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The 2020–2023 NFB Strategic Plan. New ways of storytelling for new ways of seeing.


Production still from The Magnitude of All Things by Jennifer Abbott.

December 10, 2020 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The NFB’s 2020–2023 Strategic Plan places creation and audience engagement at the heart of the organization’s objectives. The plan is the NFB’s new roadmap for telling the country’s stories and reaching audiences across Canada and around the world.

Over the next three years, the NFB’s key goals are:

  • to ensure that as many voices as possible have the opportunity to express themselves, so that a greater diversity of points of view are seen and heard;
  • to renew its approach to programming and enrich the experience of creation;
  • to reinvent its marketing, presentation, and distribution methods;
  • to increase its funding in order to devote more money to production.

2020 was marked by sweeping changes, brought about not only by the COVID-19 pandemic but also by environmental crises and the demands of Indigenous people and underrepresented groups—and there is no doubt that Canada, like the rest of the world, will be transformed as a result. Through its 2020–2023 Strategic Plan, the NFB intends to help ensure that these changes are positive and constructive, and that they engage our sense of civic duty and contribute to our collective well-being. The NFB aims to be an organization that prioritizes the creative expression of all aspects of this transformation, to help Canadians understand each other so that they can build a shared future together. The role of artists will be essential in this effort, as will the expertise of NFB staff.


In the area of creation, the NFB wants to ensure that as many voices as possible have the opportunity to express themselves, and as many points of view as possible are seen and heard. It will pursue this goal while fulfilling its responsibilities towards Indigenous, linguistic, racialized and underrepresented communities. In addition to maintaining its gender-parity targets, in early 2021 the NFB will unveil a series of firm diversity and inclusion commitments and relaunch its Indigenous Action Plan for a new three-year period, as it continues to review its relationships with Inuit, Métis, and First Nations peoples.

The NFB also intends to renew its approach to programming so that it is cohesive, integrated, and responsive. To that end, it will develop a new programming framework, articulate its shared values in relation to production, hold strategic programming forums, and launch a national programming group, to which creators will be invited.

To enrich the experience of creation, the organization will offer a genuine “NFB experience” based on close personal support for creators at each step of their artistic journey. This initiative will consolidate the place of artists by developing an optimal relationship with them so that they feel welcomed and involved, and are seen as vital constituents of the NFB and its ecosystem.

The NFB will also establish mechanisms to facilitate meetings and interactions with creator communities and key industry members, to ensure regular and constructive dialogue.


With regard to distribution, the NFB’s intent is to reinvent its marketing, presentation, and distribution methods, in order to foster proximity with audiences and better connect them to the NFB based on their interests.

As a public distributor, the NFB must stand out in the way it reaches audiences. It has to be present in ways that some private players simply cannot be—but it must also adapt to and participate in areas with which it is unfamiliar. To further develop audience engagement, the NFB will excel on two levels: it will continue to offer viewing experiences of its works in person, through public screenings across Canada, and it will continue to increase access to its productions by improving discoverability on digital platforms, where more and more Canadians are consuming their audiovisual content.

Education remains a priority area for the NFB, which enjoys long-standing relationships with Canadian teachers and the entire education sector. The extraordinary growth in visits to NFB.ca/Education during the pandemic demonstrated that our educational offer is a reliable and accessible resource for teachers as well as parents, especially in these uncertain times.


All these goals are tied to the implementation of the NFB’s 2020–2025 Technology Development Plan, which aims to provide staff, production teams, and experts with the best possible tools to face an environment that is constantly evolving, yet filled with potential.

They also presume that the NFB can secure increased funding, to devote greater funds to production. To this end, the NFB is emphasizing the current extraordinary context, in which strong and diverse voices are more valuable than ever, notably those of creators and artists. The NFB will redouble its efforts to seek out sources of additional funding, while deepening strategic partnerships and beginning to think about a supplementary funding strategy.

The NFB will continue to be a world-class creative hub, recognized in Canada and internationally for its excellence, and a centre for innovation in documentary, animation, interactive storytelling, and all new forms of creation.


“How do we imagine the world of tomorrow? There is an urgency to crafting new ways of storytelling for new ways of seeing. The NFB’s mission has never been as relevant. The 2020–2023 Strategic Plan aims to ensure that in the years ahead, more than ever before, the NFB will be a hub where creators and the public meet, to understand and learn about each other. We will continue to be a laboratory for experimentation and a centre for innovation that relies on the collective strength and expertise of our staff.” — Claude Joli-Coeur, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the NFB

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Associated Links

NFB’s 2020–2023 Strategic Plan

French version here | Version française ici.

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.