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Table 1: Comparison of Planned to Actual Spending (including FTEs)

($ thousands) 2005-06 Actual 2006-07 Actual 2007-2008
Main Estimates Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual
Production 47,337 45,847 47,467 47,467 51,738 46,873
Distribution 1,171 3,134 2,398 2,398 2,502 2,492
Accessibility and Outreach 12,660 12,608 13,603 13,603 13,892 13,974
Research and Advice 3,943 6,847 3,650 3,650 3,833 7,828
Total 65,111 68,436 67,118 67,118 71,965 71,167
Less: Non-respendable revenue - -   - - -
Plus: Cost of services received without charge - -   - - -
Total Departmental Spending 65,111 68,436 67,118 67,118 71,965 71,167
Full-time Equivalents 498 486 500 500 500 493

Table 2: Voted and Statutory Items

($ thousands)

Vote or Statutory Item Truncated Vote or Statutory Wording 2007–2008
Main Estimates Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual
60 Revolving Funds – National Film Board 67,118 67,118 71,965 71,167
  Total 67,118 67,118 71,965 71,167

Table 16: Financial Statements of Departmental Corporations and Agents of Parliament

The NFB prepares an annual report that is tabled in Parliament and includes financial statements that are available electronically by the time the DPR's are tabled in the House of Commons.


Management and Administration at the NFB

Governance and Accountability

The National Film Board was established in 1939 through an Act of Parliament. The NFB is governed by the National Film Act and is subject to the Financial Administration Act, which sets out the administration of finances for the Government of Canada and federal agencies. The NFB is also governed by the Access to Information Act, Privacy Act and Official Languages Act.

As a cultural agency of the federal government, the NFB reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage, who has vested in the NFB Board of Trustees the authority to approve its strategic plan and initiatives, its budgets and its audited financial statements. The Board of Trustees provides leadership and guidance for the organization, offers well-considered, detailed and timely advice, and analyzes and establishes the organization's general and strategic policy. The Government Film Commissioner is also the NFB's Chairperson. Six members of the Board, representing a cross-section of the Canadian population, bring their expertise to bear in assisting the Board. The Director General of Telefilm Canada is an ex-officio Board member.

The NFB has an internal auditor who reports directly to the NFB Board of Trustees, while the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) acts as the NFB's external auditor. Once a year, the OAG examines the NFB's financial statements to ensure they are accurate and in compliance with authorizations.


Benefits to Canadians and the World

The NFB's activities are guided by its mandate to produce and distribute audiovisual works intended for Canadian audiences and foreign markets, in order to increase the knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural realities of Canada. Through this role, the NFB contributes to the dissemination of the values and points of view of Canadians living in all regions of the country. It is an extraordinarily creative and innovative organization, and a key partner in developing and promoting Canada's cultural heritage both at home and abroad. Whether looking at the burning issues of the day, or significant events in Canadian history, the NFB promotes the participation of Canadians from diverse communities that make up the country's social fabric. Continuing efforts to support emerging filmmakers and filmmakers from diverse ethnocultural, linguistic and regional communities provide rich and varied cultural experiences and promote intercultural understanding within our nation.

The NFB is responsible for creating works that portray social and cultural events, creating a permanent legacy for Canadian and international communities. Over its 69-year history, the NFB has been successful in fulfilling this unique role within the Canadian government. As a public producer, the NFB acts as a creative laboratory working at the leading edge of content creation, in ways the private sector cannot, pioneering new production methods and business models, paving the way for the rest of the industry.

In addition to taking non-commercial risks as only a public institution can, the NFB offers a point of view that complements that of the private sector. Non-market risk taking means acting in areas of "market failures" – such as emerging filmmaker programs, working with Aboriginal and culturally diverse filmmakers, offering a media voice to underrepresented communities and innovating in new forms of expression – where the commercial sector cannot. These markets are public goods that have long-term social and economic benefits for the industry, communities and the country. However, dealing with "market failures" does not mean bypassing the private sector. Often central to these activities will be partnerships with the private sector. It is just that the critical addition or leadership of the NFB makes possible what would have been either impossible or difficult to achieve otherwise.

Over the years, the NFB has developed a variety of distribution networks, both traditional and virtual, offering increased accessibility to its productions and archival collection – a key part of Canada's national heritage – to Canadians in all provinces and territories, especially in more remote regions. By bringing together Canadians from all walks of life – through theatres, television, community centres, schools and homes – the NFB enriches Canadian society.


Link to the Government of Canada Outcome Areas

As a federal agency within the Canadian Heritage portfolio, the National Film Board helps the Department fulfill its mandate to support cultural and community activities and to promote Canadian cultural and artistic expression. The NFB is a vital part of the Canadian cultural landscape, directly contributing to meeting the Department's two strategic outcomes: that Canadians express and share their diverse cultural experiences with each other and the world, and that Canadians live in an inclusive society built on intercultural understanding and citizen participation.

In this way, the NFB plays an active role in creating a diverse society that promotes linguistic duality and social inclusion, as well as promoting a vibrant Canadian culture and heritage – two key areas where the Board's activities support the objectives of the Government of Canada.

In its role as Canada's public producer and distributor, the NFB has the mandate to create innovative heritage work for important national events. Although the NFB does not play the role of a governmental communications agency, it ensures that its activities relate to the objectives of the government of the day.

Alignment with Government Priorities

In the Speech from the Throne read in October 2007, Her Excellency, the Governor General Michalle Jean, outlined the Federal government's five main priorities. Through Canadian Heritage, the NFB contributes to fulfilling the following federal government priorities, through its own initiatives or in partnership with private industry, as well as through its original cinematic productions that reflect Canadians' most significant concerns:

  1. A Proud and Sovereign Canada
    The Government is resolved to protect Canada's sovereignty at home and to promote our values abroad – notably, by protecting the integrity of the North. The NFB produces innovative and powerful cinematographic works that bring Canadian values to the world. Through its documentaries and animation films, the NFB plays a central role in the transmission of our country's fundamental values. In addition, the NFB produces many projects specifically for Aboriginal communities – in particular, youth – offering members of these communities the opportunity to share their cultures and perspectives with the rest of the country, reinforcing their sense of belonging in Canada.
  2. A Strong Federation
    The Government is committed to strengthening the Canadian federation and Canada's democratic institutions – in particular, by supporting Canada's linguistic duality and by introducing concrete measures to improve the lives of Canada's Aboriginal peoples. The NFB produces Canadian audiovisual content, in both official languages, on the social issues that concern communities throughout the country. Furthermore, a number of NFB initiatives promote the development of minority language communities. Furthermore, the NFB's educational distribution network provides Canadian content for young people, ensuring that future generations are well-versed in major current events and key moments in our nation's history.
  3. A Prosperous Future
    The Government has undertaken measures aimed at ensuring future prosperity through effective economic leadership, increased competition, improved cultural infrastructure and a better quality of life for all Canadians. The NFB's research and investment into a Canadian e-cinema network is one example of efforts undertaken by the organization to improve cultural infrastructure.
  4. A Safe and Secure Canada
    The Government of Canada has committed to tackling crime and ensuring security for all Canadians. The NFB produces Canadian audiovisual content, in both official languages, on the social issues that concern communities throughout the country, including the roots of violence in our communities. In addition, initiatives such as Racism at Work have successfully encouraged participation from youth of all ages, providing them with a unique means of expressing themselves and sharing their perspectives.
  5. A Healthy Environment for Canadians
    The Government is committed to improving the environment and health of all Canadians. The NFB is no stranger to increasing awareness of environmental issues, producing many films on the subject over the years. In addition, the Board is actively and financially supporting an initiative whose goal is to produce a Green Code to promote sustainability in the film industry through a series of voluntary measures, guidelines, norms, principles and practices. The NFB has also created a green committee to raise NFB employee awareness of environmental issues.



National Film Act, R.S., 1985, c. N-8
(Last amendment entered into force in 2002.)


Operational Headquarters: Montreal


Canadian Distribution

  • CinRobothque – Montreal
  • Mediatheque – Toronto
  • Call Centre (1 800 267-7710)
  • Web site (


International Distribution

  • United States (New York)


English Production Centres

  • Edmonton
  • Halifax
  • Montreal
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver
  • Winnipeg


French Production Centres

  • Moncton
  • Montreal
  • Toronto
  • Quebec City



Luisa Frate
Director, Administration Branch, c.a.
(514) 283-9050

Deborah Drisdell
Director, Strategic planning and Government Relations
(514) 283-3242


Tables Titles Included / NA
Table 1 Comparison of Planned to Actual Spending (including Full-time Equivalents) Included
Table 2 Voted and Statutory Items Included
Table 3 Loans, Investments, and Advances (Non-budgetary) NA
Table 4 Sources of Respendable and Non-Respendable Revenue Included
Table 5 Revolving Funds Included
Table 6 User Fees
  • User Fee Act (Template 6-A)
  • Policy on Service Standards for External Fees (Template 6-B)
Table 7 Details on Project Spending NA
Table 8 Status Report on Major Crown Projects NA
Table 9 Details on Transfer Payment Programs (TPPs) Included
Table 10 Foundations (Conditional Grants) NA
Table 11 Horizontal Initiatives NA
Table 12 Sustainable Development NA
Table 13 Response to Parliament and External Audits and Evaluations NA
Table 14 Internal Audits and Evaluations NA
Table 15 Travel Policies NA
Table 16 Financial Statements of Departments and Agencies Included


1 National Film Board's Management Accountability Framework evaluation report

2 Nordicity Group Ltd., Profile 2008: An Economic Report on the Canadian Film and Television Production Industry, Ottawa, February 2008

3 Kirwan Cox, Trends in Certified Canadian documentaries and animation- Interim Report prepared for the National Film Board of Canada, Rigaud, June 2008