ISO to administer CMF’s $10m Indigenous Program in a new chapter for Indigenous screen content - ISO-BEA

Toronto, Canada, June 9, 2024 – The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) announced today at the Indigenous Screen Summit, which kicks off the Banff World Media Festival, that the first steps have been taken towards the ISO fully administering the Canada Media Fund (CMF)’s Indigenous Program, a future-facing decision that will ensure the best Indigenous stories are seen on screens at home and around the world.

The $10M program for development and production funding will come under the administration of the ISO starting April 1, 2025. In addition to ISO’s Canadian Heritage annual funding of $13M and the recent CRTC allocation estimated at $14m, ISO will have approximately $37m in funding under its administration by next year. The CMF decision recognizes the ISO’s leadership in creating programs, policies, and processes that benefit Indigenous creators and companies. It follows extensive consultations by both organizations, and Indigenous industry feedback will remain a priority moving forward.

Both organizations will continue to work closely, in consultation with Canadian Heritage and Minister St-Onge, to fine-tune the details of the transition. The application process for the 2024-2025 funding period will remain the same with applicants applying to the Indigenous Program via the CMF’s program administrator at Telefilm Canada. Both the ISO and the CMF are committed to transparency and will provide notice of future changes to the application process and program deadlines well in advance.

“We are pleased to jointly announce this significant milestone for the Indigenous screen sector. The CMF was instrumental in establishing the ISO and we have been building on this partnership and collaboration since the very beginning,” says Kerry Swanson, CEO, ISO. “We would like to acknowledge the strong commitment of Valerie Creighton and her constant support of our mandate of Indigenous narrative sovereignty.”

“Kerry and I have been working towards this moment for several years. Alongside confirmation of federal funding, it’s incredibly rewarding to see the ISO being recognized as an essential agency for our industry,” says Valerie Creighton, President & CEO, CMF. “This next evolution of the ISO heralds a new era for Indigenous content, and I am excited for the stories that will come to life across all platforms.”

This announcement in Banff is especially significant as the ISO’s first-ever funding program was launched at the Banff World Media Festival five years ago. Since that time, the ISO has become a permanent funding agency with a full suite of programs for all stages of creation, on all platforms.


About the Indigenous Screen Office
The Indigenous Screen Office is an independent national advocacy and funding organization serving First Nations, Inuit and Métis creators of screen content in Canada. The ISO’s mandate is to foster and support narrative sovereignty and cultural revitalization by increasing Indigenous storytelling on screens and promoting Indigenous values and participation across the sector.

About the Canada Media Fund
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances, and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice, and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite, and IPTV distributors.

Media contacts:

Jean-François D. O’Bomsawin
Director of Communications and Francophone Initiatives, ISO

Maxime Ruel
Senior Manager of Communications, CMF