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CBC announces new diversity initiative and collab with Australian broadcaster

TORONTO — The CBC has announced a new diversity initiative as well as plans for a creative and commercial collaboration with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

At the Banff World Media Festival Monday, Canada’s public broadcaster revealed a commitment to diversity for all English and French-language commissioned programs across scripted and factual genres.

CBC/Radio-Canada says by 2025, it “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.”

It says key creatives include producer, director, writer, showrunner and lead performer.

“In cases where the talent pipeline may not be as robust, the public broadcaster will expect a commitment from independent producers to mentor or train a diverse person in one of the key creative roles of a greenlit production,” says a statement.

“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.”

The new diversity goal builds on CBC/Radio-Canada’s gender parity goal across its commissioned programs, which it says it surpassed this year.

The public broadcaster says during the 2018/19 broadcast year across all original English and French shows, it supported 62 per cent female-led projects where the majority of the key creative roles of producer, director, writer and showrunner were held by women.

Meanwhile, the CBC and Australian Broadcasting Corporation have signed a three-year memorandum of understanding to co-develop English-language drama, comedy, factual, children’s and podcast content.

The goal for the two national broadcasters is to “maximize the value of their public funding for audiences,” said the statement.

“At a time when public broadcasters are competing with the best content in the world, partnerships like this will ensure we can nurture and develop more distinct storytelling and co-finance ambitious projects with greater global reach,” said Catherine Tait, president and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada.

“This agreement will offer new opportunities for producers in Canada and Australia, and bring our top creators, talent and stories to broader audiences at home and around the world.” 

The Canadian Press