Access to timely and insightful research is crucial to maintain a strategic course in today’s rapidly changing environment. Communications MDR has extensive experience in the collection, analysis and synthesis of information and data using a range of methodologies. We bring our expertise in primary and secondary research, qualitative and quantitative analysis to deliver sound market intelligence and strategic advice, driving innovation and success.

  • National and international literature reviews
  • Stakeholder surveys
  • In-depth interviews with key informants
  • Statistical and economic analysis
  • Feasibility studies

Changing the Narrative: 2020 Status of Canadian Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in Canada's Screen-based Production Sector

This survey of Canadian BIPOC professionals working in the screen-based production sector in Canada was commissioned by the Reelworld Film Festival and Reelworld Screen Institute. Amongst the key findings are that BIPOC industry professionals work in a wide range of creative, production, managerial, technical and business-related occupations. Over a quarter of respondents described having experienced overt discrimination, impeding their access to employment. Having more BIPOC professionals in leadership and decision-making roles would facilitate greater employment by freelancers who are BIPOC.


The survey also found that established BIPOC creators have difficulty accessing funding for the development or production of their film and television programs. Twenty percent of respondents intend to leave Canada to pursue their careers in the industry elsewhere.

The report can be accessed here.


Profile of Documentary Production in Canada: 2012-2017 (2019)

The 6th volume in the series Getting Real: An Economic Profile of the Canadian Documentary Industry. The report is an in-depth look at the state of Canadian documentary production from 2012-2013 to 2016-2017 in both the English- and French-language markets.

For this study, the consultants analyzed current statistics and provided a wealth of information on the financing, production, and viewing of documentaries in Canada. Focusing on television and theatrical documentaries, this report traces developments in funding and policy that affect production.

Through examining documentary production by format, language, and region, the report presents a longitudinal overview of developments and growth in the industry, supplemented by case studies. The report can be accessed at this link.

An Overview of Support for the Export of Cultural Products and Considerations for Increasing Exports (2019)

This study was prepared for the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Cultural Promotion and Diversity in the Digital Age Working Group, representing the cultural ministries of the federal, provincial and territorial governments in Canada. The report presents the findings of an assessment conducted of cultural promotion and export initiatives in Canada. The report is expected to inform future research on the diversity of digital Canadian content and opportunities and challenges in the international market.

The project scope entailed the development of an inventory of strategies and initiatives that support Canadian cultural promotion and export, and to identify gaps and emerging or new markets and opportunities in selected cultural sectors and provide considerations and potential next steps with respect to a potential promotion or export approach.


This report prepared for the imagineNATIVE Institute presents findings of a major examination of Indigenous screen-based content internationally, the factors contributing to its success and lessons to expand opportunities for Canadian Indigenous screen-based productions in the global market. It reveals a growing demand for Indigenous screen content. Furthermore, the number of festivals dedicated to Indigenous content is growing and 76% of Indigenous festivals worldwide present Canadian productions.  This report is based on interviews with industry players, surveys of Indigenous festivals and alternate distribution networks, studies of national and international literature and case studies from Canada and around the world. To read the full report, click here.

Exporting Canadian Television Globally: Trends, Opportunities and Future Directions (2017)

This comprehensive study undertaken for the Canadian Media Producers Association examines current global trends and emerging opportunities with respect to exports of Canadian television programs supported by the Canada Media Fund. The report makes recommendations to stimulate greater exports of Canadian television programs.

Acess the report here.

Exporting Canadian Feature Films in Global Markets: Trends, Opportunities and Future Directions (2017)

This comprehensive study undertaken for the Canadian Media Producers Association examines current global trends and emerging opportunities with respect to exports of Canadian feature films supported by Telefilm Canada. The report makes recommendations to stimulate greater exports of Canadian films.

Access the report here.

Funding Models for Sustainability: Lessons from Selected Arts Service Organizations in the Visual and Media Arts (2017)

This study, undertaken for the Artist Run Centres and Collectives Conference (ARCA), in partnership with the Association of ARtist-Run Centres from the Atlantic (AARCA), and the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) identifies models for funding in Canadian and international jurisdictions, including the USA, Australia, the Netherlands and France, that could inform the development of funding strategies for Canadian artist-run National Arts Service Organizations.

Access the report here.

Charting a Course for Impact Producing in Canada: Trends, Best Practices and Future Directions (2016)

This report follows from the report, Philanthropic Funding for Documentaries in Canada: Towards an Industry-Wide Strategy, which recommended building the skills of impact producers in Canada and strengthening the measurement of documentary impact to better align the sector with the interests of philanthropic funders. The report examines trends in impact producing in the UK, US, Australia and Canada, and discusses the innovative approaches and tools for measuring the social impact of documentaries that have been developed by The Fledgling Fund, BRITDOC, Participant Media and the Harmony Institute.

Access the report here.

State of the Art: Understanding, Appreciating & Promoting Analogue Film Practices in the 21st Century (2016)

This report, which was commissioned by a consortium of Canadian independent film production centres, provides recommendations for strengthening the role of Canada’s network of artist-run media arts production centres in promoting access and artistic excellence in the resurgent practice of analogue (celluloid) filmmaking. The study documents global trends and best practices in analogue and experimental film production, distribution, as well as public engagement and access, and was presented at the 2016 Independent Media Arts Alliance meeting in Quebec City, as well as the 2016 International Film Labs Meeting in Nantes, France.

“We are very excited to be associated with the launch of this study, which highlights the creativity and dynamism of media artists not only in Canada but across the globe,” stated Emmanuel Madan, National Director of IMAA.

“The study confirms the revival of analogue film practices in Canada and abroad and amongst younger artists, and identifies future directions that will strengthen the ecology in Canada,” noted Jem Noble, project leader, and artist and Program Manager at Cineworks.

Access the report here.

Philanthropic Funding for Documentaries in Canada: Towards an Industry-Wide Strategy (2015)


This study proposed an industry-wide strategy to support the development of new strategic partnerships between Canada’s philanthropic sector and the documentary sector to benefit the promotion and distribution of Canadian documentaries. The study examined innovative initiatives that have been successfully introduced in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States to engage the philanthropic sector to support the production and dissemination of documentaries. The findings showed that compared to these other jurisdictions, Canada is behind in leveraging funding from the philanthropic sector and that the Canadian sector, including grant making foundations, corporate and individual donors, represents a significant untapped resource for the documentary community. The report was presented at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival Doc Conference, and led to a follow up study on documentary “impact” producing in Canada.

“It would be difficult to find two sectors with more shared common purpose than those of philanthropy and documentary, said DOC’s Executive Director, Pepita Ferrari.

Access the report here.

Monetizing Digital Media: Trends, Key Insights and Strategies that Work (2014)

This report provides the results of a major examination of recent trends and key models being used to monetize digital media content.nIntegrating key insights by industry leaders and examples of successful monetization models and strategies being used by Canadian companies, the report provides an overview and analysis of recent global trends and key models being used to monetize digital media content. As discussed in the report, digital media are being monetized in a rapidly evolving and complex ecosystem requiring a sophisticated understanding of consumer behaviour as well as an appetite for experimentation and risk. 

“Understanding the opportunities and challenges afforded by different monetization models is critical for companies to succeed today in increasingly competitive and global markets,” said Serge Landry, Executive Director of the CIAIC.
“This new study is a key part of the CMF’s objective of providing the Canadian digital media industry with valuable industry intelligence,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund.

Access the report here.

Learning from Documentary Audiences: A Market Research Study (2014)

Commissioned by Hot Docs, this major survey of Canadian audiences examined the documentary viewing habits patrons of major Canadian documentary festivals. Presented at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Doc Conference in 2014, the study led to a new video-on-demand offering by Hot Docs in partnership with Rogers on Demand, Bell Fibe TV on Demand, Vimeo On Demand, the Cineplex Store, iTunes and the Sundance Now Doc Club.

Access the report here.

The Aboriginal Production Screen-Based Sector in Review: Trends, Success Stories and the Way Forward (2013)

Bringing together for the first time in one study an analysis of the funding for Aboriginal films, television and interactive digital media, the report filled an important gap in the understanding of Aboriginal screen-based production. Examining the five-year period 2007-2008 to 2011-2012, it paints a portrait of a dynamic and vibrant industry sector. Among the findings, the study reported that the sector created over 3,300 full-time jobs, typically employing Aboriginal Peoples, generating almost $173 million in production activity. The report was shared with members of the Aboriginal Alliance of Media Producers (AAMP) producers’ summit at the 2014 ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Festival, as well as with participants at the 2014 World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Conference.

Valerie Creighton, President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund, commented that, “the report provides solid evidence of the benefits to Canadians of the Canada Media Fund’s support to Aboriginal production over the years, which has helped to create jobs and provided access to a wide variety of compelling programs and interactive productions in Aboriginal languages.”

Access the report here.

New Directions for the Financing of Interactive Digital Media (2012)

This study profiled for the first time the state of private financing for interactive digital media in Canada, based on in-depth interviews with private equity investors, investment and financing agents, game developers and game publishers, banks and government funders in Canada, the US and Europe, including as well as an extensive review of Canadian and international literature. The study identified gaps in the financing landscape and recommended strategies to foster a virtuous circle of private investment. The recommendations put forward by the report led to the creation of an accelerator program by the Canada Media Fund to encourage greater investment readiness amongst Canadian interactive digital media developers.

Karen Thorne-Stone, President & Chief Executive Officer of the OMDC, was quoted as saying that the study, “…provides valuable insight into the financing gaps that limit the potential of Ontario’s dynamic interactive digital media sector,” adding that the study also points the way to making support for digital content producers more flexible, efficient and effective.

Access the report here.