ARCHIVED - National Film Board 2008-2009

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2008-2009 Report Card
National Film Board

Official Languages Program Management (15%)


The National Film Board (NFB) developed its first official languages action plan in 2008–2009. The action plan sets out targeted measures, among other things, to address recent recommendations and findings of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages described either in the 2007 study Federal Government Support for the Arts and Culture in Official Language Minority Communities or in previous editions of NFB report cards.

The targeted measures include the following: implementing concrete actions to offer service to the public in French at the office in Edmonton, Alberta; providing regular reminders to managers and employees about their language rights and obligations; and establishing a policy on communications with and service to the public, which includes procedures, practices and tips on fulfilling the requirements of Parts IV, V and VII of the Official Languages Act.

The NFB should ensure monitoring of its action plan to correct the problems that were identified.

All the measures identified in the action plan are scheduled for implementation over the course of the 2008–2009 year, and a progress report for senior management was presented to the management committee in March 2009.

In addition to the new action plan for delivering the official languages program, the NFB is required as an institution designated by Canadian Heritage to submit an action plan dealing specifically with the implementation of section 41 of the Act. This action plan includes targeted and measurable initiatives to foster the development of official language minority communities (OLMCs) and promote linguistic duality across Canada and abroad.

The Office of the Commissioner has received no complaints about the NFB since 2004.


Service to the Public Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%)

According to observations of service in person made by the Office of the Commissioner between June and December 2008, an active visual offer was present in 100% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 50% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was available in 75% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by the Office of the Commissioner between June and December 2008, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was available in 75% of cases.

According to observations of service by e-mail made by the Office of the Commissioner between September and December 2008, the availability of service is comparable for both linguistic groups 88.9% of the time, and benefits Francophones 11.1% of the time. However, the response time is, on average, 8.02 hours longer in French than in English.


Language of Work  Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%)

The survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner showed that, overall, 88.8% of Anglophone respondents in Quebec "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime.

For Anglophone respondents, the satisfaction rate by question is presented below.

Survey Questions

Anglophone Respondents

Francophone Respondents

The material and tools provided for my work, including software and other automated tools, are available in the official language of my choice.



When I prepare written materials, including electronic mail, I feel free to use the official language of my choice.



When I communicate with my immediate supervisor, I feel free to use the official language of my choice.



During meetings in my work unit, I feel free to use the official language of my choice.



The training offered by my work unit is in the official language of my choice.




Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians  Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%)

Overall, the workforce is 64% Francophone.

In Quebec, excluding the National Capital Region, the workforce is 22% Anglophone.

(Source: NFB, February 27, 2009)


Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality  Part VII of the Official Languages Act (20%)

The NFB makes its employees aware of its responsibilities under Part VII of the Official Languages Act and of its commitment to reaching OLMCs, through the policies and guidelines that govern its planning activities and program delivery.

The institution studied the needs of OLMCs in the Atlantic region and in Quebec. Additional efforts are now required for Western Canada.

The NFB uses internal tools to assess the impact of its programs and services on official language minorities and on the promotion of linguistic duality. These tools include feasibility plans, strategic plans, development plans and public satisfaction surveys. The Report on Plans and Priorities and the Performance Report required of the NFB reiterate the organization’s commitment to supporting OLMC filmmakers.

The Government Film Commissioner also met with members of the industry in one of a series of presentations and consultations on the strategic plan that were held across the country. The meeting included OLMC representatives and language rights groups. Producers from the French Program in Quebec and from the French Program’s Ontario and West Studio also met with OLMC representatives on that occasion.

Executive producers from the English programming branch in Quebec have been in regular contact with OLMCs. The NFB became a member of the Greater Montreal Community Development Initiative’s arts, culture and heritage council, organized by the Quebec Community Groups Network, in November 2008.

At the French programming branch, executive producers from the Ontario and West Studio and Acadia Studio have also been in regular contact with OLMCs, through the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada, for example, and have met with producers and directors from these communities during consultations with members of the industry.

After the NFB’s new 2008–2013 strategic plan was unveiled in March 2008, the Government Film Commissioner visited every NFB office in the country to present the plan and reaffirm the organization’s commitment to enhancing the vitality of English and French linguistic minorities in Canada and to promoting the recognition of both official languages. During these visits, employees were reminded of the importance of linguistic duality, community development and the organization’s related obligations.

The 2007–2008 year was the last for the second Interdepartmental Partnership with the Official-Language Communities (2005–2008), in which the NFB participated. This partnership enabled the communities to promote cultural expression by providing their creators with a context in which they could develop new forms of authentic and socially relevant work. The following projects designed for young filmmakers from OLMCs were produced in 2007–2008.

The Acadia Studio and the Ontario and West Studio launched the third edition of the Tremplin contest for young filmmakers. The film Un Dimanche à 105 ans (A Sunday at 105), produced by the Acadia Studio as part of Tremplin 2007, won several awards at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie. A new edition of the popular competition was launched in Regina on December 5, 2008.

The fourth edition of Doc Shop drew 75 Anglophone students from the Montréal area to its workshop on producing a four-minute video. The third edition of Making Music brought together a team of young Montréal musicians and filmmakers to make five films that experimented with genres, cinematic techniques and soundscapes.

In cooperation with Ça tourne Productions, the NFB co-produced On a tué l’Enfant-Jésus (A Hospital Crucified), the story of the conversion of the hospital in Caraquet into a community health centre and Renée Blanchar’s moving testimony to human solidarity and the vitality of small rural communities. This short documentary opened the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie, where it received an award. The film was also broadcast on Radio-Canada televison in January.

The Toronto Mediathèque organized a number of customized animation and documentary workshops for Francophone and French-immersion school groups. The CineRobotheque in Montréal also organized workshops for its Anglophone audience.

The NFB produces catalogues and promotional material in both official languages. Through its English and French on-line stores, it distributes a newsletter every two weeks for its target audiences, including OLMCs. As part of the e-cinema promotion campaign, a weekly newsletter on e-cinema program offerings was launched in early 2008 and is sent to interested OLMCs.


Overall Rating