President's message

In 2015-2016, which marked the 24th year of activity of the Cogeco Program Development Fund, the Board of Directors is pleased to report that 12 projects under the Development program and 25 projects under the Production program were approved for funding. The projects selected by our Fund’s independent selection committee originate from 31 different Canadian production companies and cover a range of applications for English and French-language program content for 19 Canadian television Services. The cumulative amount of funding committed during the year was $115,455 for program development and $3,575,000 for program production.

COGECO Inc. should be commended for creating this unique independent fund, first with an original capital endowment of $5 million designed to provide sustainable funding for program development over time, and subsequently with substantial annual contributions from its cable subsidiary Cogeco Communications Inc., now totalling $42,315,202 in the aggregate, which has allowed funding for program production as well.

This past year also marked a full review of the CRTC’s regulatory policies governing Certified Independent Production Funds (CIPFs). The CRTC’s revised policy provides for various requirements respecting the independence, governance and reporting of CIPFs. As in previous years, this latest annual report from the Cogeco Program Development Fund provides detailed information on its activities as well as audited financial statements and other information needed to understand and appreciate its independence, its governance and its funding decisions, all in keeping with the CRTC’s policies in effect.

Like others in the program funding environment, our Fund must now cope with lower returns from its capital endowment fund on the financial markets, as well as declining annual contributions from the broadcasting distribution sector due to the structural changes affecting the domestic distribution market. As a result, the Board of Directors will be conducting this year a review of its current programs with a view to ensuring their efficiency and sustainability in the future.

I wish to thank the directors, the members of the selection committee and staff for contributing their time and expertise in support of our Fund’s activities.
Yves Mayrand