will achieve its plan’s targets before relocating its head office, thereby making its active collection accessible to everyone for generations to come.

Accelerating the digitization of works was made possible by using a second digitization device. As a result, 1,481 titles were digitized and 1,932 titles had mezzanine files in 2014–2015. The only investment required for making the device operational was in research and development since the unit belonged to the NFB and its original functions were modified and adapted for film digitization. The NFB now has two devices for producing a digital-source image and sound master from its original films, eventually resulting in a mezzanine file that makes it possible to provide the film in the desired format and conserve it for posterity.

The NFB also greatly improved its digital asset management in 2014–2015 by undertaking the first phase in implementing its media asset management system (MAM). The tool enables the NFB to manage its digital assets more efficiently and facilitates making its works available to Canadians. The MAM’s main feature is that all elements pertaining to an audiovisual work, i.e., sound and image files, as well as promotional material for the work, can be accessed centrally. The MAM is composed of two modules: the works management system (WMS) for managing the metadata of works and TELESCOPE, which allows all users to view, share and add assets. The TELESCOPE module was developed by an outside firm as part of a technology partnership with the NFB.

The NFB also implemented a conservation plan to ensure the physical security of its collection of audiovisual works. The conservation plan is closely linked to the digitization plan and provides for relocating backup copies of works that have been digitized. The transfer planned for 2014–2015 was delayed, mainly for financial reasons: to minimize relocation costs, it was agreed to wait to have a critical number of works before proceeding with the transfer. As a result, the goal to relocate 2,600 titles per year was postponed.

 

Sub-Program 1.2.2: Consumer Access and Engagement

Description

This sub-program delivers Canadian audiovisual works to Canadian and international consumers. It exists to allow individual consumers to access and engage with Canadian cultural products that reflect our history and values and that interpret Canada to Canadians and to other nations. In so doing, national and international consumers share in a dynamic Canadian culture and heritage.

Delivery mechanisms include the distribution, marketing and commercialization of audiovisual works via a diverse catalogue, the development of diversified markets and channels, i.e.: theatrical, television and Internet/mobile and hard goods in Canada and abroad.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Actual Spending
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
6,218,225 9,866,774 3,648,54917

 

Human Resources (FTEs)
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
45 68 23

 

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results

Consumers view NFB audiovisual works on multiple access channels

Number of views through consumer access channels (i.e., TV, theatrical, home video, DVD, streaming, etc.)

21 million by March 31, 2015

34,989,875

Consumers engage with the NFB

Number of consumers by level of engagement (registered or customers)

92,000 registered and 9,000 customers by March 31, 2015

405,127 registered;
11,400 clients

Revenues generated through consumer access channels

$2,600,000
by March 31, 2015

1,674,571

 

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

The total number of views of NFB content by consumers via various access channels was 35 million in 2014–2015, a 48% increase over last year’s 23.7 million views, mostly due to a significant increase in television views.

NFB.ca│ONF.ca and online views

The NFB.ca│ONF.ca online Screening Room is the NFB’s prime means for making its works accessible and for interacting with consumers. As of March 31, 2015, nearly 3,000 NFB productions are available to Canadians and audiences around the world, free of charge. This is an extraordinary tool for connecting with film lovers and acquainting them with Canada’s audiovisual heritage.

That is why a new version of NFB.ca│ONF.ca was developed in 2014–2015, to make it more appealing to consumers. The NFB also increased its online film offer, notably by including hundreds of independent Canadian films distributed by its partners, Excentris and the First Weekend Club. Indeed, the new NFB.ca│ONF.ca is intended to be the Canadian destination for films that tell stories that resonate with Canadians. Additionally, the user experience was optimized, in particular by improving the film search function and offering a unique, highly curated selection of both NFB and non-NFB titles. This new version of NFB.ca│ONF.ca was launched on April 16, 2015.

At the same time, the NFB also counts on other distribution channels to increase the distribution, accessibility and visibility of its works. The NFB therefore maintained its partnerships with content platforms such as Netflix Canada, iTunes, Vimeo and YouTube, as well as with LG and Samsung so that its works can be viewed on smart TV. The NFB likewise maintained a strong presence on social networks in order to interact with its audiences.

The NFB also continued to work on the technological development of mobile devices and tablets. The StopMo Studio app, which enables users to create their own frame-by-frame animated films, was selected by Apple Canada as one of the best apps for iPad in 2014 and won the Boomerang Awards Grand Prize in the Website or Application – Arts and Culture category.

Strategic partnerships

The NFB maintained its high-profile partnerships with Via Rail Canada, Aéroports de Montréal and Air Canada for the distribution of its works across the country and in particular to mark the NFB’s 75th anniversary. In 2014–2015, several projects carried out with our partners enabled the NFB to better connect with Canadians:

  • Air Canada’s enRoute Film Festival
  • Thematic programming highlighting the NFB’s 75th anniversary on all VIA Rail trains along the Quebec‐Windsor corridor
  • Five commemorative stamps issued by Canada Post (2.5 million stamps) for the NFB’s 75th anniversary
  • For the seventh consecutive year, the NFB produced eight short films honouring the recipients of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. This year, the GGPAA foundation launched an iBook to celebrate the event’s 22nd anniversary. The iBook is accessible free of charge.
  • Rendez-vous de la Francophonie: Partnering with the event for the ninth consecutive year, the NFB organized 243 screenings in 78 Canadian cities. There was a record turnout for this 17th edition of the Rendez-vous, which was also the NFB’s second best participation in terms of attendees.
  • Canada Day Challenge: In collaboration with Canadian Heritage, the NFB developed an introductory workshop on making short films, accompanied by a unique instructional guide for winners of the challenge to document their visit to Ottawa.

 

Sub-Program 1.2.3: Educational and Institutional Access and Engagement

Description

This sub-program enables Canadian and international educational and institutional groups to provide Canadian cultural products and their inherent values to their members and students. It supports the distribution and the use of Canadian audiovisual works and content, which include educational workshops and pedagogical activities to Canadian and international educational and institutional audiences. NFB productions and content must be widely accessible, promoted and distributed to Canadian and international Educational markets (teachers, schools, school boards, colleges, universities and ministries of education), as well as Institutional markets (public libraries, social and health services, community and cultural associations and businesses) to engage Canadian youth and to support their educational activities. Delivery mechanisms include the distribution, marketing and commercialization of audiovisual works via a diverse catalogue, the development of diversified channels, i.e.: Internet, mobile and hard goods in Canada and abroad.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Actual Spending
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
4,369,193 4,162,326 -206,867

 

Human Resources (FTEs)
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
32 47 15

 

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results

Educational and institutional audiences view NFB audiovisual works on multiple access channels

Number of views through educational access channels (DVD sales to schools, teacher workshops, education online subscriptions, etc.)

14 million
by March 31 2015

10,191,987

Educational and institutional audiences engage with the NFB

Number of Educational Users by level of engagement (registered or customer)

8,000 registered and 3,000 customers by March 31, 2015

20,385 registered;
6,373 customers

Number of pedagogical materials downloaded

40,000
by March 31, 2015

20,00018

Revenues generated through educational access channels

$2,600,000
by March 31, 2015

1,757,923

 

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Developing the online educational offer is currently the focal point of the Educational and Institutional Access and Engagement sub-program, but this sub-program also includes film screenings at Canadian libraries and other public institutions, as well as a variety of workshops and activities that are an integral part of the lives of Canadians.

The NFB’s online educational offer

To further upgrade its online educational resources, the NFB enhanced its content for education professionals. Many works were acquired from independent production companies to enrich the NFB’s educational collection. The features of the CAMPUS platform were improved, for example, by giving teachers and students the option to share their playlists and film excerpts and providing a more extensive selection of learning modules.

The CAMPUS US version was launched in September 2014, and the NFB has conducted an analysis of the US school market and taken steps to find a partner for its entry into the market.

Educational workshops and virtual classrooms

In 2014–2015, 27,452 students participated in 941 workshops organized by the NFB in several cities in Canada. Four virtual classrooms were also organized during the year, including two in conjunction with Black History Month.

Canadian institutional market

The NFB continued its activities with the country’s network of public libraries. It also continued its public screenings, notably in conjunction with L’ONF à la maison, in partnership with the City of Montreal’s Accès culture network, and Canada Day. The second edition of the Shortest Day Short Film Celebration attracted some 15,000 people, who attended screenings of NFB films on December 21, 2014.

Other activities were held across Canada with the country’s institutions, including 10 screenings of the film Danny—a tour organized throughout the province of Newfoundland and Labrador that was a huge success—and screenings of Alanis Obomsawin’s Trick or Treaty? for the launch of NSI Aboriginal Documentary in Winnipeg. Numerous screenings were also held for the launch of the film The Van Doos: 100 Years with the Royal 22e Régiment. Commemorations marking the centennial of the Great War also offered an opportunity to present our works at around 20 Parks Canada historic sites across the country.

 

Sub-Program 1.2.4: National and International Industry Outreach

Description

Through this sub-program, the NFB enables the Canadian and international audiovisual industry to participate in the promotion of Canadian culture and heritage via private and public sector partnerships. These partnerships facilitate the exchange of knowledge and creativity; foster close collaboration with industry in major festivals and markets (i.e., MIP, BANFF, Hot Docs, Sunny Side of the doc) through panel discussions, Q&As, competitions, awards, etc. Activities also include the marketing and promotion of NFB audiovisual works and thematic compilations in major national and international festivals/markets as well as events of significance (such as Oscar nominations, World Expositions, Québec City’s 400th anniversary), and the marketing and promotion of retrospectives on the NFB and its acclaimed filmmakers (Norman McLaren, Pierre Perrault, Alanis Obomsawin).

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Actual Spending
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
1,588,798 1,262,431 -326,367

 

Human Resources (FTEs)
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
11 19 8

 

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results

The NFB’s expertise is recognized at a broad range of major festivals and industry events in Canada and abroad

Number of events (such as panels, presentations, roundtables) with NFB experts participating

20 by March 31, 2015

103

Participants present

Number of participants at these events

Refrence number of 10,000 by March 31, 2015

110,000

NFB films selected in festivals

Number of NFB films selected in Canadian and international festivals

300 by March 31, 2015

442

 

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Again this year, the NFB stood out in the industry nationally and internationally through its presence at major film festivals, as well as through numerous activities around the world marking the NFB’s 75th anniversary and the centenary of filmmaker Norman McLaren’s birth.

NFB presence at festivals and industry events

In Canada, the NFB was present at film festivals across the country, including the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto, the imagineNATIVE Festival in Toronto, the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) and the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM).

Several new NFB productions were selected by the most prestigious festivals, events and competitions. The film Me and My Moulton was nominated for an Oscar. The Amina Profile had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary at Hot Docs. An NFB delegation was also present at the 2014 Annecy International Animation Film Festival, where eight of its productions were selected. Overall, NFB productions were selected on 442 occasions at film industry events in 2014–2015.

The NFB’s 75th anniversary

Many activities both at home and abroad marked the NFB’s 75th anniversary. In Canada, the Frame x Frame: Animated Film at the NFB exhibition, presented at the Musée de la civilisation in Québec City from June 2014 to August 2015, attracted over 59,691 visitors as of March 31, 2015. In August 2014, a screening of short films in honour of the NFB’s 75th anniversary was held during Rideau Hall Movie Nights in the presence of the Governor General, the Right Honourable David Johnston. Canada Post issued 2.5 million stamps featuring five memorable films from our collection. Additionally, several partners highlighted the anniversary by showing the trailer for the NFB’s 75th anniversary at festivals and other events.

The 75th anniversary of the NFB was also highlighted at various international events. The Canadian embassy in Tokyo, for example, organized a series of NFB “classic greats” that was attended by distinguished guests and filmmakers, and a tribute to the NFB took place at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris on September 16, 2014.

Norman McLaren’s 100th anniversary celebrations

To commemorate the centenary of the birth of animation filmmaker Norman McLaren, the NFB collaborated on the McLaren 2014 event organized by the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) in the United Kingdom. More than 62,000 people took part in some 80 events— exhibitions, screenings, workshops and performances—held in 41 locations in the UK. Noteworthy activities included the A Dream of Stirling: Norman McLaren’s Scottish Dawn exhibition at the Smith Museum and Art Gallery, as well as the world premiere of four 3D animated films (the first ever made) at the Edinburgh Festival.

McLaren Now! was presented during the Annecy International Animation Film Festival. The program spotlighted Norman McLaren’s artistic heirs from all walks of life and all nationalities. It was also presented by the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris. In connection with this, two other film programs were created and all three were put online at NFB.ca. In addition, the NFB participated in the McLaren en héritage exhibit by lending artifacts and archival footage to the Musée Château Annecy (France).

In Canada, the NFB presented Re‐Sounding the Films of Norman McLaren, a screening of seven shorts by McLaren at TIFF’s pedestrian space called Festival Street.

Centennial commemorations of the beginning of the First World War

In collaboration with Société Radio-Canada, the NFB launched the documentary The Van Doos: 100 Years with the Royal 22e Régiment, produced to mark the centennial of the celebrated regiment, which coincided with the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Close collaboration with the regiment, Canadian Heritage and the Department of National Defence made it possible to increase the film’s visibility via a number of activities at home and abroad. A copy of the film was also hand delivered to Pope Francis I and Queen Elizabeth II.

Furthermore, the NFB continues to participate in commemorations of the two world wars on an ad hoc basis, by giving top billing on NFB.ca to noteworthy works in its collection that deal with these major conflicts. The works have been highly popular with NFB.ca users.

Additionally, recent collaboration with Parks Canada enables the NFB to reach a wide audience through the programming of works that highlight the Great War’s centennial at some 20 historic sites across the country.

 

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are Management and Oversight Services, Communications Services, Legal Services, Human Resources Management Services, Financial Management Services, Information Management Services, Information Technology Services, Real Property Services, Materiel Services, Acquisition Services, and Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not those provided to a specific program.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Total Authorities Available for Use
2014-15
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2014-15
Difference
(actual minus planned)
7,876,709 7,876,709 9,523,573 8,457,516 580,807

 

Human Resources (FTEs)
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
52 52 -

 

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

NFB headquarters will change address

The NFB continued its initiatives in anticipation of the relocation of its head office. On September 25, 2014, the federal government announced the relocation of the NFB to a brand-new building in downtown Montreal. On March 19, 2015, the architectural project by the Société d’hypothèque et de logement de Montréal (SHDM) for the building that will house the new offices in 2017–2018 was formally approved by the City of Montreal.

Launch of a flagship information management project

After developing an information management plan in early 2014, the NFB focused its efforts on implementing a multimedia asset management infrastructure that would integrate documents, audiovisual, graphic and bibliographic information into a new system: MAM (Media Asset Management). This innovative tool for viewing, resource sharing and collaboration contains all of the NFB’s audiovisual works. With just a few clicks, staff can now watch a film and download and share a large volume of content of all kinds, including films, photos, promotional materials and other items from the NFB collection.

Management Accountability Framework (MAF)

The NFB underwent a MAF assessment in 2014–2015 and received the final results on April 30, 2015. The NFB was assessed on the external financial reports component, where the institution performed well, and the information management (IM/IT) component, where certain shortcomings were identified. Following receipt of the results, the NFB implemented new procedures to better comply with the Directive on recordkeeping.

Talent management

Since organizational transformation remains a strategic priority, the NFB is continuing to invest in honing the skills of its managers. In 2014–2015, the human resources team provided several leadership training modules for managers, on the topics of engaging communication, optimal performance, drafting SMART objectives and positive change management. The participation rate and feedback for these training sessions were very satisfactory.

Human resources

The NFB made efforts to find a computer-based solution to improve employee performance management. Due to computer security settings and costs generated by such a system, needs are currently being reassessed.

The NFB also continued the implementation of its internal communications plan (2013) through concrete actions such as holding focus groups with studio employees across the country on improving internal communications. Twice this year, in October 2014 and March 2015, the management team presented a major organizational status report to all employees.

Furthermore, the NFB began negotiations with the three unions to renew the collective agreements that expired on June 30, 2014. Lastly, in 2014–2015, the NFB developed an organizational code of conduct based on the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, which includes the code that governs conflicts of interest and post-employment. In all, 19 training workshops were provided to NFB employees.

 

Section III: Supplementary Information

Financial Statements Highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position (audited)
For the Year Ended March 31, 2015
(dollars)

Financial Information 2014–15
Planned Results
2014–15
Actual
2013–14
Actual
Difference
(2014–15 actual minus 2014–15 planned)
Difference
(2014–15 actual minus 2013–14 actual)
Total expenses 69,593,627 64,445,424 66,441,436 -5,148,203 -1,996,012
Total revenues 5,700,000 3,730,191 3,975,146 -1,969,809 -244,955
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 63,893,627 60,715,233 62,466,290 -3,178,394 -1,751,057

 

Expenses

The difference between planned and actual expenses stems primarily from two elements: 2014‒2015 capitalizable expenditures were higher than expected and the decline in revenues necessitated an expenditure adjustment in order to maintain a balanced situation. The variation in capitalizable expenditures also explains the difference between the actual expenditures for 2013‒2014 and 2014‒2015. Capitalizable expenditures for 2014‒2015 were $3.8 million compared to $2.2 million in 2013‒2014.

Expenses by Major Sectors
Expenses 2014-2015 2013-201419 2014-2015 2013-2014
(dollars) (%)
Programming – French & English 32,928,119 33,524,702 51.1 50.5
Distribution 5,987,065 4,911,935 9.3 7.4
Marketing, Accessibility & Outreach 13,166,256 13,384,919 20.4 20.1
Digital development and applications 2,959,199 5,328,734 4.6 8.0
Sub-total 55,040,639 57,150,290 85.4 86.0
Internal Services 9,404,785 9,291,146 14.6 14.0
Total expenses 64,445,424 66,441,436 100.0 100.0

 

In 2014‒2015, the NFB made significant investments in redesigning its NFB.ca online Screening Room and implementing a media management system to make better use of its works. This investment has been capitalized and will be amortized over the coming years. Charging the costs to the NFB’s assets explains the decrease in expenditures in the Digital Development and Applications sector.

Revenues

The expected revenues for 2014‒2015 included anticipated revenue associated with 4K technology. This market’s demand for documentary productions proved weaker than expected. Moreover, delays in expanding the CAMPUS offer into the United States did not make it possible to generate the anticipated revenues.

Compared to 2013‒2014 results, the television market continues to experience reductions that are mainly related to the splitting of advertising revenues and the weakening of documentary film niches.

Revenues by Major Sectors

Revenue

[D]

Theatrical: Theatre revenues are stable.

Sponsored production and pre-sale: Sponsored production and pre-sale revenues come mainly from a partnership agreement with the European producer and broadcaster ARTE.

Miscellaneous: The main components of miscellaneous revenues are revenues from the Documentary Channel partnership and gains or losses related to exchange rate variations on sales in foreign currencies.

Home video: Sales to consumers are being affected by the digital shift since the unit prices for digital products are lower in traditional formats (e.g., DVD). The increase in volume does not compensate for the reduction in prices.

Television: The television broadcasting market is experiencing a decline because of the splitting of advertising revenues over various platforms and the reduction of distribution niches for auteur documentaries.

Institutional and educational: Improvement of the offer on the CAMPUS platform, dedicated to the educational market, generated a slight rise in revenues for the education sector. The NFB also recognized non-monetary revenues of $157K from various partnerships, the most important being the agreement with Scotland’s Centre for the Moving Image museum for the McLaren 2014 exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the filmmaker’s birth.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (audited)
As at March 31, 2015
(dollars)

Financial Information 2014–15 2013–14 Difference (2014–15 minus 2013–14)
Total net liabilities 12,716,609 9,952,151 2,764,458
Total net financial assets 7,907,214 6,443,795 1,463,419
Departmental net debt 4,809,395 3,508,356 1,301,039
Total non-financial assets 8,472,546 6,855,358 1,617,188
Departmental net financial position 3,663,151 3,347,002 316,149

 

The increase in net liabilities is mainly due to the increase in wages to pay at the end of the year related to the implementation of the payment of wages in arrears, the obligations of termination recorded following the announcement of a reorganization in March 2015 and the increase in the provision for paid absences in connection with accidents at work compensation. These debts are financed by the Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund and are included in net financial assets.

Increased Ministerial debt stems mainly from the change in vacation pay, obligation for termination benefits payable, as well as increase in employee future benefits.

Non-financial assets are mainly composed of fixed assets whose net worth increased by $ 1.5 million.

 

Financial Statements

NFB Financial Statements

 

Supplementary Information Tables

The supplementary information tables listed in the 2014–15 Departmental Performance Report are available on the National Film Board’s website.

Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy. (7.2)

 

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures annually in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication. The tax measures presented in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

 

Section IV: Organizational Contact Information

National Film Board of Canada
3155 Côte-de-Liesse Road
Montréal, Quebec H4N 2N4
Canada

Strategic Planning and Government relations
reports@onf-nfb.gc.ca
514-261-5849

 

Appendix: Definitions

appropriation (crédit): Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires): Includes operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

Departmental Performance Report (rapport ministériel sur le rendement): Reports on an appropriated organization’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Report on Plans and Priorities. These reports are tabled in Parliament in the fall.

full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein): Is a measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

Government of Canada outcomes (résultats du gouvernement du Canada): A set of 16 high level objectives defined for the government as a whole, grouped in four spending areas: economic affairs, social affairs, international affairs and government affairs.

Management, Resources and Results Structure (Structure de la gestion, des ressources et des résultats): A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization’s inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The Management, Resources and Results Structure is developed from the Program Alignment Architecture.

non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires): Includes net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

performance (rendement): What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve and how well lessons learned have been identified.

performance indicator (indicateur de rendement): A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.

performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement): The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

planned spending (dépenses prévues): For Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) and Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs), planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their RPPs and DPRs.

plan (plan): The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.

priorities (priorité): Plans or projects that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s).

program (programme): A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.

Program Alignment Architecture (architecture d’alignement des programmes): A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.

Report on Plans and Priorities (rapport sur les plans et les priorités): Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated organizations over a three-year period. These reports are tabled in Parliament each spring.

result (résultat): An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.

statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives): Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.

Strategic Outcome (résultat stratégique): A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.

sunset program (programme temporisé): A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.

target (cible): A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.

voted expenditures (dépenses votées): Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.

whole-of-government framework (cadre pangouvernemental): Maps the financial contributions of federal organizations receiving appropriations by aligning their Programs to a set of 16 government-wide, high-level outcome areas, grouped under four spending areas.

 

Endnotes

1 – Type is defined as follows: previously committed to—committed to in the first or second fiscal year prior to the subject year of the report; ongoing—committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the report; and new—newly committed to in the reporting year of the RPP or DPR.

2 – The authorities used include expenditures funded by Parliamentary authorities voted annually. Amounts drawn from the Treasury under the revolving fund for the temporary financing of assets are not part of authorities used. These amounts will be allocated to the authorities used when they will be passed to the charges.

3 – These results come from an opinion poll conducted across Canada by an external research firm. The latest opinion poll was done in April 2014 and the results of this survey were therefore used for the 2013‒2014 report and for the 2014‒2015 report. The performance indicators’ targets have been set in 2012.

4 – Audiovisual production costs are below the projected level because of non-linear production cycle that takes place over several years. Also, the effort required for strategic projects required a greater allocation of technical resources to digital distribution.

5 – The difference is due to an employees’ reclassification toward the Accessibility program and audience interaction for the establishment of a media management system (MAM) and redesign of the online Screening Room ONF.ca │NFB.ca.

6 – These results come from an opinion poll conducted by an external research firm. The latest opinion poll was done in April 2014 and the results of this survey were therefore used for the report 2013-2014 and for the 2014-2015 report.

7 – To be considered “emerging,” it must be the filmmaker’s 1st, 2nd or 3rd film.

8 – The gap between the target and results is mainly explained by the fact that the data for this indicator come from self-identification form that are filled by directors on a voluntary basis, and the data were missing for numerous productions in 2014-2015.

9 – The Increased Accessibility and audience interaction program spending is largely due to investments for the transition to digital broadcasting platform e-commerce.

10 – The difference is due to an employees’ reclassification from the Audiovisual Production program to the Accessibility program and audience interaction for the establishment of a media management system (MAM) and redesign of the online Screening Room ONF.ca │NFB.ca.

11 – Registered Users” are those who have opted into a non-transactional relationship with the NFB by providing contact information, registering as fans (i.e., Facebook), subscribing to NFB newsletters or channels, creating an online NFB profile, etc.; “Customers” are individuals or organizations who have paid transactions with the NFB.

12 – Includes theatrical views.

13 – Does not include partnership revenues, revenues from NFB centres and other miscellaneous revenues.

14 – The gap is explained by the investments made in the MAM project which exceeded forecasts.

15 – The term “title” refers to a version of an audiovisual work, as the English version of a movie. Several titles can refer to the same audiovisual work.

16 – With the launch of MAM management system, a new methodology for calculating the number of titles with a pivot was implanted. However, to ensure consistency with the data reported in previous years, data will be presented according to the former. Under the new methodology, a cumulative of 2,858 titles come with a pivot as of March 31, 2015 (762 in 2014 -2015).

17 – The difference is mainly due to investments made for the redesign of the website ONF.ca │NFB.ca, as well as a reallocation of funds dedicated to subprograms 1.2.3 and 1.2.4 to this subprogram following the reorganization of the Marketing and Communications Division.

18 – The gap between the target and the actual result is attributable to a change in methodology: data were previously measured from log analysis and are now measured via Google Analytics. Furthermore, errors in the marking of the web pages when using Google Analytics have led to an incomplete measurement of this indicator for the year 2014-2015. The number of 20,000 is estimated.

19 – It should be noted that the amounts of charges sectors have been modified from those presented in the 2013-2014 DPR, to make them consistent with the reclassification performed in the Financial Statements.