Minister Rodriguez Announces Solutions to Support Canada’s Film Industry

News release

GATINEAU, May 9, 2019

National cultural institutions and creative industries play a key role in promoting Canadian culture, building national identity and reflecting our shared values.

That is why the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, today announced $7.5 million in new funding to address the challenges faced by Telefilm Canada in funding French-language productions in 2019–2020. This non-renewable investment is available immediately for the current fiscal year.

Minister Rodriguez has been informed by the industry that the funds for the selective component of the Telefilm Production Program for the 2019–2020 fiscal year were already almost fully committed. Minister Rodriguez acted quickly to fulfil his commitment to support Canadian artists.

Christa Dickenson, Telefilm Canada’s Executive Director, today confirmed that $2.5 million will also be available for feature films awaiting funding.

This brings the total amount of new funding available for French-language productions in 2019–2020 to $10 million.

Minister Rodriguez also announced two new appointments to Telefilm Canada’s Board of Directors: Robert Spickler has been appointed Chair, and Karen Horcher, an experienced chartered accountant, will serve as a board member.

Mr. Spickler has been involved in the cultural community in Quebec and Canada for more than 40 years, and has extensive knowledge of cultural policies at the national and international level. Under his leadership, Telefilm Canada’s board and senior management will have a mandate to support the Crown corporation’s evolution in the digital age so that the organization can continue to meet the needs of all producers and ensure stable funding for the coming years. They will also oversee the implementation of new governance rules in order to better meet the needs of all producers and ensure stable funding in the years ahead.

As part of this exercise, Telefilm Canada will hire an independent external auditor to review the organization’s funding practices and recommend any necessary changes.


“Our film industry is a source of pride, and I will never let it down. I will always be there to defend our culture and our language. We can’t simply stand by while good films are not produced. That’s why this new funding will be made available this year to directly support French-language projects.

“Mr. Spickler and Ms. Horcher’s experience and knowledge will be valuable assets to Telefilm Canada’s Board of Directors.”

—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

“I would like to thank Minister Rodriguez for ensuring that the Quebec film industry has the necessary resources to produce the world-class content for which it is known. I welcome Robert Spickler as Chair of Telefilm and Karen Horcher as a new board member, and I look forward to working with them to find long-term solutions to support Quebec filmmakers appropriately in this era of change. One thing remains clear: Telefilm has always been and will always be a major ally of this industry, and we will do our utmost to ensure that it continues to succeed and reach new heights in the years to come.”

—Christa Dickenson, Executive Director, Telefilm Canada

Quick facts

  • Telefilm Canada is a federal cultural agency that provides funding through the Canada Feature Film Fund for original, diverse and high-quality audiovisual productions that reflect Canada’s linguistic duality and cultural diversity. Telefilm Canada also works to support the promotion and the widest possible distribution of Canadian productions at home and abroad.

  • Telefilm Canada is an independent Crown corporation responsible for managing its own day-to-day operations, and we respect that independence.

  • Through Budget 2016 and Canadian Heritage's creative export initiatives, the Government of Canada has reinvested a further $29 5 million in Telefilm Canada to provide funding and promotional programs focused on the cultural, commercial and industrial success of the audiovisual sector. The Government of Canada invests more than $700 million annually in this sector. In 2018–2019, Telefilm Canada’s budget was $110.9 million.

  • The Canada Feature Film Fund is available to any film production company that belongs to Canadian interests and is under their control. Other programs administered by Telefilm provide funding for development, production, marketing, feature-length documentaries, and participation in international festivals and events.

  • Robert Spickler has held senior management positions at Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Canadian Centre for Architecture and the International Council of Museums. Mr. Spickler has also been a member of several boards of directors, notably serving as vice-chair of the executive committee of UNESCO’s Canadian office, president of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, and chair of the finance committee of the International Council of Museums.

  • Karen Horcher has worked for more than 30 years in the business and finance fields. She has extensive experience in corporate financial strategy, auditing and project management. She is also the author of several internationally acclaimed books on financial risk management and cash management.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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