NFB restructure sheds 16 jobs, creates new posts

The restructuring introduces the creation of a new position: director general of creation and innovation. (Pictured: NFB chairperson Claude Joli-Coeur)
March 12, 2015

The National Film Board of Canada will be cutting 16 jobs and introducing new positions in its latest round of restructuring, part of an effort to bring financial stability to the organization and preserve production coin.

These latest changes are part of a larger strategy at the NFB to focus on the development of digital platforms and growing audiences while continuing to funnel consistent funds towards production. Overall, the NFB says these changes are anticipated to save the organization $5 million between now and 2020.

Of the 16 positions that will be cut, eight are educational workshop educators from Montreal and Toronto. The educational workshops will be converted into online services that will be accessible to Canadians nationwide.

The remainder of excised jobs includes three management positions that were eliminated in earlier restructuring, and various unionized jobs within the NFB across several departments, including marketing and public relations.

Two of the management positions were eliminated when the NFB combined their marketing and communications departments late last year. The third management position eliminated was that of assistant commissioner, which was held by Claude Joli-Coeur before he was appointed to interim – then permanent – chairperson of the NFB.

While 16 positions are being eliminated, seven new jobs will be created across the NFB’s marketing, communications and distribution departments with the goal of increasing the organization’s outreach to new audiences, Joli-Coeur told Realscreen sister publication Playback Daily.

The restructuring will also introduce the position of director general, creation/innovation, which has yet to be filled. The director general will be responsible for developing a long-term vision and programming strategy for the NFB, and developing new partnerships. The new role will be posted with a recruitment firm with the aim of having the position filled by the summer.

The separate English and French creation programs will continue to be led by executive directors. Michelle Van Beusekom will be the executive director, programming and production of the English program. She was already leading the program on an interim basis.

Colette Loumede will return to the position of executive producer following her interim term of leading the French program. The move was made on the request of Loumede.

In her place, Michele Belanger will take on the role of director, programming and production of the French program on an interim basis. The NFB will start taking applications for the executive director spot on the French program once the director general, creation/innovation spot is filled.

These latest moves follow a tumultuous period at the NFB. At the end of 2013, government film commissioner and chair Tom Perlmutter resigned from the organization. 2014 saw the departures of Ravida Din, former director general of the NFB’s English program; Silva Basmajian, exec producer for the Ontario region, who stepped down last July; and longtime NFB producer Gerry Flahive, who left the organization last May following a career spanning almost three decades.

Joli-Coeur was appointed to the role of government film commissioner and chair of the NFB on an interim basis in January 2014, and was then named the permanent head of the organization in December.

(From Playback Daily)

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