Monday morning at the Banff World Media Festival, CBC/Radio-Canada announced a new commitment to diversity for all English and French-language commissioned programs across scripted and factual genres. The announcement came as part of the broadcaster’s new strategic plan, “Your Stories Taken to Heart.” This plan will prioritize giving underrepresented Canadians greater opportunities to build their skills, experience and relationships in the industry.
As part of this plan, by 2025, CBC/Radio-Canada aims to ensure that at least one of the key creatives in all scripted and factual commissioned programs will be held by a person from a diverse background. Key creatives include producer, director, writer, showrunner and lead performer.
For the purposes of this commitment, a diverse person includes members of visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ2+ community. In cases where the talent pipeline may not be as robust, CBC expects a commitment from independent producers to mentor or train a diverse person in one of the key creative roles of a greenlit production.
“We are a remarkably diverse country and we need to reflect that diversity in the stories we tell,” said Catherine Tait, President & CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada. “As the public broadcaster, we want to be able to draw on the richness of Canada’s talent pool to better reflect the country we serve.”
This year, CBC/Radio-Canada surpassed its goal of gender parity across its commissioned programs. During the 2018/19 broadcast year across all original English and French shows, the public broadcaster supported 62% female-led projects where the majority of the key creative roles of producer, director, writer and showrunner were held by women.
“I am so proud that we have reached our gender parity goal. It’s a testament to the ongoing work we have been doing for many years with our production partners. It’s also a commitment that we will maintain into the future and furthermore, we’ll take those learnings to ensure that all Canadians see themselves on their public broadcaster,” added Tait.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.