NFB to cut 61 jobs across Canada

The National Film Board will cut 61 jobs and close its viewing rooms in Montreal and Toronto to comply with a $6.68-million cut over three years imposed in Thursday's federal budget, the NFB announced Wednesday.

73 full and part-time jobs to be eliminated, 12 new positions to be created

Tom Perlmutter has been chairman of the National Film Board since 2007. He announced the cuts on Wednesday. (NFB/Canadian Press)

The National Film Board will cut 61 jobs and close its viewing rooms in Montreal and Toronto to comply with a $6.68 million  cut over three years imposed in Thursday’s federal budget, the NFB announced Wednesday.

The film board plans to cut 73 full and part-time positions this year, including 37 positions in Montreal, 33 in Toronto, 2 in Vancouver and 1 in Halifax.

However, it plans to create 12 new full-time workshop coordinator positions in Toronto and Montreal, according to communications director Lily Robert.

The CineRobotheque in Montreal and Mediatheque in Toronto are slated to close this September, although the workshops will remain open in Toronto. The Montreal workshops will find another location.

"This has not been an easy task. We have had to make tough choices," Tom Perlmutter, chair of the NFB, said in the press release.  "We needed to ensure the long-term viability of the NFB by maintaining our ability to innovate in the creation and distribution of works that cannot be done elsewhere, continuing to serve the public in ways that add to the rich cultural fabric of our country, and sustaining our global leadership in the digital sphere.

Other cuts include:

  • closure of the NFB office on St. Denis street in Montreal.
  • eliminating grants for festivals and events as of April 1.
  • a one per cent cut in production budgets.
  • reduction of the scope of the Filmmaker Assistance Program (FAP) and the Aide au cinéma indépendant du Canada (ACIC) program.

The NFB had its budget reduced by five per cent last year but that cut did not result in job losses. In 1995, it faced a $25 million dollar budget cut and lost 180 employees over three years. That year, it produced 85 films; this year, it produced 97.

Earlier this year, two NFB short films were Oscar contendors: Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby’s Wild Life and Patrick Doyon's Sunday.