CMF revamps visual identity, cements strategic objectives for 2021

CMF Brand Compilation
Val Creighton says the visual rebrand is timely as the organization prepares to spearhead industry consultations that will run parallel to government and regulatory reviews.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) is kicking off 2021 with an overhaul of its visual brand identity which will serve as a precursor to broader changes within the organization, and the Canadian industry at large.

According to the CMF, the new visual identity (which it refers to as “the spark”) symbolizes its mission to embrace inclusion and change as it enters its second decade of operation.

Images within its new logo showcase a revolving door of projects and people supported by the funding organization, including video games, TV shows, artists and animated characters.

According to CMF president and CEO Valerie Creighton, the visual rebrand is “the tip of the iceberg” on a year that could bring sweeping changes to the Canadian industry with the passing of Bill C-10.

“There’s been massive change in terms of the types of content we fund. But also there are legislative changes happening and the potential of regulatory shifts, so I think it was timely to look at an updated, modern brand that represented all of those things in a much more fun way,” Creighton told Playback Daily. “The great thing about this brand is that it’s animated – you can change the images in the spark – so it should carry us for quite a few years into the future.”

The rebrand also embeds the translation of 12 Indigenous languages into its new brand identity, including Dene, Gwich’in, Inuvialuit, Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Mitchif, Northern Cree, Ojibway, Oji-Cree, Plains Cree and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim language (Squamish) Woodland Cree.

Creighton said the CMF consulted with an advisory group of Indigenous elders, creators and production companies on how to visually articulate its vision. “I think that’s a really ground-breaking idea, for any national agency to have a brand where those languages are visible and embedded,” she said.

Internally, the rebrand has also given the CMF a boost on a crucial year, noted Creighton, as the domestic industry collectively hopes for a long-awaited regulatory overhaul.

Bill C-10 is currently under review (the first committee meeting will take place on Monday, Feb. 1), and, assuming the bill is passed, the CRTC will then have nine months to implement a new regulatory framework.

Creighton said that parallel to those legislative and regulatory discussions, the CMF will spearhead industry consultations on how best to apply the incoming measures.

“My idea was that we need to start these consultations now, because that will help us to be very proactive once the bill is passed and the CRTC does its process by listening to the industry and consulting on a number of questions,” she said.

“If we wait until the government and CRTC are done, we mightn’t have a new CMF program until 2023, and the whole industry could change by then. So how we see this is: our process of industry consultation will run parallel to the process that the government and the CRTC is undertaking, so that we’ll all be in a strong position by the end of calendar 2021. Then we can develop new guidelines ready for launch in April 2022,” she said.