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SECTION I — OVERVIEW

Minister's Message

James Moore As Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, I am pleased to present the National Film Board of Canada's Departmental Performance Report for 2007–2008. The report outlines the important achievements of this agency over the last fiscal year and demonstrates how it continues to fulfill its mandate.

As a producer and public distributor of films, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) provides an essential public service in offering Canada and the world original, relevant, and innovative Canadian perspectives. Reflecting the diversity and excellence of our nation's culture, the Film Board strengthens the bonds between ethnocultural, linguistic, and regional communities, providing a unique context for members of these communities, as well as emerging filmmakers, to speak out through film.

The NFB collection is part of our heritage. It is now more accessible than ever to Canadians across the country both on traditional platforms and on multimedia. At a time when new technologies for transmission are proliferating, the NFB is ensuring that the various viewpoints and values of Canadians are circulated from coast to coast and abroad, where the organization is widely admired and respected.

As a Canadian Heritage Portfolio agency, the National Film Board of Canada has helped create a more prosperous Canada in which Canadians of all generations and all backgrounds can take part in the rich social, cultural, and economic life this country has to offer.

The Honourable James Moore
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

 

Government Film Commissioner's Message

A new strategic course– the same tradition of excellence

It has been more than a year since I began my tenure as Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). I began my five-year mandate as head of this cultural agency in June, having served as Director-General of the Film Board's English Program, along with many years in the private sector. Throughout these years I have had extensive discussions with creators, producers and others in the Canadian and international film industry, as well as an ongoing connection with communities and Canadians across this country. These exchanges have helped me realize that the NFB's mission to reflect Canada to Canadians and the rest of the world, through creating and distributing innovative, distinctive audiovisual works based on Canadian points of view and values, is as constant as it is vital.

To ensure that the NFB continues to evolve by using new technologies to push boundaries, take risks and connect with Canadians in exciting new ways, a new strategic plan has been developed by NFB senior management in consultation with employees, key players in the Canadian audiovisual industry and a wide range of cultural, linguistic and community groups. The resulting five-year plan, covering 2008-2009 to 2012-2013, was approved by the Board of Trustees last March. The spirit of the plan stems from the NFB's very essence: nurturing creators, fostering imagination and creating media across all platforms, making the NFB accessible to all Canadians and ensuring stable financing in order to enable the NFB to fulfill its mandate.

In line with its digital strategy, in January 2008 the Board launched one of Canada's first e-cinema networks in a pilot project linking five Acadian francophone communities. This project demonstrates how the NFB plays a key role in Canada's digital transformation as well as supporting the development of minority language communities.

In addition to the considerable changes required by the new NFB's strategic repositioning, the NFB also faces a number of challenges. The organization must act quickly to adjust its production practices, distribution strategies and collection management methods if it is to continue to fulfill its mandate to produce and distribute bold and distinctive audiovisual works in the fast-growing digital media environment. As a cultural public agency, the NFB must not only create works that reflect the concerns of Canadians, but also make its films accessible from coast to coast.

The NFB was faced with some difficult choices during the last fiscal year. In order to finance the purchase of equipment required for new production process and distribution strategies, the organization had to make cuts in certain sectors and eliminate some jobs and offices. This reorganization was carried out in such a way as to minimize negative impact on the NFB's activities.

Despite the difficult challenges of the past year, the NFB enjoyed a number of notable successes. These include its 70th Oscar nomination – more than any production company outside Hollywood – and its fourth Oscar nomination in as many years, for Madame Tutli-Putli. This animated short also won the prestigious Petit rail d'or award at the Cannes Film Festival as well as many other national and international honours. I would also like to note the recognition received by two of the NFB's longstanding collaborators, Serge Gigure and Alanis Obomsawin, whose exceptional careers were crowned this year with the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts and the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, respectively. These are just a sampling of the prestigious awards honouring NFB creators over the past year.

I would also like to mention the Board's participation in the activities celebrating Quebec City's 400th anniversary as well as its partnership with the National Battlefield Commission, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. These projects underscore the role the NFB plays within the broader governmental framework as well as its relevance in the development and implementation of major federal projects essential to Canada's national fabric.

On the eve of its 70th anniversary, the Board has yet again demonstrated – in brilliant fashion – its ability to adapt to new realities, while maintaining the tradition of excellence that has allowed the NFB to forge an international reputation as an innovative and creative organization.

Tom Perlmutter
Government Film Commissioner
and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada

 

Management Representation Statement

I submit, for tabling in Parliament, the 2007-2008 Departmental Performance Report (DPR) for the National Film Board of Canada.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide to the Preparation of Part III of the 2007-2008 Estimates: Departmental Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the Treasury Board Secretariat guidance;
  • It is based on the department's approved Strategic Outcome(s) and Program Activity Architecture that were approved by the Treasury Board;
  • It presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to it;
  • It reports finances based on approved numbers from the Estimates and the Public Accounts of Canada.

Name: Luisa Frate, c.a.
Title: Director, Administration Branch

 

The National Film Board's Summary Information

The National Film Board's Raison d'tre

Mandate – As a cultural agency responsible to Parliament, the National Film Board of Canada fulfills a mandate, clearly defined in the National Film Act of 1985, "to initiate and promote the production and distribution of films in the national interest, and, in particular:

  • to produce and distribute and to promote the production and distribution of films designed to interpret Canada to Canadians and to other nations;
  • to represent the Government of Canada in its relations with persons engaged in commercial motion picture film activity in connection with motion picture films for the Government or any department thereof;
  • to engage in research in film activity and to make available the results thereof to persons engaged in the production of films;
  • to advise the Governor in Council in connection with film activities;
  • discharge such other duties relating to film activity as the Governor in Council may direct the Board to undertake."

Mission - To reflect Canada, and matters of interest to Canadians, to Canada and the rest of the world through creating and distributing innovative and distinctive audiovisual works based on Canadian points of view and values.

Vision - During the strategic planning period for 2002-2006, the National Film Board adopted the following vision: "The NFB is recognized as being indispensable to all Canadians as the world-renowned public producer and distributor of audiovisual works that are socially relevant and innovative." The new strategic plan approved last March reiterates the Board's strong commitment to creativity, public service, innovation and accessibility.

Financial Resources (thousands of dollars)


Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
67,118 71,965 71,167

Human Resources


Planned Authorities Actual
500 500 493

Priorities


# Name Type Assessment on Progress towards Priorities
1 Maintain overall programming slate of distinctive, challenging and relevant audiovisual works with a special emphasis on strengthening feature documentary production and developing a consistent approach to making short films. Ongoing With its 155 original productions, including 15 feature-length documentaries, the NFB has successfully met this priority.
2 Strengthen the NFB's ability to identify and to work with leading talent, championing emerging filmmakers and members from diverse communities (ethnocultural, linguistic, and Aboriginal), and encouraging regional diversity. Ongoing The NFB has met this priority through numerous competitions for emerging filmmakers, as well as completion of 93 films by first-time filmmakers.
3 Encourage partnerships through co-productions and maintain the development of international co-productions. Mandatory An increase in the number of international co-productions and an increased number of partnerships with private industry have resulted in the NFB meeting this priority.
4 Strengthen innovation in content, form and technology. Mandatory Several films with innovative content have been honoured with awards; the NFB has also increased its investment in new production and distribution technologies.
5 Contribute to the overall competitiveness and productivity of the Canadian film industry Mandatory The NFB continues to contribute to increased competitiveness in the industry as a production partner and as a film distributor in the documentary and animation markets, as well as incubator for new talent. It also invests in new distribution technologies and increases international partnership opportunities with countries like Brazil and Singapore.
6 Strengthen NFB distribution networks and optimize NFB revenues. Mandatory The launch of the e-cinema network and stronger links with distribution partners have allowed the NFB to strengthen its distribution networks.
7 Enhance the conservation of the NFB collection in new, emerging digital formats and increase its equitable access across Canada. Mandatory More than 986 titles from the NFB's collection were digitized and made available on the NFB's websites.
8 Maintain, promote and enhance R&D initiatives to reposition the NFB as a leader in the Canadian film industry, along with its partners. Mandatory The NFB is working to develop a toolkit for networking audiovisual and information technology equipment, in partnership with stakeholders in the cultural, university research and wireless telecommunications sectors.
9 Enhance accountability, business practices and information systems. Mandatory As a result of recommendations in the Management Accountability Framework, as well as those made by other analysts, the NFB is putting new practices in these areas into place.
10 Strengthen accountability, risk management, resource management and governance. Mandatory Analyses of current NFB practices have been carried out, and a plan to improve NFB practices in these areas has been put in place, with several measures already adopted.

 

Program Activity Results for the National Film Board of Canada


Strategic Outcomes
To produce and make accessible relevant, ambitious and innovative audiovisual works that help Canadians better understand Canada and the world.
Program Activity Expected Results Performance Status 2007-2008 Contributes to the Following Priority
Planned Spending
(in thousands of $)
Actual Spending (in thousands of $)
Production of audiovisual works 85% of the NFB's programming involving social issues; Successfully met 47,467 46,873 Priority 1
Programming with a focus on point-of-view documentaries, animation, alternative fiction and new media; Successfully met Priority 1
Access to NFB films across Canada; Successfully met Priorities 1, 6 & 7
Projects innovative in terms content, form and means of broadcast, with flexibility for experimentation; Successfully met Priorities 1 & 4
Number of national and international co-productions maintained; Successfully met Priority 3
Number of productions by emerging filmmakers maintained; Successfully met Priority 2
Ongoing promotion and development of new talent. Successfully met Priority 2
Program Activity Expected Results Performance Status 2007-2008 Contributes to the Following Priority
Planned Spending
(in thousands of $)
Actual Spending (in thousands of $)
Distribution of audiovisual works Reaching Canadian and international audiences; Successfully met 2,398 2,492 Priorities 6 & 7
Optimizing revenues in order to contribute to the success of the Canadian film and television industry; Successfully met Priority 6
Acquisition of more productions that complement the NFB catalogue. Successfully met Priority 6
Program Activity Expected Results Performance Status 2007-2008 Contributes to the Following Priority
Planned Spending
(in thousands of $)
Actual Spending (in thousands of $)
Access and Outreach Improved access to the NFB collection through the NFB's various activities and offerings, particularly the mediatheques and other resources; Successfully met 13,603 13,974 Priority 7
Continued digitization of the NFB collection; Successfully met Priority 7
Increased citizen participation through public screenings and other appropriate means; Successfully met Priorities 6 & 7
Improved visibility for the NFB and its productions on television, in festivals and schools, during industry activities and with the federal government Successfully met Priorities 6 & 7
Strong presence of NFB productions in Canada's community and educational distribution networks. Successfully met Priorities 6 & 7
Program Activity Expected Results Performance Status 2007-2008 Contributes to the Following Priority
Planned Spending
(in thousands of $)
Actual Spending (in thousands of $)
Research and advisory services Appreciable research and development efforts related to techniques and technology in the audiovisual field Successfully met 3,650 7,828 Priority 8
Maintain the NFB's role as a benchmark in filmmaking. Successfully met Priority 8

 

National Film Board of Canada Context

The National Film Board of Canada is a public producer and distributor offering the Canadian public a unique range of cultural products and resources. Its mandate is to produce and distribute distinctive, relevant, original and innovative audiovisual works that interpret Canadian issues, values and points of view to Canada and the rest of the world. These works constitute an important part of Canada's national heritage, and offer a remarkable window onto the diversity and vitality of our culture.

The NFB plays a unique role in producing audiovisual works on all platforms intended for Canadian and foreign audiences, thereby complementing the role of other cultural agencies as well as the private sector.

Internal Business Environment

New Strategic Plan for 2008-2013

On June 11th 2007, the 15th Government Commissioner and NFB president, Mr. Tom Perlmutter, took on the Commissioner's duties. In addition to the Film Commissioner's appointment, there were several changes to the Board of Trustees.

One of the first initiatives in the Commissioner's mandate was to engage the organization in a process of reflection and consultation in order to define the organization's new strategic approach for the next five years. The resulting Strategic Plan is the product of discussions with creators, producers and other industry stakeholders, as well as an ongoing dialogue with a range of communities and ordinary Canadians. The broad outlines of the plan were universally well-received. It lays out five clearly defined strategic goals: creative leadership and programming excellence; wide accessibility and democratic engagement; digital transformation; an organizational renewal that will make NFB a model creative organization for the 21st century; and stable financing, allowing the Board to fulfill its mandate.

Organizational Risks

Risk management is one of the areas in which the NFB is focusing its efforts. Though the organization already has measures in place to minimize risks in the area of programming decisions, it was committed to developing a corporate framework for risk management. While developing its first corporate risk profile, the Board identified the following key external risks: the transition to digital technology, the erosion of financial resources of the NFB, the potential loss of national and international distribution revenues due to the impact of new distribution platforms on traditional markets, access to its collection through new media platforms and maintaining copyright protection. Internal risks that could affect the NFB's operations include the need to hire and develop staff familiar with new production and distribution technologies as well as retaining staff and their expertise; a much-needed reorganization of the Board to address technological changes; and outdated operational systems. The Board has completed the process of gathering data on risk with regards to its operational units. The next step will be to develop a detailed and integrated risk management plan.

After several years of budgetary reductions – the NFB must generate greater revenue in order to maintain its film-related activities. Government appropriations to the NFB have been consistently reduced, declining 41% in indexed dollars since 1996. The NFB has had to simultaneously absorb the consequences of a non-indexed budget as well as ongoing reductions resulting from procurement reforms and program reviews.

External Business Environment

Government Expectations

The NFB is a cultural agency by virtue of Schedule I, Part I of the Financial Administration Act. It is wholly the property of the Government of Canada and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. The NFB is funded primarily through Parliamentary appropriations, revenue from the sale of films and other products, and royalties.

In 2007-2008, the NFB took part in an evaluation of its management accountability framework. Following the recommendations of Treasury Board on best practices in public management, the NFB undertook to improve its management practices, paying particular attention to evaluation, risk management, information management, internal auditing, security and continuity, and services directed to citizens1.

In order to effectively serve and provide value to Canadians, the NFB must maintain a large distribution network, be part of Canadians' viewing habits and ensure that all regions of the country – even those far from major population centres – have access to the rich heritage that is the NFB collection.

Profile of Canada's Film and Television Production Industry

Canada's film and television production industry faced a number of challenges in 2007, including the dramatic increase in the value of the Canadian dollar, uncertainty about funding for the Canadian Television Fund (CTF) and broadcast media concentration. New platforms continued to erode the foundations of the traditional distribution, without being sufficiently established to compensate for losses caused in traditional markets. Documentaries and animation films were particularly hit by the decline of national and international markets.

In 2006-2007, the Canadian industry as a whole did reasonably well, with an overall increase in production volume of 3%, largely attributed to strong growth in Canadian television production and broadcaster in-house production. In the same period, theatrical production volume dropped 14% compared to the previous year, totalling 282 million dollars. Decreased production volume led to a 15% drop in employment nationally in the sector2.

Documentary Genre

Canada enjoys a long tradition of excellence in the production of socially relevant documentaries. Many Canadian productions made their mark nationally and internationally, including the NFB's Le Peuple invisible and Up the Yangtze. Canadian English-language documentaries received 14% of total production funds, but made up 46% of all productions. French-language documentaries received 16% of total production funding but accounted for 35% of all films produced. Total Canadian documentary production has shown strong growth over the last eleven years, with budgets tripling from $105 million in 1996-1997 to $312 million in 2005-2006, and projects doubling from 214 to 482.3 It is important to note that more than 60% of total documentary budgets are spent on series or mini-series and the number of individual productions and auteur documentaries is declining, as broadcasters dedicate more and more resources to series and reality programming.

Many feature-length documentaries are best seen in theatres. However, in most cases Canadian documentary producers do not have access to theatrical distribution and must rely instead on television broadcasters to finance and broadcast their works. The decline of traditional distribution markets for this genre present the NFB and the Canadian documentary industry with yet another challenge. The NFB must explore new access points such as educational networks, e-cinema, the internet, etc. in order to reach its target audience.

In this context, the NFB plays a unique and essential role in the distribution of documentaries it has produced, co-produced or acquired from private producers. The NFB offers the industry its unparalleled know-how, coupling creativity with technological innovation, while constantly seeking to develop new partnerships with private-sector distributors. The Board has made point-of-view documentaries one of its operational priorities because Canadians want to see films that help them understand the issues that affect them. NFB documentaries play a crucial role in engaging Canadians in thought and debate, along with stakeholders in the political, economic and social sectors.

Digital Transition

Around the world, new digital production technologies are well on their way to becoming the new production standard. Even projects shot on film use digital post-production. Broadcasters the world over are gradually eliminating analogue transmission. In Canada, the CRTC has set August 31, 2011 as the change-over date by which all holders of a television broadcast licence must transmit digital signals exclusively. In the United States – the NFB's second most important market after Canada – analogue transmission will cease by February 17, 2009. Analogue service began to disappear in 2008 in the UK – another major market for the NFB – and will cease by 2012. In order to be ready for digital broadcasting, the NFB must immediately ensure the digital production of all its documentaries and animation films. Without a digital production capacity for multiple platforms, the NFB's distribution activities could be compromised in the key television, institutional, theatrical and home consumer markets, both in Canada and other countries, particularly the United States and Europe. If that were the case, one could anticipate a resulting decline in sales translating into a decrease in revenues of at least four million dollars over the next three years.

New Distribution Platforms

Digitization is making it possible for Canadians to watch films and television shows on the platform of their choice – using DVDs, digital music players, mobile video players, webcasts and other means – regardless of where they are. Yet even as the digital revolution provides a wealth of extraordinary opportunities for producers and distributors, it also brings enormous challenges. The NFB has been preparing for this revolution in the industry for a number of years, creating partnerships and conducting research on image quality, innovative transfer methods, accessibility and broadcasting. The NFB is a worldwide leader in productions for cell phones and interactive feature films, the development of e-cinema community networks and is recognised for its expertise in stereoscopic film technology.

 

National Film Board Priority Results

1. Maintain overall programming slate of distinctive, challenging and relevant audiovisual works with a special emphasis on strengthening feature documentary production and developing a consistent approach to making short films.

Since its creation in 1939, as Canada's public producer and distributor, the NFB has developed an internationally recognized expertise in documentaries, animation films and alternative feature drama, making Canada a leader in these areas and sharing Canadian points of view and perspectives with the world. Its original, innovative and creative audiovisual works are an important part of Canada's national heritage, offering a remarkable window onto the diversity and vitality of our culture. NFB productions invite citizens to actively participate in Canadian society, promoting reflection, dialogue, civic action and a better understanding of the lives of their fellow Canadians.

During the 2007-2008 fiscal year, the NFB offered a wealth of productions touching on the interests and concerns of Canadians from the diverse communities that make up our national fabric. Since its creation, the NFB has been a pioneer in the production of feature-length documentaries and continues to play a key role in the development of this genre. By offering much-needed financing and content development assistance in the feature-length documentary sector – support not offered anywhere else – the NFB ensures stable and sustained Canadian production, which is key to success in this field.

2. Strengthen the NFB's ability to identify and to work with leading talent, championing emerging filmmakers and members from diverse communities (Aboriginal, linguistic and ethnocultural), and encouraging regional diversity.

The NFB is committed to encouraging the talents of emerging filmmakers from all regions of the country, reflecting Canada's cultural diversity and giving diverse Canadian communities the means to communicate their values and tell their stories. The NFB draws on its unique production experience, the skills of its professionals, the availability of the latest equipment, its ability to attract talented filmmakers and partners throughout the country – with programs designed to serve the needs of specific groups and contribute to a diverse society that promotes linguistic duality, the participation of Aboriginal communities and social inclusion. NFB's work with emerging filmmakers has attracted attention and praise internationally, with countries like Brazil sending some of their brightest talents to participate in NFB emerging filmmaker programs.

This year, the NFB offered around 15 training programs for emerging filmmakers, allowing them to create their first professional works. In addition to these programs, the NFB offered master classes in many cities across the country as well as other programs and competitions specifically aimed at Aboriginal, ethnocultural and official-language minority communities. While most of these were returning programs, 2007-2008 also saw the introduction of new opportunities such as the Prsente-moi tes grands-parents competition, inviting young amateur francophone filmmakers across the country to create and post mobile short films online.

3. Encourage partnerships through co-productions and maintain the development of international co-productions.

The NFB continues to be an essential partner in the development and expansion of the Canadian film industry. As a national co-producer, the NFB offers its co-production partners the opportunity to take the kinds of commercial and artistic risks they would not be able to pursue on their own. Because of its credibility, the NFB's presence also facilitates the participation of broadcasters as well as national and international partners. The NFB puts a number of different resources at their disposal, depending on the requirements of each particular project. The development of international partnerships is also important, as a strong international presence translates into greater visibility for Canadian producers, both at home and internationally. The NFB's participation ensures the promotion of values important to Canadians throughout the world.

Last year, the NFB continued to pursue efforts to strengthen existing relationships and to forge new international links. Among these efforts was the 3rd Canada-Brazil Co-Production Forum, offering an opportunity to create solid partnerships within an increasingly globalized audiovisual industry. The Canada-Brazil cooperation accord continued to promote exchanges between artists and artisans in both countries as well as the transfer of Canadian expertise. Over the past year, the NFB and its Brazilian partners have initiated discussions about extending and improving the cooperation agreement between the two countries. Development continues on projects initiated last year as a result of meetings organized by the NFB between producers in both countries. In May 2007, the NFB signed a new cultural cooperation agreement with Haiti, a country which is one of the Government of Canada's foreign policy priorities. This agreement includes a donation of 212 of the greatest titles in the NFB collection to the Government of Haiti, for broadcast on public and private television networks and for distribution through education networks.

4. Strengthen innovation in content, form and technology.

As a centre of creativity in the production of original and innovative media content, the NFB is profoundly affected by technological and cultural changes throughout the film industry. Since its inception, however, it has been part of the NFB's mandate to experiment with and explore new frontiers. It has the ability to assist an industry that is vulnerable in the face of artistic, financial and technological challenges, thereby contributing to an innovative, knowledge-based economy.

The NFB continues to be at the leading edge of creative innovation – in the creation of stereoscopic content or North America's first interactive film. The NFB has been honoured at home and abroad for innovation across a range of fields, including online productions, social relevance works and the management of Canada's audiovisual heritage.

5. Contribute to the overall competitiveness and productivity of the Canadian film industry.

Productivity is inherently linked to the country's knowledge economy. In 2007-2008, the NFB contributed to the overall competitiveness of the Canadian film industry by offering development and training programs to emerging filmmakers and industry artisans. The NFB worked with young filmmakers, teaching them to use new digital means of expression. These initiatives increased skill levels for first-time filmmakers, led to the discovery of new talent, contributed to Canadian film and television production and encouraged experimentation and innovation in digital production. By helping tomorrow's filmmakers acquire the skills needed to work in digital cinema, the NFB contributes to keeping Canada's workforce competitive on a global scale.

As a partner in the Canadian audiovisual and broadcasting system, the NFB creates professional quality digital media content in English and French for new platforms. The NFB is a pioneer in storytelling techniques as well as the marriage of content, technology and form, to the benefit of Canada's private sector.

6. Strengthen NFB distribution networks and optimize NFB revenues.

Accessibility of NFB works, for Canadians everywhere, is a Film Board priority. In 2007-2008, the NFB reached an estimated Canadian audience of 26 million. The NFB relies increasingly on new technologies to ensure access to its productions, including remote regions where these works would otherwise be unavailable. These new distribution channels complement its vast national distribution network, which brings together partners in the public sector (public and school libraries), private sector (distribution companies, catalogue houses, theatre chains and video clubs), and local associations (cultural groups and NGOs). NFB productions are regularly broadcast on conventional and specialized TV networks, while the modern mediatheques in Montreal and Toronto provide access to thousands of titles from its collection. Canadians can also obtain NFB works seven days a week online or by phone.

In 2007-2008, NFB sales surpassed 6.8 million dollars, up slightly from the previous year despite the leap in the Canadian dollar, which pushed results down, especially in the U.S. and Latin American markets. The Canadian institutional and education markets alone represented 1.8 million dollars over the last 12 months. Distribution activities have also generated over $802,000 for its Canadian private sector partners. Attuned to changing trends, the NFB is constantly analyzing markets, in Canada and abroad, to better understand the needs of its clients and maximize business opportunities.

7. Enhance the conservation of the NFB collection in new, emerging digital formats and increase its equitable access across Canada.

The NFB's rich collection features more than 13,000 titles and is one of Canada's great cultural treasures, one that the Board is committed to preserving and sharing with all Canadians. The NFB's employs new technologies in its digital vault to preserve this priceless audiovisual heritage for future generations and increase revenues from new sources. As the conservation of the NFB's collection is part of the mandate as set forth in the National Film Act, the organization must carefully choose the best available digital methods in order to preserve this world-class heritage. Moreover, as a result of its unique needs and responsibilities as a national public producer, distributor and curator, the NFB must take the lead in developing new and specialized methods and procedures. The organization's work in this area has attracted the interest of other international organizations, most notably Brazil, which has sent technicians to study the NFB's digital conservation methods. To harmonize the activities of the various private and public organizations involved in new media and digitization, a national strategy from the federal government would help to ensure that Canada remains a leader in this field.

In 2007-2008, the NFB continued to develop its corporate streaming project, which aims to make the Board's collection more accessible to Canadians through the development and fine-tuning of a user-friendly and robust on-line screening system. The experience gained in this project will also be applied to other digital and Web-based activities, thus increasing online revenue and reaching distant communities more effectively.

8. Maintain, promote and enhance R&D initiatives to reposition the NFB as a leader in the Canadian film industry, along with its partners.

Although the NFB's budget for undertaking major R&D projects is limited and well below those of similar international organizations, it is home to a cutting-edge conservation laboratory, post-production and research and development services recognized for their ability to innovate and provide tomorrow's solutions to private-sector partners.

In 2007-2008, the NFB became one of the first filmmaking organizations to offer a digital film library using e-cinema technology. This bold and ambitious project was brilliantly accomplished, giving access to a High-Definition theatrical experience with 5.1 surround sound outside of major urban centres.

9. Enhance accountability, business practices and information systems.

As a federal cultural agency, the NFB supports the Government of Canada's objective that public organizations utilize efficient and accountable management systems. Sound stewardship safeguards the public trust by ensuring that the government's work is done according to high standards of accountability, transparency, prudence, integrity, consistency and fairness. During the 2007-2008 fiscal year, the NFB made ongoing investments in the improvement of its management and information systems.

10. Strengthen accountability, risk management, resource management and governance.

In order to continuously improve the NFB's overall performance –in areas such as risk management, governance, service to Canadians and accountability – the NFB has ensured that the ten statements contained in the Management Accountability Framework serve as the basis for the organization's efforts. The Board put in place a variety of measures designed to implement the Treasury Board's recommendations for the accountability framework. During the period covered by this 2007-2008 report, the NFB undertook the development of a corporate risk profile. This process will establish a baseline assessment, and will also serve as a management tool allowing the organization to evaluate risk annually and prepare risk reduction strategies. The NFB also developed a new management report aimed at ensuring consistency in financial information across all of its sectors.