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Strategic Outcome

The reflection of Canadian values and perspectives through the production of innovative Canadian audiovisual works accessible in relevant media of the day.

The NFB achieves this strategic outcome through three program activities: Production of Audiovisual Works; Distribution, Accessibility and Outreach; and Internal Services. By producing relevant, challenging and innovative audiovisual works, the NFB gives Canadians a better understanding of Canada and the world. It also explores the creative potential of new technologies to make its works more widely accessible to Canadians in all regions of the country while strengthening Canada's presence in the digital world through its internationally recognized brand. On the whole, the NFB accomplished the results it had set to achieve in 2009–2010 for this strategic objective.


Program Activity by Strategic Outcome

Program Activity 1: Production of audiovisual works

Production of audiovisual works
2009–2010 Financial Resources ($ thousands) 2009–2010 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending Planned Actual Difference
45,417 48,278 47,754 216 214 -2


Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Performance Status Performance Summary

The NFB produces relevant, challenging and innovative audiovisual works that give Canadians a better understanding of Canada and the world.

Percentage of Canadian public that perceive the NFB as producing relevant, challenging and innovative audiovisual works.

50% by March 31, 2011


According to an online survey of Canadians from across the country conducted on behalf of the NFB in March 2010, 59% of respondents perceive the NFB as producing relevant, challenging and innovative audiovisual works.

Percentage of NFB audience that perceive the NFB as producing audiovisual works that provide a better understanding of Canada and of the world.

75% by March 31, 2011

Mostly Met

In all, 72% of the online survey respondents perceive the NFB as producing works that provide a better understanding of Canada.

Awards, mentions, nominations and tributes earned at Canadian and international festivals.

150 by March 31, 2011


The NFB won 82 awards, 53 in Canada and 29 abroad. It should be noted that, over the years, the NFB has reassessed its presence at festivals and reduced the number of festivals to which it submits its films. This more targeted approach has had an impact on the number of awards won.


Program Activity Summary

NFB productions provide a uniquely Canadian perspective, including diverse cultural and regional perspectives, recognized across Canada and around the world, thereby playing an important role in the lives of Canadians and a pivotal role in the Canadian film and television industry. The NFB's programming fosters diverse voices and content in both official languages by encouraging participation from Aboriginal groups and ethno-cultural communities from across the country. Production activities include the conceptualization, research, development, production and marketing of documentaries, animation films, new media content, and other emerging forms. The use of the most recent production methods and technologies provide for quality works that are accessible on new distribution platforms and in new media.

Benefits for Canadians

The NFB provides an essential service by producing works that tell our stories, reflect our values and Canada's demographic profile in the following ways:

  • It seeks to foster the exploration of social issues, raise the awareness and understanding of Canadians and other nations about Canada, and help Canadians connect with one another.
  • It explores the creative potential of new technologies.
  • It plays a unique role by providing Canadian content in a digital world where foreign content prevails.
  • It serves as a partner for cultural and historical events of national significance that highlight Canadian artistic innovations to the world.

Performance Analysis

Number of productions 2009-2010
Original productions and co-productions 112
Original Web productions (websites) 9
Original films for websites 140
Total 261


112 original productions and co-productions were completed in 2009–2010, up from just over 90 the year before. Of these, 69 were co-produced with the Canadian independent private sector, and 31 with international partners4.

Documentaries made up 51 of these original productions and co-productions, while 45 were animated films, eight were fiction, seven were experimental films and one was a 3D fiction short.

In addition, the NFB produced nine original Web productions, which feature 140 films from a wide range of established and emerging media makers. It should be noted that 120 of the 140 films for the Web were produced for the site GDP: Measuring the Human Side of the Canadian Economic Crisis / PIB: L'Indice humain de la crise économique website.

Notable partnerships

For a second year, the NFB, in association with the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards, produced a series of distinctive shorts to honour recipients of the Artistic Achievement Award.

The NFB brought Canadians together for the Vancouver Olympic Games celebrations with the Cultural Olympiad's digital edition entitled Canada CODE. In partnership with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and 2010 Legacies Now, the NFB collaborated on a website of photos and stories to give all Canadians a chance to participate in the Games.

Thirteen First Nations and Inuit artists and filmmakers from across Canada created films for Vistas, a collection of short works exploring the theme of nationhood. Vistas was co-produced with Animiki See Digital Productions Inc and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), with the participation of every production studio in the NFB's English Program, from Halifax to Vancouver. The films are featured at as well as Digital Nations, originally created for the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

Last fiscal also saw the launch of Work For All: Stop Racism in the Workplace, an online film project about racial discrimination on the job, created by the NFB in partnership with the Labour Program of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, as part of the Government of Canada's Racism-Free Workplace Strategy. Beginning March 21, 2010, the International Day to End Racial Discrimination, the NFB launched five new films on the Work for All website – as part of a national 10-week event combining online videos, blogging and activities in Canadian cities.

As part of a collaborative effort with the Department of Canadian Heritage and Cirque du Soleil, the NFB completed in 2009–2010 the production Impressions/Glimpses by Jean-François Pouliot, a short film shown on a giant semi-circular screen at the Canada Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

Promoting diverse perspectives in both official languages and fostering talent development

NFB productions are created by Canadians talent from across the country in both official languages. Fully one half of our film productions were created by culturally, regionally and linguistically diverse Canadians, including Aboriginal filmmakers– and for film specifically for the Web, the figure rose to 69%. These include filmmakers from official language minority communities (OLMC), with 31 out of 112 original productions completed by OLMC filmmakers in 2009–2010, along with 25 out of 140 films for the Web.

The NFB plays an active role in the identification, development and mentorship of talent and creative skills, within both the established and emerging filmmaking communities. Emerging filmmakers were responsible for over 30% of the 112 works completed this year, and 26% of the 140 films for the Web.

The NFB also provided professional training to 253 Canadians through 25 talent nurturing initiatives. 117 of these Canadians participated in eight talent development initiatives in OLMCs.

Finally, 93 works (in addition to the 112 completed projects mentioned above) were created with the help of the Filmmaker Assistance Program and the Aide au cinéma indépendant Canada.


Awards for excellence and innovation 2009-2010
Canadian awards 53
International awards 29
Total 82


NFB productions picked up 82 Canadian and international awards at festivals. Examples include Invisible City by Hubert Davis, which won the Best Feature Award at the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto and Junior by Isabelle Lavigne and Stéphane Thibault, which garnered a Gémeaux Award for Best Documentary. The NFB was also recognized for its Web production Waterlife, which has won several awards, including Best Cross-Platform Project at the 2009 Canadian New Media Awards.

The year was also marked by 22 events paying tribute to the NFB, which celebrated its 70th anniversary. In Canada, 12 events highlighted the NFB's contribution to cinematic innovation and creativity, including the Banff World Television Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Gémeaux Awards ceremony. There were 10 such events abroad, including the Cannes Film Festival.

Review of programming criteria

Guided by the orientations of the Strategic Plan, the Creative heads of both English and French Programs reviewed the NFB's programming process and criteria. Common criteria were published on the website for filmmakers, artists and producers interested in working with the NFB as a creative producer. The guidelines are available at:

These guidelines are supplemented by a companion document explaining in detail how creators and producers can work with the NFB on interactive, digital projects for new platforms. This document is available at

Reorientation of marketing strategies

The NFB continues to transform its processes to produce and deliver programming in the digital formats required by Canadians and world audiences. Digital, multi-platform creations mean rethinking the relationship with audiences; leading to a much greater integration of marketing and distribution. In order to adapt to consumer habits on digital platforms and develop a more integrated approach, the NFB merged the Distribution (traditional and online), Accessibility and Outreach sectors into one branch. This reorientation allows the NFB to develop marketing strategies and programming that are better adapted to various market segments at the start of the production cycle.

Lessons Learned

NFB audiovisual works offer vital insights into our country's richness and diversity –and serve as an indispensable part of Canada's cultural heritage. The NFB has maintained its commitment to working with Canadian filmmakers to create innovative and important films that reflect the country's diversity and explain the changing cultural and social realities of Canada. Through its commitment to digital innovation, it continues to push boundaries in creativity, innovation and artistic vision and take commercial and artistic risks that the private sector is reluctant to take on.

There are areas of focus that will see development in the future. The NFB will remain a key participant in events of national significance, as it has in the past with Quebec City's 400th, the Vancouver Olympics, or the Shanghai World expo. These type of projects require flexibility in the programming workflows so that the NFB can respond quickly. The NFB will also need to continue its role in pushing the boundaries of creation by continuing to innovate in 3D. The current scope for online projects should also be expanded to encourage richer, and denser levels of interactivity. Above all, the NFB will continue to seize the opportunity offered right now by new platforms for becoming the world reference point for the creation of new art forms made possible by the digital space.


Program Activity 2: Distribution, accessibility and outreach

Distribution, accessibility and outreach
2009–2010 Financial Resources ($ thousands) 2009–2010 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending Planned Actual Difference
12,150 13,516 13,814 162 160 -2


Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Performance Status Performance Summary

NFB's audiovisual works are accessible to the Canadian public in all regions of the country.

Percentage of Canadian population who have access to NFB programming.

60% by March 31, 2011


Canadians with access to

The 2009 Canadian Internet Use Survey by Statistics Canada indicates that 80% of Canadians aged 16 and older, or 21.7 million people, used the Internet for personal reasons.

According to an online survey conducted on behalf of the NFB in March 2010, 91% of Canadians were aware of the NFB. Of those, 73% believed they had used, accessed, or viewed an NFB product.

Percentage of Canadian population who used, accessed, viewed an NFB product.

85% by March 31, 2011

Mostly Met

Among the 73% who had seen an NFB production at some point, about one in five have viewed one in the past year.

The proportion of Canadians viewing NFB productions on TV has declined since the 2008 survey (down 11% to 63%) and the number who say they are watching them online has almost tripled, reaching 17%.

The survey results suggest that the proportion who are aware that the products are available online has increased by 8% since 2008. Moreover, 26% of those aware of online accessibility say they have accessed NFB products online and this is an increase of 9% from 2008.

Number of clients, users and audience reached.



The NFB achieved greater than 28 million Canadian views for its productions on all platforms in 2008-2009, up 3% from the previous year.


Program Activity Summary

The NFB's Distribution, Accessibility and Outreach activities contribute to a dynamic Canadian culture and heritage. The distribution of audiovisual work includes: dissemination and commercializing its audiovisual catalogues and ancillary assets (such as its stockshot library and its photo collection), developing and diversifying markets (theatrical, TV, mobile, Web and new platforms, home consumer and institutional) in Canada and abroad.

Benefits for Canadians

The NFB is present in all relevant distribution channels, making unique programming available in both official languages in all regions of the country – sharing stories that reflect our history and values, and fostering a better understanding of the issues that concern Canadians. These program activities make works available in communities across Canada, including those in remote, rural areas, and provide increased access to Canadians with disabilities, Aboriginal groups and official language minority communities. It serves the Canadian population and the industry by ensuring a strong Canadian presence in the digital world and by testing new business models in emerging digital markets. This program activity also increases NFB visibility and awareness about the institution and its products through marketing, programming and distribution and by capitalizing on its renowned brand.

Performance Analysis

In its first full year of operation, the Screening Room on drew 4.4 million views globally (both in Canada and internationally). The public's enthusiasm also carried over to the NFB iPhone application, launched in October of 2009, which enabled 700,000 global views of films via 220,000 downloads of the app. The iPhone app was named one of the ten best apps of the year by iTunes.

Canadian audience

Canadian audience 2009-2010 2008-2009
Television views 11,540,000 11,889,000
Non-Theatrical views (Education and Institutional) 13,715,053 14,473,684 views 2,487,156 537,721
Online partners views (YouTube and Dailymotion) 339,616 274,099
Home video views 30,462 32,477
Visits to NFB Mediatheques 206,761 212,569
Public screening views 91,093 179,295
Views in theatres 21,851 89,300
Partner library views 99,317 138,367
GRAND TOTAL 28,531,309 27,826,512


In 2009–2010, the NFB reached over 28.5 million Canadians via a multitude of distribution channels. This represents a 3% increase compared to the previous year.5 The overall audience increase was overwhelmingly due to very significant increases in Internet audience views.

Online views stand at 2.8 million and now represent 10% of the NFB's total audiences. The vast majority of online views were on the site, totalling 2.5 million views. Online partners such as YouTube and Dailymotion generated 340,000 online views in Canada. The NFB's iPhone application enabled 500,000 Canadian views (included in the online audience totals), via 170,000 application downloads in Canada.

A vast cross-section of Canadians continues to access NFB productions via traditional distribution channels. NFB's Canadian non-theatrical audience (educational and institutional use) totalled over 13.7 million, while Canadian television audiences reached over 11.5 million. While both of these traditional channels have declined slightly over the year previous – as viewing behaviour increasingly migrates online – combined they represent 89% of NFB's total Canadian audience in 2009-10.

Increasing the NFB's online presence

Online Screening Room
Added productions
2009-2010 As of March 31, 2010
Trailers and clips in French 40 111
Trailers and clips in English 81 229
Films in French 241 573
Films in English 229 643
Total 591 1,556


The NFB has continued to increase it free film offerings online and promote its online Screening Room as well as its mobile phone application.

In 2009–2010, 281 productions in French and 310 in English were added to for a total of 1,556 productions (films, trailers and clips) available for streaming.

In January 2010, the NFB marked the one-year anniversary of the Screening Room by introducing high-definition films online – and added an online sampling of some of the NFB's recent experiments in stereoscopic 3-D animation including Falling in Love Again, Drux Flux and two excerpts of Facing Champlain. Over 50,000 pairs of special glasses for viewing the films were distributed free of charge in Canada. To enhance the interactivity of our online experience, we also introduced features that allowed users to share comments about films.

Digital shift

Digitized units according to format
Digitization formats Digitized units in 2009–2010 Digitized units as of March 31, 2010
Films in MPEG 2 format for distribution on DVD 799 6,076
Films in MPEG 4 format for use in NFB theatres in Montreal and Toronto 673 5,794
Production excerpts for the Web 1,564 1,564
Complete productions for the Web 1,285 3,121
Films for mobile devices 1,233 1,669
Films for e-cinema 140 281
Stockshots in NFB Images format 4,096 21,462


The NFB creates value for Canadians through the careful management of assets, including the digitization of its collection. The ongoing work with the NFB's digitization plan and the implementation of an archiving plan involve a detailed description of work flows, digitization priorities and annual digitization capacity as well as the creation of a digital master. The NFB tested its first digital master (DM) for the film Anne Trister. The procedure went well and made it possible to identify which processes should be automated.

Additionally, the NFB Images stockshots site now provides HD material that can be viewed, shared and downloaded. Nearly two hundred hours of stockshots are available in HD.

Significant organizational effort has also been devoted to the purchase and renewal of rights to the collection. The NFB currently has a capacity to obtain relevant electronic use rights at a rate of 300 titles per year. To facilitate intellectual property rights management for recent productions, the NFB has implemented its minimum rights policy for acquisition and renewal. In an effort to reduce pressure on financial resources, this policy is aimed at acquisition of perpetual rights (rather than temporary rights requiring renewal).

As a result of these initiatives, NFB productions are even more accessible to the Canadian population both on traditional distribution networks and new digital and mobile platforms.

Renewed distribution strategies

The NFB continues to distribute content via traditional networks while at the same time adapting to the rapid growth of new digital content consumer behaviour online and on mobile platforms, such as smart phones. In an attempt to better align its distribution strategies, the NFB grouped the online distribution and traditional distribution sectors into the same branch.

This way, the NFB is better able to exploit the wealth of its collection and explore a business environment where a variety of distribution approaches prevails: free offers, subscriptions, direct sales online, video on demand, syndication, micropayments, etc. Distribution strategies were reviewed and adapted to emerging business models in the digital world. In particular, the NFB developed and implemented a digital distribution strategy targeting three primary markets: consumer market, educational market and content aggregators market.

The NFB developed in 2009-2010 an online offering for teachers and students: the first phase of a Web destination with exclusive content. The site includes study guides and playlists arranged by age and grade. Schools, colleges, universities and government departments can take out yearly subscriptions at competitive rates.

Moreover, the NFB signed several agreements in Canadian provinces, including Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta and New Brunswick. As a result of these subscriptions, the NFB reaches 3.6 million students in Canada.


Revenue by market 2009-2010 2008-2009 % difference
Television market
(including pre-sales)
$1,204,935 $1,360,721 -11
Institutional and educational $1,907,422 $1,958,436 -3
Consumers $1,310,343 $871,712 50
Theatres $66,366 $170,921 -61
Stockshots $779,303 $554,071 41
Total $5,268,369 $4,915,861 7


Overall, revenues increased by 7% compared with the previous year, climbing from $4.9 to $5.3 million. This increase is due to the distribution agreement in the consumer market with Warner Home Video and an increase in stockshot sales. The educational and institutional markets remain stable compared with last year. However, revenue from the television market has continued to decline, still impacted by the global economic situation and shifting long term trends in the marketplace, away from one-off documentaries.

Lessons Learned

Digital platforms have provided the NFB with tremendous opportunities to better serve Canadians by reaching audiences across the country, and in particular underserved communities. They have also opened up doors for reaching Canadian youth in a medium that they consume and ensuring that they have access to Canadian stories and values. Committed viewers have commented positively and enthusiastically about their experience.

The accessibility plans for 2009–2010 have exceeded expectations, and the lesson learned from the online screening room is the importance of a direct relationship with audiences. These plans, which focused on building up existing online audiences, have revealed the power of a direct relationship with the Canadian public, and signpost several ways in which the NFB needs to move forward. The NFB needs to reach a much broader audience and connect more deeply. Grasping the power of audience engagement, it needs to become even more centered in the lives of Canadians. It will do so by using these connectivity tools to greater effect, and making them a means by which it can be in constant exchange with its audience. It must harness the power of social networking media, which now account for over 40% of internet usage in Canada. It has also learned that even though digital tools have opened doors, it needs to renew its links on the ground, and provide anchor points for Canadians to join together through works of artistic merit and innovation.

In order to ensure the highest value of service to Canadians, it will also become increasingly important to ensure that rights are cleared to make its productions accessible and distribute its films. Still a significant challenge remains: the clearance of rights requires further financial and human resources. Ensuring that such rights have been renewed or acquired will represent a significant challenge to the NFB's capacity to offer its entire collection to Canadians in the format of their choice. Having the rights in place also affects the ability of the NFB to increase and create new areas of revenue generation.

Program Activity 3: Internal Services

Internal Services
2009–2010 Financial Resources ($ thousands) 2009–2010 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending Planned Actual Difference
7,495 8,325 8,112 74 73 -1


Program Activity Summary

This program activity supports internal service expectations and monitoring service performance.

Benefits for Canadians

In responding to the Canadian government's needs and requirements for proper management of public resources, the NFB is capable of fully using its resources and wealth of knowledge to achieve its strategic objective. This program activity provides ongoing support to the NFB's production and accessibility activities. It guarantees the overall quality of governance, sound management across the organization and generates a work climate that is conducive to innovation and creativity.

Performance Analysis

At the NFB, analysis and compliance with the government's sound management requirements are ongoing processes as well as organizational priorities.

In 2009–2010, as part of the Strategic Review process, the NFB took an in-depth look at all of its program activities to ensure they are managed effectively and efficiently. The March 2010 federal budget concluded that the programs delivered by the organization are aligned with the priorities of Canadians.

Organizational renewal

The organizational restructuring announced in January 2009 led to the merging of nine corporate branches into five in order to create a more streamlined and effective organization, and better meet the challenges of digital migration. The restructuring was implemented during 2009–2010. One of the first measures was the creation of an Operations Committee, a channel of communication between the Senior Management Committee and the NFB's various divisions. Its mandate is to continue the implementation of the strategic plan according to the priorities set by the Commissioner in collaboration with senior management.

In order to further its commitment to support employees with more training and opportunities to better adapt to the new realities of the digital environment, the NFB completed a training and succession needs analysis. Over the course of the year, training in digital production was provided in collaboration with l'Institut national de l'image et du son (INIS) to deliver a digital training program: a series of training and knowledge-sharing workshops with NFB and other industry experts.

Last fiscal, a sector responsible for the brand image was created to ensure that the NFB's public image is consistent in all markets and at all events. In addition, the NFB's corporate website was revamped to conform to the Common Look and Feel 2.0 Standards of the Government of Canada. An improved branding and overall corporate “look and feel” in its communications will assure that Canadians receive the same quality of service from the NFB.

Institutional norms on accountability, performance measurement, efficiency, effectiveness and long-term continuity remain absolutely vital. The NFB completed in 2009–2010 a risk profile and a business continuity plan. It also continued to work on improving its performance framework management and making data collection more rigorous. The NFB has adopted a data collection process for establishing and monitoring performance indicators established for the Management Resources and Results Structure (MRRS).

In addition, the NFB conducted a five-year evaluation of its Grants and Contributions program, which was due for renewal in March 31, 2010. Upon review of the evaluation, the terms and conditions for the $250,000 program in support and promotion of Canadian cinematography was approved for continuation by the Minister of Canadian Heritage. The NFB has committed to improving the overall effectiveness of the program and adapting it to current realities, with improved performance measurements and a more centralized governance structure.

An important component of the organizational renewal objective as indicated in the Strategic Plan is the relocation of the NFB's Montreal headquarters to a more central location and to a building that better reflects the creative and innovative nature of the organization. In 2009–2010, the NFB worked in close collaboration with Public Works and Government Services Canada to carry out the first phase, which includes an in depth analysis of the project's functional, technical and budgetary parameters.

In order to reduce its environmental impact and help reduce travel costs, the NFB has acquired videoconferencing equipment for several locations. To date, the offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, Moncton and Montreal are equipped with these devices.

Lessons Learned

During the last fiscal year, the NFB has modified its organizational structure to reflect the new interactive world in which it is situated. This transition requires an integrated approach, wherein every operational activity is considered in relation to the overriding strategic objective. Such an approach has required the NFB to push for greater interactivity among all employees, both horizontally and vertically, and to develop new technical tools with which to address the needs of the organization, and those of its partners. However, the implementation of this strategy should be accompanied by a number of further organizational revisions. Adopting a new organizational strategy for a public institution takes time and flexibility and will help the NFB best push towards the future. The NFB should continue to adapt its organizational structure to a flexible model suitable to its new interactive environment. This will also mean creating more opportunities for Canadians to enter it, contribute to it, partake of it, and feel ownership of it.

Program Activity 4: Revolving Fund

Revolving Fund
2009–10 Financial Resources ($ thousands) 2009–10 Human Resources (FTE)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending Planned Actual Difference


Program Activity Summary

Operations are funded through a permanent authority from Parliament (Revolving Fund) and Parliamentary appropriations voted annually. The Revolving Fund allows the Board to make payments out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for working capital, interim financing of operating costs and capital assets acquisitions.

Benefits for Canadians

The Revolving Fund allows the NFB to provide uninterrupted services to Canadians.