As Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada exists to inform, enlighten and entertain. It is also our responsibility to be a well-run organization in all areas of business, from the programming we provide to responsible management.
This year, the Board played an important role in guiding the Corporation as it faced a shifting media landscape and the financial challenges that led to the 2014—2015 budget reductions. The Board oversaw the strategic planning process to ensure that the budget solutions were informed choices, made with an eye to the future.
Through the Strategic Planning Committee, the Board of Directors is overseeing the strategy development that will position the public broadcaster for the future. Our strategy for beyond 2015 must fully embrace new platforms, with Canadian content that informs, enlightens, entertains, and allows Canadians to connect with each other. The Board will continue to ensure that our new strategic direction will make us a leaner and more focused public media company.
One of the Board’s objectives is ensuring that the public broadcaster reflects this country’s various perspectives on a wide range of issues. It is essential that CBC/Radio-Canada provides Canadians with forums that allow them to form their own opinions, as well as offering them a safe place to share ideas. The Corporation must also reach Canadians where they live and bring them programming that is tailored to their needs.
The Corporation succeeded in reaching most Canadians from February 6–23, 2014, when CBC/Radio-Canada broadcast the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. More Canadians tuned in to these Games than any other Olympics in history. More than 33 million Canadians viewed some portion of Sochi 2014 on either an online or traditional platform.
CBC/Radio-Canada’s coverage of the Winter Olympics connected Canadians to our athletes and their performances in Russia. In addition to numerous digital offerings, we were able to make the Games as widely distributed as possible through partnerships. This business model allowed the Corporation to provide Canadians with exceptional coverage for the best price possible.
This collaborative approach is the way forward for the public broadcaster; partnerships will allow us to continue delivering the relevant and compelling content that Canadians want across all platforms.
The Board continues to support the Corporation’s approach to respecting and upholding transparency and accountability as being of the utmost importance. During 2013—2014, the Corporation proactively disclosed approximately 32,000 pages of information, including almost 5,000 pages pertaining to our Board.
We also received recognition for our corporate reporting. CBC/Radio-Canada was awarded the 2013 Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA) Corporate Reporting Award of Excellence, in the category of Large Federal Crown Corporations, in recognition of the 2011—2012 Annual Report.
Events like the Annual Public Meeting continue to be an important exercise for the CBC/Radio-Canada Board. The 2013 edition of CBC/Radio-Canada’s Annual Public Meeting was held live from Glenn Gould Studio in the Toronto Broadcast Centre on October 23, 2013. The focus was on radio, and how new technology is changing the medium. The meeting gave Canadians the opportunity to ask questions and share their expectations for the future of public broadcasting in Canada.
In 2013—2014, the Board welcomed two new directors, each for a five-year term. Marlie Oden was appointed on July 30, 2013 and Cecil Hawkins was appointed on March 6, 2014. We also said goodbye to directors Vivian Bercovici and Patricia McIver. I’d like to thank each of them for their important contribution to the public broadcaster during their time spent on our Board. You can find a complete list of Board members and their biographies under the Governance Matters section of this report.
In closing, I’d like to extend my thanks to all Board members for their ongoing commitment to public broadcasting.
Chair, Board of Directors