Departmental Results Report 2016-2017

ISSN 2560-9238

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Minister’s Message

Commissioner’s Message

Results at a glance

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

Mandate and role

Operating context and key risks

Operating context

Key risks

Results: what we achieved

Programs

Program 1.1: Audiovisual Production

Program 1.2: Accessibility and Audience Engagement

Internal Services

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Actual human resources

Expenditures by vote

Alignment of spending with the whole-of-government framework

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Supporting information on lower-level programs

Supplementary information table

Federal tax expenditures

Organizational contact information

Appendix: definitions

Endnotes

 

Minister’s Message

Mélanie JolyWe are currently in the midst of a unique year: Canada 150. The organizations in the Canadian Heritage Portfolio—including the National Film Board of Canada (NFB)—have spared no effort in 2016–2017 to let Canadians across the country take part in the celebrations. Through their activities and projects, these organizations have invited us to reflect on the path we have travelled so far and to appreciate all we have achieved. They have also allowed us to look toward the future with confidence as we strive to make Canada successful in the digital era.

The NFB is a model of creativity and innovation, and its achievements extend far beyond our borders. In 2016–2017, the NFB earned an unprecedented number of awards for its work. These are a testament to the quality of the work produced by our audiovisual artists and creators, as well as their ability to innovate in a constantly changing world.

In addition, the NFB is highlighting Canada 150 with three original projects: a series of interactive photo essays called Legacies 150; the free cross-country screening tour Aabiziingwashi (#WideAwake): Indigenous Cinema on Tour, which showcases exceptional films by Indigenous directors; and special online programming at NFB.ca called 1 Nation. 4 Lenses, which explores Canadian identity. All that the NFB accomplished in celebration of 150 years of history is perfectly in keeping with its mission to provide new perspectives on Canada and the world from a Canadian point of view.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage, I am proud to present the 2016–17 Departmental Results Report for the National Film Board of Canada. The report will let you discover how the NFB demonstrated innovation in fulfilling its mission, and in promoting our culture and our two official languages—while also making 2017 an unforgettable year.

The Honourable Mélanie Joly

 

Commissioner’s Message

Claude JolicoeurFor the National Film Board of Canada, 2016–2017 was a year in which significant relationships were formed and important commitments were made. NFB studios across the country produced or co-produced more than 70 works in 2016–2017. Each of these works sparked dialogue, a good deal of reflection, and even some gestures of reconciliation.

The excellence of our productions has been recognized both at home and abroad, and we are proud to announce that this year the number of awards won by NFB works more than doubled over the previous year: from 66 to 141. Theodore Ushev’s animated film Blind Vaysha (Vaysha l’aveugle) performed exceptionally well, with a record 28 honours and an Oscar nomination.

On the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the NFB is highlighting this historic event with several original projects that illustrate the incredible diversity of Canada from a wide range of perspectives, all with an eye toward cultivating a greater understanding of one another. The NFB continued to develop important partnerships with major public institutions, including museums, to produce innovative and immersive works that appear in new locales, and explore novel creative spaces, in order to reach new audiences.

We continue to pursue a process of institutional transformation that aims to build a work environment in which collaboration, creativity, and synergy can thrive. To this end, we have collectively defined a vision for the NFB of tomorrow as a modern, creative organization. Because a diversity of perspectives is enriched by the vital voices of women, we have made a commitment to ensure that half of our films are produced by women by 2019, and that half of our total production budget is allocated to projects by women directors.

Finally, we have fundamentally rethought our distribution strategy for the years ahead, particularly with respect to social media and mobile devices, in order to reach more Canadians in digital spaces. The current year promises to be just as rich as the previous one, as the NFB continues on its path, with a firm commitment to reinventing ourselves in the service of better telling the country’s stories.

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

 

Results at a glance

 

For more information on the NFB’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

Audiovisual productions reflecting creativity and innovation

  • In 2016–2017, a total of 73 works were produced: 36 documentary films, 31 animated films, 2 websites, 2 interactive installations, 1 virtual reality film, and 1 game.

Millions of views in Canada and abroad

  • An extraordinary increase of 15% in the number of views of NFB works worldwide compared to the previous year, across all platforms, for a total of 54 million views in Canada and around the world.
  • An increase in the number of online screenings of NFB works to 39 million—an overall increase of 68% in total and 32% in Canada.

Gender parity and diversity behind the camera

  • Nearly half of all works produced by the NFB in 2016–2017 (44%) were directed by women, and 43% of total funds in the production budget were allocated to projects directed by women.
  • Just under half of all awards won by the NFB in 2016–2017 (49%) were for works created by women.
  • Nearly half of all works created by the NFB in 2016–2017 (49%) were directed by filmmakers from cultural, linguistic and Indigenous communities.

 

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

 

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. Today, our artists and artisans continue to lead the way with advances in form and content in documentary, animation and interactive film.

 

Mandate and role

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 7,000 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.

For more general information about the NFB, see the “Supplementary information” section of this report. For more information on the Canadian Heritage department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter.

 

Operating context and key risks

Operating context

 

The digital revolution has had a profound impact on the audiovisual industry, particularly in the documentary field. By 2016–2017, the effects of this revolution were already tangible and well-understood—but the fact remains that the proliferation of distribution platforms and increased access to audiovisual content continue to disrupt existing business models.

Faced with more globalized competition than ever, with the erosion of traditional sources of revenue, and with the rapid evolution of technologies, the NFB must continuously adapt and innovate when it comes to the ways it produces films, promotes them, and makes them available to diverse audiences. This constantly changing environment continued to strongly influence the NFB’s activities in 2016–2017.

As in other years, NFB activities were tied to the rhythm of festivals and key events in the audiovisual industry. For example, the Oscar nomination for Theodore Ushev’s film Blind Vaysha (Vaysha l’aveugle) and its selection at numerous festivals created additional pressure for the NFB’s communications team.

Internally, although the relocations of the Toronto and Edmonton offices went smoothly, they still had an impact on the NFB’s activities. Preparing for the upcoming move of the NFB’s central office in 2018–2019 also occupied a significant amount of time for the planning, operations-management and human-resources teams.

Finally, several internal initiatives which mobilized NFB resources over the past year are worth noting, in particular the “In It Together” project, which offers a shared vision for the NFB of the future; the workplace-transformation project, whose aim is to create a modern, digital and more collaborative environment within the organization; and the projects undertaken to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Projects such as these, along with the implementation of policies and government directives such as the Directive on Recordkeeping and the Directive on Open Government, also required the allocation of additional resources.

 

Key Risks

Key Risks
Risks Mitigating strategy and effectiveness Link to the department’s Programs Link to mandate letter commitments or to government wide and departmental priorities
Decrease in NFB revenues
  • Continued implementation of the business plan (including research into new revenue sources, new partnerships, markets, etc.)
  • Increased efficiency in publicity campaigns
Accessibility and audience engagement  
Discrepancy between organizational capacity and volume of work
  • Surveyed employees on engagement, and developed action plan based on survey results
Audiovisual production

Accessibility and audience engagement

Internal services

 
Obsolete technology (in particular with respect to the NFB.ca online screening space)
  • Accretion of old technology
  • Implementation of the 2012–2013 to 2016–2017 technology investment plans
  • Renewal of web and digital-marketing platforms
Accessibility and audience engagement  

 

Risk analysis is integrated into the NFB’s strategic planning cycle. The NFB’s organizational risk profile emphasizes the main risks the organization faces and the planned responses required to manage them appropriately. In 2016–2017, the senior management team carried out a thorough examination of the risk profile in order to ensure it is consistent with the current operational and strategic context.

Decrease in NFB revenues

In 2016–2017, one of the key risk-mitigation measures was to seek out new sources of income in the face of decreased revenue. To that end, the NFB created the Institutional Program, whose mission is to build partnerships with other major public institutions, while at the same time contributing to the fulfillment of the NFB’s mandate to reach out to new audiences.

As of March 31, 2017, this strategy had started to bear fruit. Pre-sale and partnership revenue in 2016–2017 quintupled compared to the previous year, going from $349,000 to $1,921,000. This increase was due to the conclusion of several partnerships, most notably those with the Society for the Celebrations of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary (Expo 67 Live), Dalhousie University (Ocean School – École des océans), the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (150th anniversary of Confederation) and Red Bull Canada (True North).

Discrepancy between organizational capacity and volume of work

In the fall of 2016, the NFB surveyed employees in order to discern, among other things, the causes of workplace overload. The results revealed that the discrepancy between the volume of work and organizational capacity remained a major risk in 2016–2017.

In conjunction with this survey, the senior management team is carrying out the organizational transformation project “In It Together,” which offers a shared vision of the NFB of the future laid out in 15 statements—including one which stipulates that staff “are responsible for managing workload together, so that it is balanced and allows quality time for innovation, research, and development.” Currently, all personnel are working to make this commitment a reality through simple and accessible solutions.

The NFB also received supplementary funds from Treasury Board for 2017–2018 and 2018–2019 in order to carry out the transition from the financial and materials management system to the SAP platform. These funds will help to mitigate any impact this major project may have on administrative functions. The NFB has been able to make new hires and modify the responsibilities of some staff in order to better manage workload and ensure the optimal management of this project and of other current, ongoing activities.

Obsolete technology (in particular with respect to the NFB.ca online screening space)

The issue of accessibility and audience engagement in the digital age is closely tied to obsolete technology. In order to adapt to a market that is in a state of constant transformation, and to an environment marked by the rapid evolution of technology, the NFB has fundamentally rethought its content-distribution strategies. The organization has developed a strategy that includes producing works directly for social media, while pursuing an overall renewal of its digital-distribution platforms. This strategy focuses on increased interaction with audiences on social media and on mobile devices, as well as on an API (Application Programming Interface) approach.

In 2016–2017, putting this strategy into effect involved organizational changes for the Web teams, and was made manifest through projects designed specifically for social media, such as the Naked Island (Déchéance publique) series of animated shorts, which was made available on demand at NFB.ca, on the NFB’s YouTube and Vimeo channels, and on Facebook and Instagram as of January 2017. The NFB’s new digital strategy will be elaborated over the next few years, and will be informed notably by the 2016–2020 Technology Plan, which, in addition to calling for reinvestment in the NFB.ca online screening space, aims to ensure that infrastructure and services use state-of-the-art technology.

 

Results: what we achieved

 

Programs

Program 1.1: Audiovisual Production

Description

This program 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 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 films, new media content and other emerging forms.

Results

The NFB had a particularly rich year, with more than 70 original productions, including 36 documentary films exploring a variety of social issues. NFB works won 141 awards in 2016–2017—a record number, of which 67 were won in Canada and 74 abroad. The animated film Blind Vaysha (Vaysha l’aveugle) led the way with 28 awards, while Une tête disparaît (The Head Vanishes) was the recipient of 14 prizes, and the documentary Angry Inuk (Inuk en colère), took home 11 awards. NFB representatives were also the recipients of eight honours and awards recognizing their exceptional contributions to cinema.

Documentary films

In 2016–2017, the NFB produced or co-produced 36 documentary films exploring a diverse range of Canadian and international social issues. Notable productions include 24 Davids, by filmmaker Céline Baril, a poetic and political exploration of the mysteries of the universe and the challenges of living together; Un journaliste au front (Freelancer on the Front Lines) by Santiago Bertolino, which follows Canadian freelance reporter Jesse Rosenfeld in the Middle East; De Sherbrooke à Brooks (From Sherbrooke to Brooks), the first feature documentary by Roger Parent, which tells the stories of francophone African refugees following a migration corridor from Quebec to Alberta; and The Grasslands Project (Au beau milieu de la plaine), a series of 10 short films by Scott Parker exploring the history and daily reality of nine small communities in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Also notable are the 49th film from eminent documentarian Alanis Obomsawin, whose We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice (On ne peut pas faire deux fois la même erreur) is about the battle Indigenous people have waged for equitable access to medical and social services, and Angry Inuk (Inuk en colère), from director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, which looks at how the international anti-seal-hunt lobby threatens the survival of Inuit communities in Canada and other countries.

Animation

The NFB’s animation studios produced or co-produced 30 short films and one feature last year, including J’aime les filles (I Like Girls), by animation filmmaker Diane Obomsawin, Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming (La vie en Rosie – L’épopée persane de Rosie Ming), by Ann Marie Fleming, and Hedgehog’s Home (La maison du hérisson), by Eva Cvijanović.

The Naked Island (Déchéance publique) series of 14 very short animated films framed as public service alerts is also worth noting for its fusion of art, animation, and advertising designed to provoke self-reflection through satire and dissent.

Interactive and immersive works, and virtual reality

For their part, the NFB’s interactive studios launched six productions in 2016–2017. Highlights include Seances, an interactive installation by iconoclastic filmmaker Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson that cleverly pays homage to lost films of the past; the immersive 360-degree virtual reality project Cut-Off, which takes the viewer to the Indigenous community of Shoal Lake 40, which does not have drinkable water, during a historic visit by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; and Bear 71 VR, a virtual reality reinvention of the multiple-award-winning interactive documentary Bear 71, told largely from the point of view of a female grizzly bear in Banff National Park. Bear 71 VR was created in partnership with Google’s Chrome and virtual reality teams, the IDFA DocLab, and Sound and Vision.

Creation and innovation labs

The NFB hosted several creative labs supporting collaboration among creators from different cultural backgrounds.

  • The Déranger lab welcomed seven young multidisciplinary francophone artists from Inuit and First Nations communities, who created three prototype works over a five-day period.
  • The intensive virtual reality (VR) lab Open Immersive, organized in partnership with the Ford Foundation and the Canadian Film Centre, brought together six Indigenous artists from Canada and six Black artists from the southern United States to create prototypes for new works.
  • NFB XP, a 48-hour hackathon, invited women from the worlds of cinema, video games, and multidisciplinary creation to discuss the challenges of creation in virtual and mixed reality.

Partnerships and institutional projects

The Institutional Program has developed numerous partnerships in order to produce innovative and ambitious projects. Ocean School (École des océans), aimed at young people between the ages of 5 and 11, aims to develop an awareness of the importance of protecting the oceans, while also cultivating a recognition of the importance of science in general. Developed in partnership with Dalhousie University, it will be launched in spring 2018. The project Kyma, Power of Waves (Kyma, ondes en puissance), came about through a partnership with the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at Space for Life; this innovative immersive experience designed for fulldome projection will be screening throughout 2017–2018. Finally, the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) and the NFB concluded a partnership for the delivery of seven short films and seven workshops for Indigenous youth in urban centres, as well as a 52-minute film, educational resources, and short virtual reality films designed for classroom use.

Technological innovation

The NFB began the implementation of the audiovisual portion of its 2016–2020 Technology Plan, which aims to innovate in the areas of production, accessibility, asset management, and the preservation of audiovisual content.

In 2016–2017, the NFB worked to integrate completely digital production workflows and has deployed a number of significant efforts in order to improve the management of media assets, with the goal of enhancing the fluidity of audiovisual content throughout the process of production, post-production, and distribution. In addition, critical initiatives have been undertaken in order to offer digital content in the UHD/4K format on digital platforms. The NFB has also worked on creating a standardized format for dome and VR productions, in order to increase visibility and opportunities for screening and sales. Finally, a new standardized portal to access the NFB’s media-management resources was launched. This new MAM portal allows NFB users to more quickly find, see and share multimedia content.

Support for emerging and independent filmmakers

Supporting emerging talent is critical to ensuring the future of Canada’s film industry. In 2016–2017, the NFB worked with emerging filmmakers from all regions of Canada; they accounted for a total of 36 works, or 49% of titles produced during the year. This increase relative to the previous year is due in part to the production of the Naked Island (Déchéance publique) series of short videos, which premiered on Facebook. The NFB also put in place a series of initiatives to discover and nurture emerging Canadian filmmakers:

  • The NFB completed production of the documentaries Partie de moi by André Roy and La dernière clé by Julien Capraro—both winners of the ninth edition of the Tremplin competition for emerging francophone filmmakers outside Quebec.
  • The 11th edition of the Hothouse mentorship program for emerging talents in animation once again brought together animators from across the country. Working with mentors over 12 weeks, they each directed a short animated film on the subject “Found Sound 2.0.”

 

Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17
Actual results
2015–16
Actual results
2014–15
Actual results
The NFB’s audiovisual works are innovative Percentage of Canadian public that perceives the NFB as an innovative, creative institution 70% innovative
80% creative
March 31, 2018 79% innovative
90% creative
70% innovative
81% creative
70% innovative
81% creative
Percentage of prestige awards and tributes among total number of awards earned at Canadian and international festivals 1 25% March 31, 2018 29% 21% 29%
Emerging and established Canadian creators at the NFB reflect Canada’s diversity Percentage of completed audiovisual works by emerging filmmakers2. 30% March 31, 2018 49% 25% 25%
Numbers of emerging filmmakers working on a film at the NFB or participating in NFB-organized talent-nurturing initiatives, including competitions 120 March 31, 2018 142 141 175
Percentage of completed audiovisual works by culturally, regionally and linguistically diverse filmmakers, Aboriginal filmmakers and people with disabilities 55% March 31, 2018 58% 64% 45%
Events of historic and cultural significance promoting Canadian culture and values include NFB participation. Number of productions for major national and international projects 13 March 31, 2018 13 15 16

 

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending (authorities used)
2016–17
Difference (actual minus planned)
35,877,615 36,302,290 36,520,244 32,281,971 (4,238,273)

 

The variance results from a delay in the completion of projects made through partnerships, the carrying forward of expenses related to the NFB’s relocation, and a revision in the distribution of the costs of technical services.

 

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17
Planned
2016–17
Actual
2016–17
Difference
(actual minus planned)
191 164 (27)

 

The variance can be explained by a change in the methodology for allocating FTEs to post-production services, when they had previously been primarily allocated to production activities. The methodology was reviewed and improved in order to reflect the portion of internal technical services dedicated to the delivery of products in a variety of physical and digital formats.

 

Program 1.2: Accessibility and Audience Engagement

Description

This program ensures that Canadian 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, Indigenous and official-language minority communities.

The NFB’s accessibility and audience engagement activities contribute to a dynamic Canadian culture and heritage.

Results

In keeping with its mandate as a public distributor of Canadian content, the NFB has taken measures to increase access to the works in its collection—making them more available for citizens of Canada and elsewhere—through its various distribution channels. In response to new media-consumption habits, the organization has worked to solidify its presence in digital spaces, putting forward a strategy that aims to produce works designed specifically for social media while pursuing the overall renewal of its digital distribution platforms.

Canadian content for audiences at home and abroad

The number of viewings of NFB works increased again this year, to 54 million—a 15% increase over the previous year. Internet views enjoyed record growth, increasing from 23 million worldwide in 2015–2016 to 39 million in 2016–2017. This increase comes primarily from views on our YouTube partner site, which nearly doubled (an 84% increase) to 30 million, and on Facebook (3.4 million).

The NFB also increased its online offerings by more than 10% in 2016–2017, with 430 new titles made available for free at NFB.ca. In response to the growing consumption of content on social media, the NFB has furthered its efforts to reach Canadian and international audiences through its various online partners’ platforms, including YouTube and Facebook, by investing in short-form projects created specifically for social media and designed to be shared.

Notable productions screened online include the following, which were resounding successes with both the public and the industry:

  • Naked Island (Déchéance publique), a series of 14 short videos, received more than a million views in Canada and more than two million around the world. This was the first project in the history of the NFB to premiere on Facebook.
  • The animated film Blind Vaysha (Vaysha l’aveugle) was nominated for an Oscar and was made available free of charge at NFB.ca and on Facebook in the week leading up to the awards ceremony. It had nearly 1,500 shares and more than 300,000 views in Canada on Facebook.
  • The video Mon pays, c’est l’hiver, by Nika Khanjani Rosadiuk, was seen more than 500,000 times on Facebook and elicited a great number of comments from users—many of whom shared their own stories and perspectives.

Increased community presence

NFB productions were screened in many communities both in Canada and beyond in 2016–2017. Domestic screening successes include the documentary film Theater of Life (Théâtre de la vie) by Peter Svatek, which was launched in nine Canadian cities. NFB works were seen by a total of 277,498 people at public screenings, with 230,502 people attending outdoor screenings.

New educational offering

The NFB worked on plans for an all-new digital educational offering aimed at students and teachers, combining stimulating and easily accessible interactive resources with an integrated learning community. In 2016–2017, the NFB’s educational offer included the following:

  • The addition of 1,423 titles to the CAMPUS educational platform, aimed at the educational and institutional markets;
  • The development of Media School, a learning platform centred on online media production for digital storytelling and the creation of animation and documentaries;
  • The development of new educational kits and interactive courses, including a variety of films, lesson plans, infographics and interactive narratives;
  • The organization of media production workshops—in partnership with eight Canadian and international organizations—including 300 hours of online learning, with 7,824 participants;
  • Four virtual classrooms, in which 9,320 Canadian students and teachers participated.

Partnerships

In 2016–2017, the NFB finalized several partnerships in the areas of broadcasting and access to its works.

  • A three-year memorandum of understanding was signed with the Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal (CRIM). The agreement will see the NFB use its expertise to help CRIM make 300 new titles accessible to people with visual impairments by using described-video technology3 with a synthesized voice.
  • A co-operation agreement with Radio-Canada was signed; it covers a number of areas, including digitization of material on film, video captioning for virtual and augmented reality, an open channel of communication between NFB R&D and Radio-Canada’s engineering department, as well as technical aspects related to the two organizations’ relocation projects.

Celebrations for Canada’s 150th birthday

In honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the NFB developed three major national projects underlining the variety and richness of Canadian perspectives:

  • Aabiziingwashi (Wide Awake): Indigenous Cinema on Tour: This free cross-Canada screening series, launched in January 2017, spotlights works directed by Indigenous filmmakers and produced by the NFB.
  • 1 Nation. 4 Lenses: This special program, available online as of February 2017, brings together new releases and NFB classics that reveal Canada as a land of rich imagery, history, and possibilities—a vast and diverse country of spectacular beauty.
  • Legacies 150: A series of 13 interactive photo essays in which Canadians from a variety of backgrounds reflect on our collective journey as a nation, the heritage that has been passed down to us, and what we want to leave to future generations.

 

Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17
Actual results
2015–16
Actual results
2014–15
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 40% March 31, 2018 20% 39% 39%
Total number of views of NFB works 45,000,000 March 31, 2018 53,920,167 46,213,608 45,425,173
Total number of users by level of engagement (registered or customer) 522,500 March 31, 2018 679,124 586,944 443,285
Total revenues generated $2,900,000 March 31, 2018 $2,878,043 $3,163,986 $3,432,494

 

A change in methodology accounts for the variance between the target and the actual results for the “Percentage of Canadian population who say they viewed an NFB production in the last year” performance indicator. The 2017 edition of the survey was the first to use the probability-sampling method and a mixed-mode approach (landline and cell phone numbers); in past surveys, people were invited to respond via the Internet. Also, the results of the 2017 edition of the survey have been weighted to be fully representative of the adult population of Canada and to allow regional comparisons. This means that the results of the 2017 survey can be transposed to the entire Canadian population.

 

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending (authorities used)
2016–17
Difference (actual minus planned)
17,598,853 17,804,118 20,678,689 20,736,550 57,861

 

The increase in funds dedicated to this program is offset by the carrying forward of funds related to the relocation of the NFB’s head office.

 

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17
Planned
2016–17
Actual
2016–17
Difference
(actual minus planned)
150 168 18

 

The increase in the number of FTEs is a result of additional funds allocated to the NFB in Budget 2016, as well as a review of the way in which technical services were distributed, in order to better reflect activities tied to the delivery of products in a variety of physical and digital formats.

Information on the NFB’s lower-level programs is available on the NFB website and in the TBS InfoBase.

 

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories 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; and Acquisition Services.

Results

The NFB has undertaken its organizational transformation with the goal of creating a workplace that encourages creativity, innovation, synergy, and collaboration. The organization has launched a number of initiatives to support that end:

  • An employee-engagement survey directed at all NFB employees was carried out in order to measure three key indicators: the employee-experience index, the management-quality index, and the organizational-health index. The results obtained through the survey allowed the NFB to develop relevant strategies that will be put into place in order to create a workplace environment favouring employee engagement.
  • In September 2016, a reflection workshop called “In It Together: Designing Our Future” brought together about 80 employees, managers, and members of the senior-management team to reflect on the past and present of the NFB, and to bring forward a common vision for the NFB of the future. That vision, which is articulated in 15 statements, was very positively received; a steering committee made up of employees from all sectors is working to develop a strategy to implement them all. In addition, training sessions on collaborative approaches were offered to all managers, with a view to clarifying their role in ushering in the NFB of the future and creating collaborative leadership in the service of the new institutional culture.
  • Finally, as part of the ongoing implementation of its 2016–2020 Technology Plan, the NFB pursued the deployment of collaborative technology that facilitates mobility and productivity for work teams throughout the organization.

Modernization of systems and infrastructure

The NFB began the process of putting new financial-management and SAP tools into place, in order to comply with the Comptroller General of Canada’s Financial Management Transformation (FMT) initiative.

Furthermore, in order to complete its major projects, the NFB released its 2017–2022 Investment Plan. This plan is centred on six key initiatives that emphasize modernizing the infrastructure supporting activities at the heart of the NFB’s mandate. It notably includes the investments necessary to complete major projects such as the updating and modernization of systems, the development of web platforms and the relocation of NFB offices.

Compliance with government policies

In keeping with the new Policy on Results, which came into effect in July 2016, the NFB initiated the implementation of the new performance framework, program inventory, and information profiles on the performance of each program.

As part of its commitment to comply with the Directive on Record Keeping, the NFB launched the final phase of the implementation of the Eureka project, whose aim is to inventory all records of operational value and institute the process of conserving those records. Work in this area should be completed over the next year for all sectors of the NFB.

NFB office relocations

The NFB successfully completed the relocation of its Toronto and Edmonton offices. Plans for structural work, layout and design of the new head office in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles were completed. The project is currently in the construction phase and is on-budget. Under the current timelines, the move should be completed in 2018–2019.

 

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending (authorities used)
2016–17
Difference (actual minus planned)
8,418,352 8,517,592 9,307,403 10,136,012 828,609

 

The variance between actual spending and planned spending comes from additional resources devoted to improving compliance with Treasury Board directives, notably in the areas of information management, as well as from resources devoted to organizational transformation and the management of changes related to the moves of the NFB’s head office and the Toronto and Edmonton offices.

 

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17
Planned
2016–17
Actual
2016–17
Difference
(actual minus planned)
51 64 13

 

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Departmental spending trend graph

Departmental spending trend graph

[D]

Note: For previous years, the line “Voted” corresponds to the actual spending and not to the voted authorizations.

 

Budgetary performance summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)
Programs and Internal Services 2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2017–18
Planned spending
2018–19
Planned spending
Audiovisual Production 35,877,615 36,302,290 43,323,228 35,663,548
Accessibility and Audience Engagement 17,598,853 17,804,118 21,657,098 17,474,271
Subtotal 53,476,468 54,106,408 64,980,326 53,137,819
Internal Services 8,418,352 8,517,592 9,395,019 8,037,335
Total 61,894,820 62,624,000 74,375,345 61,175,154
Programs and Internal Services 2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending (authorities used)
2015–16
Actual spending (authorities used)
2014–15
Actual spending (authorities used)
Audiovisual Production 36,520,244 32,281,971 34,823,000 36,188,094
Accessibility and Audience Engagement 20,678,689 20,736,550 16,702,002 17,493,394
Subtotal 57,198,933 53,018,521 51,525,002 53,681,488
Internal Services 9,307,403 10,136,012 8,307,358 8,457,516
Total 66,506,336 63,154,533 59,832,360 62,139,004

 

There is a $3.9 million variance between the total authorized spending of $66.5 million in 2016–2017 and total planned spending. This difference is largely due to an increase in operating funds allotted to the NFB in Budget 2016 ($1.5 million), a carry-over of $2.7 million in funds from 2015–2016, and a reduction of $2.7 million in the cost of benefits.

Actual spending was $63.2 million for 2016–2017; $3.4 million less than total authorized spending for the year. This difference is due to funds for office moves being carried forward, including a portion that has been held over to the next few years.

Actual spending for Audiovisual Production and Accessibility and Audience Engagement shows significant variance from budgetary projections. These differences are primarily explained by the carrying over of funds related to the Montreal headquarters move.

For Internal Services, most actual spending is related to the implementation of the organizational transformation project “In It Together,” which defines a vision for the NFB of the future, as well as to the final phase of the implementation of the Eureka project, which will fully bring the NFB into compliance with the Directive on Record Keeping.

 

Actual human resources

 

Human resources summary for Programs and Internal Services (full time equivalents)
Programs and Internal Services 2014–15
Actual
2015–16
Actual
2016–17
Forecast
2016–17
Actual
2017–18
Planned
2018–19
Planned
Audiovisual Production 194 197 191 164 164 164
Accessibility and Audience Engagement 144 126 150 168 172 172
Subtotal 338 323 341 332 336 336
Internal Services 52 51 51 64 69 69
Total 390 374 392 396 405 405

 

The number of FTEs grew in 2016–2017 relative to the previous year as a result of new employee hiring made possible by the allocation of additional funds to the NFB in Budget 2016, for the purpose of implementing projects aimed at improving the organization’s compliance with government policies and directives.

Additional resources are foreseen for 2017–2018 and 2018–2019 for the review of administrative processes as part of the implementation of new integrated SAP software. The Departmental Plan projections for 2017–2018 and 2018–2019 were for 369 FTEs. These projections were subsequently revised upward to take into account the additional resources required for the roll-out of the SAP project.

 

Expenditures by vote

For information on the NFB’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2017.

 

Alignment of spending with the whole-of-government framework

Alignment of 2016−17 actual spending with the whole-of-government framework (dollars)
Program Spending area Government of Canada activity 2016–17
Actual spending
1.1 Audiovisual Production Social Affairs Vibrant Canadian culture and heritage 32,281,971
1.2 Accessibility and Audience Engagement Social Affairs Vibrant Canadian culture and heritage 20,736,550

 

Total spending by spending area (dollars)
Secteur de dépenses Total des dépenses prévues Total des dépenses réelles
Social affairs 54,106,408 53,018,521

 

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

The NFB’s financial statements [unaudited] for the year ended March 31, 2017, are available on the NFB website.

Financial statements highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2017 (dollars)
Financial information 2016–17
Planned results
2016–17
Actual
2015–16
Actual
Difference
(2016–17
actual minus
2016–17
planned)
Difference
(2016–17
actual minus
2015–16
actual)
Total expenses 64,744,868 66,919,247 63,446,996 2,174,379 3,472,251
Total revenues 5,583,000 4,756,398 3,386,603 (826,602) 1,369,795
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 59,161,868 62,162,849 60,060,393 3,000,981 2,102,456

 

Charges

Expenses are presented on an accrual accounting basis.
The variance between planned and actual expenses is due primarily to three factors:

  • The NFB received additional funds totalling $1.5 million in Budget 2016;
  • Funds carried forward from 2015–2016 to 2016–2017 were greater than expected, due to a shift in expenses related to the Montreal headquarters move;
  • Provisions for salary adjustments were greater than foreseen.

 

Expenses by major sectors
Charges 2016-17 2015-16 2016-17 2015-16
(in thousand dollars) %
Audiovisual Production 32,451 30,267 48,5 47,7
Accessibility and Audience Engagement 24,256 24,171 36,2 38,1
Internal Services 10,212 9,009 15,3 14,2
Total expenses 66,919 63,447 100,0 100,0

 

Revenues

Realized revenues in 2016–2017 increased by $1,369,795 over the previous year—an increase of 40%. The difference is due primarily to greater sponsorship revenue. Actual revenues are lower than projected due to delays in the production of certain audiovisual works.

 

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as at March 31, 2017 (dollars)
Financial Information 2016–17 2015-16 Difference
(2016–17 minus
2015–16)
Total net liabilities 12,001,929 10,884,900 1,117,029
Total net financial assets 6,134,669 6,293,487 (158,818)
Departmental net debt 5,867,260 4,591,413 1,275,847
Total non-financial assets 10,299,376 8,031,799 2,267,577
Departmental net financial position 4,432,116 3,440,386 (991,730)

 

The difference between 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 in total net liabilities is due to salary revisions, which were increased this year. The difference in total non-financial assets is due to leasehold improvements for Toronto and Edmonton offices, as well as work in progress for the relocation of the NFB’s central office.

 

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable Mélanie Joly, P.C., M.P. Minister of Canadian Heritage

Institutional head: Claude Joli-Coeur, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the NFB

Ministerial portfolio: Department of Canadian Heritage

Enabling instrument[s]: National Film Act, R.S.C., c. N-8

Year of incorporation / commencement: 1939

Other: The NFB Board of Trustees usually consists of eight members: the Government Film Commissioner, who is also Chairperson, the Executive Director of Telefilm Canada, and six other members appointed by the Governor in Council. With the exception of the Commissioner and the Executive Director of Telefilm Canada, trustees are appointed to three-year terms. The Board’s role is primarily to set the NFB’s general direction, and to approve its budget and strategic plan.

Reporting framework

The National Film Board’s Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture of record for 2016–17 are shown below.

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

 

Supporting information on lower-level programs

Supporting information on results, financial and human resources related to the National Film Board of Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the TBS InfoBase.

 

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the NFB’s website :

 

Federal tax expenditures

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 each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

 

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

Websites
www.nfb.ca
www.onf-nfb.gc.ca

Social media
https://www.facebook.com/nfb.ca
http://www.twitter.com/thenfb/
https://vimeo.com/thenfb
https://www.youtube.com/user/nfb
https://www.instagram.com/onf_nfb/

 

Appendix: definitions

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

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

Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.

Departmental Plan (Plan ministériel)
Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated departments over a three year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.

Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
A Departmental Result represents the change or changes that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.

Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.

Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
Consists of the department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.

Departmental Results Report (Rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
Provides information on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.

Evaluation (évaluation)
In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.

full time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
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-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2017–18 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada’s Strength; and Security and Opportunity.

horizontal initiatives (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more federal organizations, through an approved funding agreement, work toward achieving clearly defined shared outcomes, and which has been designated (for example, by Cabinet or a central agency) as a horizontal initiative for managing and reporting purposes.

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)
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 Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, 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 Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

plans (plans)
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.

results (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.

 

Endnotes

1 – For instance, innovation-related awards, creative excellence awards, tributes, Canada Award for Diversity.

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

3 – “Described video” includes audio clips that aim to translate the visual content, so that the work can be heard by people with visual impairments.