A crowd attending an outdoor concert in Toronto on Canada Day.

Celebrating Canada Day 2017 in Toronto. ©CBC/Radio-Canada

Further to the commitment set out in Budget 2016, CBC/Radio-Canada is pleased to share with you an update on some of the ways it has been using the government’s reinvestment in the public broadcaster to improve its services to Canadians.

our strategic plan

CBC/Radio-Canada continues to transform the way it operates. Canadians see it every day in the way they engage with us, and each other, on mobile devices, social networks, television and radio.

When we began Strategy 2020: A space for us all, more than half of Canadians told us that CBC/Radio-Canada was very important to them. By 2020, we wanted three out of every four Canadians to feel that way.

We also wanted to increase our digital reach to 18 million Canadians – one out of two – by 2020. We passed that target this year – two and a half years early! We now reach 18.5 million Canadians through CBC/Radio-Canada platforms each month.

As we move ahead with the strategy, we are making your public broadcaster more digital, more local and more ambitious in its Canadian programming. We are thereby increasing our value to Canadians.


  • Blue shape with location pins

    More Local

    • More engagement
    • More information
    • More often
    • On more screens
  • Yellow shape with play symbol

    More Ambitious Canadian Programming

    • Investing in stories
    • Delivering high-quality content
  • Purple shape with devices

    More Digital

    • More in-depth, more focused, more relevant
    • More platforms
    • Allowing Canadians to engage more with us and with each other
    • Encouraging Canadian conversations


In Budget 2016, the federal government invested an additional $75 million in CBC/Radio-Canada for 2016-2017, rising to $150 million in the following years. As stated in the Budget document, “Reversing past cuts will enable the CBC/Radio-Canada to invest in its Strategy 2020: A space for us all priorities, leading to the creation of Canadian content which will be more digital, local and ambitious in scope.”1

This funding continues to provide an element of important flexibility as we implement our digital strategy and make necessary investments in the future.

We continue to use this funding in support of Strategy 2020. This includes one third to maintain our momentum for key strategic initiatives; approximately half for the creation of new content across all of our platforms as we continue our transformation toward digital; and the remainder to support existing services.

Here is what that has meant:

Maintaining our momentum ($27M in 2016-2017 to $34M in 2017-2018 and ongoing), including:

  • Meeting the growing online expectations of Canadians by investing in digital expertise and creators. This ensures we continue:
  • Offering an enhanced service by better understanding audience needs and strengthening their connection and engagement with us.
  • Improving the digital user experience and better integrating our content with emerging technologies.
  • Improving the services we offer by accelerating our Research and Development. This includes:
  • Leveraging new trends like smart speakers.
  • Increasing the accessibility of our digital content and platforms for Canadians with hearing, visual or physical impairments.
  • Strengthening innovation with young creators by connecting and engaging with the wider tech community through events like Radio-Canada’s public hackathons, Journée de l’innovation and CBC’s outreach event The Digital Meetup.
  • Ensuring the financial stability of existing programs and services, including terrestrial radio programs like Unreserved with Rosanna Deerchild and Out in the Open with Piya Chattopadhyay. We also continued offering more original weeknight programming on ICI PREMIÈRE such as Les grand entretiens and On dira ce qu’on voudra.

Creation of new Canadian content ($36M in 2016-2017 to $92M in 2017-2018 and ongoing), including:

  • Enriching our television programming to meet audiences’ appetite for high quality and unique Canadian content. Programs like La grande traversée, Alias Grace and 21 Thunder have all benefited from this investment. It has also allowed us to offer even more original Canadian content – like Deuxième chance – on ICI RADIO-CANADA TÉLÉ’s schedule to an enthusiastic audience response.
  • Creating unique, digital-first Canadian programs like the comedy series CRAWFORD and the Radio-Canada drama series Trop.
  • Bringing iconic Canadian cultural events and performances to Canadians like Radio-Canada’s presentation of The Nutcracker (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens) and the production, broadcast and multiplatform distribution of the tribute to Leonard Cohen, Tower of Song.
  • Showcasing more original Indigenous content like Prix Wapikoni and Du teweikan à l’électro, as well as CBC Short Docs: Impossible to Contain, Twilight Dancers and Call Me Olly.
  • Expanding radio with new original podcasts like Seat at the Table, Personal Best, Disparue(s) and new audio books like Naufrage, which showcase French-Canadian authors on Première PLUS.
  • Strengthening signature events that draw Canadians together like En direct du monde, the JUNO Awards and Canada Day 150! From Coast to Coast to Coast. We also produced specials for the 375th anniversary of Montreal – ICI PREMIÈRE recorded in public parks with a mobile studio to engage live audiences.
  • Deepening our connections with communities, including minority language communities, across the country by enhancing regional cultural programming like Absolutely Canadian, the play Dehors, recorded from Winnipeg, Méchante soirée and Prise de son from Acadie, and Tout inclus in Ottawa.
  • Expanding digital content platforms like Zone Jeunesse on ICI TOU.TV, Rad, Espaces autochtones, Première PLUS and CBC Indigenous.
  • Supporting more diverse storytelling through the Breaking Barriers Film Fund for under-represented Canadian filmmakers. Three additional feature films have been selected for funding this year: An Audience of Chairs, Level 16 and Red Snow.
  • Supporting the creation and promotion of Francophone film with a $12 million investment in French-Canadian film.

Enhancing our existing services by investing in key programs and services ($12M in 2016-2017 to $24M in 2017-2018 and ongoing), including:

  • Supporting Indigenous languages by expanding the Indigenous-Language Archive Project, from Yellowknife to Whitehorse, Edmonton and Montreal. We now have archivists working on eight Indigenous languages concurrently.
  • Supporting the Archives Digitization Project to preserve Canadian content, stories and heritage and make the material more accessible.
  • Enhancing our support of Canadian music through more live recordings of Canadian artists and broadcast initiatives like the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and Music Day ON CBC, an all-day celebration of Canadian music across all platforms leading up to the live broadcast of the 2018 JUNO Awards.
  • Investing in our new CBC TV App, ICI TOU.TV and ICI TOU.TV EXTRA to enhance content and discoverability.
  • Maintaining support for key radio programs like White Coat, Black Art, extended to a full season, The Sunday Edition, returning to a three-hour time slot, and the returning Indigenous series Reclaimed on CBC Music.
  • Enhancing our foreign coverage on all platforms, including leveraging the use of pop-up bureaus and individual deployments.
  • Expanding our service to more Canadians, including a new, digital-first, local station in London, Ontario.
  • Strengthening our regional presence across the country by:
  • Expanding digital news coverage in communities 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long.
  • Hiring new multiplatform journalists in Thunder Bay, Yellowknife and Winnipeg.
  • Training young professionals in digital journalism at our training centre in Regina, with special attention on reaching diverse communities when enrolling these young professionals.


The tools that measure and assess CBC/Radio-Canada’s performance are an important part of Strategy 2020. We do this in two ways: by measuring the perceptions of Canadians and by tracking our success against specific measurable targets. The performance measurement framework covers four areas: Mandate and Vision (perception survey indicators), Strategy 2020 (strategic indicators), Reinvestment impact indicators, and Media Lines (operational indicators).

Three women and a man are holding voice recorders.

Sleepover on CBC Radio One brings listeners inside an unusual social encounter in which three complete strangers have agreed to meet in a hotel room for one evening, night and morning together. ©CBC

1 Source : “Growing the Middle Classˮ Budget 2016, 22 March 2016, p.186.