Telefilm Canada is committed to creating a more representative film community that is inclusive to Black, Indigenous, and people of colour creators, and filmmakers from underrepresented communities, according to a statement.
Telefilm Canada, which is a group of about 200 professionals that work to develop, finance, and promote the Canadian audiovisual industry, were recently subjected to calls for transparency, accountability and change in leadership to reflect more diversity.
On Monday, Christa Dickenson, the executive director of Telefilm Canada, wrote a letter that said the group has developed an Equity and Representation plan designed to create a more inclusive industry.
“As we work to increase the participation and presence for all of our country’s creators, we are aware that change needs to start from within,” Dickenson said. “At the end of 2019, all Telefilm executive staff and decision makers participated in unconscious bias training with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, and we are committed to ongoing learning for employees at all levels.”
According to the plan, Telefilm Canada wants to ensure that their staff is reflective of Canadian society by making a pledge to have a minimum 50 per cent of new hires come from underrepresented identities by 2023.
They plan on ensuring that 30 per cent of new management hires come from underrepresented communities by 2023 as well.
Telefilm Canada will also create four new positions for Black Indigenous and people of colour employees, two of which will be on the project financing team, one in business affairs and one in a senior management role reporting to the executive leadership team.
Dickenson said that Telefilm Canada established an internal diversity and inclusion committee for staff in Fall 2019, and that their hiring practices are evolving to encourage representation among their employees.
With files from The Canadian Press, and Victoria Ahearn