The Advocacy Committee of WIFTV

Our Three Goals


The first goal is to conduct and collect research on the status of women and gender diverse people's participation in the film and television industries, with a focus on BC and Canada and disseminate this research to both WIFT members and to the broader industry to create awareness of the challenges women and gender diverse people face in our Canadian industries.


The second goal is to analyze and address the systemic barriers to women and gender diverse people's equal participation in the production and dissemination of Canadian screen-based media, and engage with policymakers, inviting them to work closely with us to create more opportunities for women and gender diverse people in our industries.


The third goal is to actively participate in industry and community task forces and advisory committees to ensure a 'gendered lens' is brought to all policy and funding considerations across our federal and provincial screen industries.

The Advocacy Committee Timeline


WIFTV letter to BC Minister lobbying for insertion of gender and diversity incentives into the provincial tax credit legislation. WIFTV continues to work with other BC-based organizations to promote gender and diversity in the provincial tax credit system.


And secondly, under pressure from the CRTC, the large private sector Canadian broadcasters commit to 50/50 gender equality in their Canadian programming by 2025. All the private broadcasters made very similar commitments, and here is the one from Bell.

Bell Media Gender Parity Action Plan – September 30, 2019

The objective of our action plan is to achieve gender parity in key creative roles (i.e. Producer, Director, Writer, Showrunner, Director of Photography and Editor) for our Canadian independent productions by 2025.


First, the CRTC issued reporting requirements for all large broadcasting groups on gender and diversity stats in their Canadian programming, in the key creative positions of writer, director, producer, cinematographer, editor, first and second lead performer and ‘showrunner’.

From CRTC Decision 2019-304: This Report will provide information on broadcasters’ spending on original, first-run programming and other content, including that produced by official language minority communities and Indigenous producers.

It will also include information that will allow interested parties to measure the efforts of broadcasters with respect to commissioning programming made by women and gender diverse people occupying the roles of producer, director, writer, cinematographer and editor. Broadcasters will also identify programs that have women and gender diverse people occupying the roles of first and second lead performers.


Women in Production Summit held at CRTC offices with heads of major Canadian private-sector broadcasting companies, including Rogers, Corus, Bell, Blue Ant, and Quebecor. Susan Brinton sits on the CRTC Steering Committee for women and gender diverse people in Production. As a result of this Summit, the two important declarations were made on gender equality in 2019.


CRTC issues decision supporting WIFTV submission and calls for women and gender diverse people in Production summit to consider the issue of gender equality in Canadian broadcasting.
From CRTC decision 2017-148: women and gender diverse people in Film and Television Vancouver (WIFTV) proposed that the Commission impose an annual reporting obligation on large ownership groups to assess the role of women and gender diverse people in certain key roles, including producer, director, writer, cinematographer and editor.

Commissions Analysis and Decision:

Although women and gender diverse people have access to management positions within the broadcasting system, they still face barriers to entry with respect to key positions within the creative and production sectors. Section 3(1)(d)(iii) of the Act states that the Canadian broadcasting system should, through its programming and the employment opportunities arising out of its operations, serve the needs and interests, and reflect the circumstances and aspirations, of Canadian men, women and gender diverse people and children, including equal rights. The Commission considers that women and gender diverse people’s access to key leadership positions is an important issue and that intervention by the Commission is necessary to further the achievement of this objective of the Act.



WIFTV Co-Chairs appeared before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) at its large private broadcasters licence renewal hearings in Ottawa. See our submission here.


At our VIWIFF in March of 2017, Claude Joli-Coeur of NFB announces they have met gender parity in funding and key creative positions (producer, director, writer), now looking at other key creative positions, including DOP, editor, and composer.


The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) commits to 50% female directors in all-new prime-time Canadian programming.


Subsequent commitments of all three federal agencies to 50/50 by 2020 across their funding programs (NFB, TFC and CMF) Claude Joli-Coeur, Film Commissioner and Chairperson, NFB made the first announcement on March 8 at our VIWFF.


Inspired by the SFI and now armed with data, WIFTV Advocacy held meetings with Agency Heads – National Film Board, Canada Media Fund, Telefilm Canada - regarding gender equality in projects and funding.


Release of women and gender diverse people in View Onscreen Report 2015, with data highlighting women and gender diverse people continuing to be vastly under-represented as directors, screenwriters and cinematographers in Canadian feature film and television.


Anna Serner of the Swedish Film Institute (SFI) commits to 50/50 by 2020 in gender equality in film projects, illustrating it was possible for federal funding agencies to achieve gender equality in key creative positions and in funding.


St John’s International Women’s Film Festival and Summit

SJIWFF partnered with Women in View to present the St. John’s Summit on Women in Media, the first national gathering of women and gender diverse people’s media organizations and unions from across the country. Fourteen leaders joined, representing over 40,000 professional members of Canada’s film and television industry, including WIFTV. The Summit resulted in these delegates developing strategies and policies to address gender disparity in Canada’s screen industries, calling on the government to explicitly promote the principle that the equitable employment of women, gender diverse people, and racialized minorities in audiovisual products benefits both genders and all cultural groups, and is vital to achieving genuine diversity.