Report on the talent fund 2016-2017

New and Diverse Canadian Voices

The Talent Fund can be a major player in encouraging new voices in Canadian cinema to take risks and make films in new ways and places, tranforming the cinematic landscape in this country.

–– Ashley McKenzie, Director, Werewolf

Winner of the 2017 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award ($100,000), from the Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA)

About the Talent Fund

Telefilm Canada created the Talent Fund in 2012. Since then, the Fund has raised more than $16 million to support the discovery and development of emerging content creators. The Fund draws on financial investment from private companies—notably Bell Media and Corus Entertainment—and on the generosity of individual donors.


The Talent Fund ensures that emerging Canadian talent is increasingly visible across the globe. It offers Canadian filmmakers access to stable, reliable and permanent sources of funding.


The Talent Fund supports the discovery and career progression of emerging Canadian talent in the audiovisual industry.


The goal of the Talent Fund is to raise $25 million over five years for the production of first feature films and the promotion of Canadian works by both emerging talent and by renowned, established filmmakers.


The Talent Fund:

  • is led by an advisory committee, chaired by Hartley T. Richardson, comprised of 11 distinguished Canadian entrepreneurs and philanthropists from across the country
  • is integrated into the programs administered by Telefilm Canada
  • is subject to management costs of 5%
  • provides information on its activities in Telefilm’s annual report and to its major donors

Talent Fund advisory committee

The fund is led by an advisory committee of business and community leaders from across the country and chaired by Hartley T. Richardson. Committee members have demonstrated their profound dedication to the fund’s success, for which Telefilm and its stakeholders are truly grateful.

How the Fund supports talent

The Fund promotes the discovery and development of talent in three ways:



The Talent Fund supports the production of first feature films and narrative web series through Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program (formerly the Micro-Budget Production Program). The program helps to ignite the career of emerging talent, focusing in particular on creators from Indigenous and official-language minority communities. The program has been especially successful in its support of women.



Feature film and narrative web projects of merit that demonstrate in an exemplary way Telefilm’s fundamental objective of “Inspired by Talent. Viewed Everywhere.” are selected from across the country.



The Talent Fund promotes Canadian content and talent by encouraging the use of innovative marketing and multiplatform distribution strategies. The Fund’s support also helps to establish new initiatives that focus on creating awareness for Canadian talent, and Telefilm’s social media platforms serve to reinforce these efforts.

Karine Vanasse : Talent Fund ambassador

This year, award-winning film and television actor Karine Vanasse became the Fund’s first ambassador. Her role strengthens the Talent Fund’s credibility and visibility while ensuring it can deliver on its mission to support the discovery of Canadian talents and foster their career progression.

“I’m delighted that I’ll have an opportunity to help Canadians discover emerging filmmakers, who are telling their stories with creativity, boldness and originality. As someone who started her career at a young age, I know how important it is to promote young creators—many of whom will become tomorrow’s stars.” – Karine Vanasse –

Message from the Chair of the advisory committee

As Chair of the Talent Fund advisory committee, it is a great honour and a privilege to contribute to the growth of the Canadian audiovisual industry.

Message from the Vice-Chair of Telefilm Canada’s Board

I’m very proud of the room Telefilm Canada makes for emerging talent, and for of the progress we have made through our work with the Talent Fund.

Message from the Executive Director of Telefilm Canada

In this era of transformation, the discovery and development of the next generation of creators is more important than ever.

Investment, success and impact


Revenues of $2,582,387 through the support of Bell Media and Corus Entertainment, as well as private donors.

Revenues generated by the Talent Fund

Allocation of funds


The Fund financed 57.2% of the Micro-Budget Production Program, for a total of $1,257,190.

Talent Fund support to the Micro-Budget Production Program

A total of 18 micro-budget first projects and one animated project were funded, of which. 15 were feature films and four were narrative web series.

The following figures speak to the diversity of projects funded
  • a variety of genres, including narrative, documentary, comedy, horror, thriller and animation
  • 14 English-language and 5 French-language projects
  • 3 projects by filmmakers from official-language minority communities
  • 2 projects by filmmakers from Indigenous communities
  • 11 films originating from the regions


To ensure that Canadian cinematic worksfilms are seen and recognized at home and abroad, the Talent Fund invested $918,734 in promotional and marketing activities nationally and internationally.

Allocation of funding to promotion

Some noteworthy initiatives:

47,410 screenings

The Sprint pré-Gala campaign helped showcase nominated films to audiences across Quebec.

The Talent Fund was a proud partner of this red-carpet initiative, hosted by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, that spotlighted the next generation of creators from coast to coast.


Through our partnership with Via Rail and Les Films Séville, free screenings of some 50 Canadian films were offered to Via Rail passengers.


The Talent Fund has helped nurture talented creators from all regions of the country, who have delighted audiences around the world. The funded projects offer a greater diversity of voices and stories than ever before. A large number of the selected projects, for example, are either produced, directed or written by women, including:

A web series that makes the Franco-Albertan community proud

Through the Talent Fund, Far West Productions was able to create the digital series Abigaëlle et le date coaching, shot entirely in French on location in Edmonton.

The first-ever feature film produced in the Northwest Territories

The success of The Sun at Midnight strengthened the community of emerging filmmakers in the Northwest Territories, paving the way for other NWT filmmakers.

The first-ever feature film produced in the Northwest Territories

The success of The Sun at Midnight strengthened the community of emerging filmmakers in the Northwest Territories, paving the way for other NWT filmmakers.


Long-lasting impact on many levels:

  • support for emerging Canadian filmmakers, in particular women directors, producers, and writers
  • audience access to content from Indigenous and official-language minority communities (OLMC)
  • use of new digital distribution platforms
  • innovation at the development, production, distribution and promotion stages
  • help to applicants build a portfolio

In Production: Diverse Canadian Voices

Having access to funding through the Talent Fund and Telefilm is invaluable, but even more important, I think, was the chance we were given to collectively support each other as filmmakers and creators in more personal setting. I highly recommend the micro-budget program and this evolution of connection and can’t say enough about the enthusiasm and positive feedback we’ve gained from Telefilm and everyone involved. Thank you for your faith in us! –– Patti Larsen, writer-director, The Lovely Witches Club (Prince Edward Island)

Today, I am more confident and capable and now have real world credentials to leverage opportunities moving forward. –– Kirsten Carthew, director, The Sun at Midnight (Northwest Territories)

There is a real opportunity in the ability to support micro-budget content, an area we believe is going to be increasingly more important in the world of longer-form content, particularly in the realm of comedy. –– Eli Batalion, writer-director and producer, Appiness (Québec)

What an inspiring journey and learning experience! To have such an opportunity to not only express our art but to be so well supported through the process is extraordinary. We’re so thankful to have Telefilm on our side! Merci beaucoup! –– Corey Loranger, producer, Abigaëlle et le date coaching (Alberta)

Thank you to the Talent Fund for letting me follow my dream. I’m having the time of my life making films. I honestly couldn’t be doing it without your support and I’m forever grateful. –– Amy Jo Johnson, director, The Space Between (Ontario)

Quelle expérience inspirante et instructive ! C’est extraordinaire d’avoir pu exprimer notre art et d’avoir été si bien soutenus tout au long du processus. Nous sommes chanceux d’avoir Téléfilm à nos côtés ! Merci beaucoup !  –– Corey Loranger, producteur, Abigaëlle et le date coaching (Alberta)

Merci au Fonds des talents de m’avoir permis de réaliser mon rêve. Je vis les plus beaux moments de ma vie à faire des films. Je ne pourrais honnêtement pas le faire sans votre soutien et je vous en suis profondément reconnaissante. –– Amy Jo Johnson, réalisatrice, The Space Between (Ontario)

Financial Review


During the last fiscal year, the Talent Fund received



from Bell Media and


from Corus Entertainment

$416,000 +

raised from

77 private donors

[1] All financial figures are rounded.

Principal Partners





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