Inuit Broadcasting Corporation
A Window to the Arctic
The Inuit Broadcasting Corporation provides a window to the Arctic by producing award winning television programming by Inuit, for Inuit. IBC is indeed, Nunavut’s public producer. IBC does not produce the regular fare of TV sitcoms and talk shows. Instead, IBC producers make programming about one of the richest and enduring cultures in our nation, the Inuit of Canada, in the language Inuit speak…Inuktitut. We produce shows about our kids, our musicians, our politicians, our humour, our issues, etc. No one else can make these shows for us!
Our programming has been internationally recognized as one of the most successful communication models for developing nations. Our training programs have been emulated across Canada and the world beyond.With IBC, Canada has a national treasure that cannot be replaced.
Inuit communities are separated by huge distances in Nunavut, a region that makes up 1/3 of Canada’s landmass. The only way in or out of communities is by plane or skidoo. The only roads connecting communities are electronic. IBC programming travels by satellite via the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), an aboriginal network featuring Inuit, First Nations and Metis programming from across Canada and around the world.
IBC has 5 production centres scattered across Nunavut, with 29 Inuit staff at every level of the production chain, from director of network programming to technical producer to administrative assistant. All programming is conceived, designed and produced by Inuit, for Inuit.
IBC’s newest initiative is to train Inuit artists in the field of animation. In partnership with the National Film Board of Canada, IBC has acquired equipment, hosted workshops and sponsored four Nunavut artists to be trained at the Banff New Media Institute and to produce animated shorts for broadcast.
IBC is partially funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage. Other sources include – Nunavut government programs, license fees, production funds, program sales, fundraising, etc.
Mandate Statements: IBC works in video and other media to explore the Inuit culture and vision, and to preserve and promote the use of the Inuit language. The following mandate statements summarize IBC’s commitment:
- We are producers. IBC produces award-winning video material that is entertaining, informative, and artistic, preserving and promoting Inuit culture and Inuit development as a unique people.
- We are educators, IBC programming teaches Inuit youth their customs and traditions, gives a voice to Inuit elders, and provides a link between leaders and all Inuit to discuss and reflect on their past and future. The importance of IBC’s language programming has been widely acknowledged in a number of studies and evaluations, including formal evaluations of such programs as the Aboriginal Languages Initiative and the Northern Native Broadcast Access Program.
- We are a primary employer in the North. IBC creates jobs in communities where unemployment rates can be four to six times the national average. In addition to their full-time staff, IBC and ICSL employ many Inuit on a contract basis to work on special projects. IBC has promoted the concept and image of Inuit pursuing different careers, profiling many Inuit who have succeeded in both traditional activities and modern employment.
- We are a training institution. IBC has provided training to Inuit for the last 30 years through upgrading in basic communication skills, management, television production skills, writing, research, journalism, interviewing skills, and public relations – skills that are transferable to a large number of jobs in Nunavut. IBC is committed to the development of northern management capacity, and has conducted a needs assessment for our Nunavut-based supervisors. Training will combine participation in programs locally delivered through Arctic College, with specialized workshops in various areas of specialized media management.
- We create leaders. IBC is committed to the development of northern management capacity and leadership. Many of Canada’s most prominent Inuit leaders – politically and culturally – have worked with IBC as producers, managers, and directors.
- We are ambassadors. IBC has acted as a cultural ambassador for Nunavut and Canada, participating over the years as presenter, supporter or participant in many international co-productions and conferences. As a founding and active member of Ajjiit (a Nunavut organization for the promotion of film and television in the Territory), IBC has joined international trade missions, and is a vigorous supporter of production in Nunavut by both indigenous and offshore artists. Through its programming, IBC has introduced viewers across southern Canada to the Inuit culture and language, and facilitated access to those markets for independent producers and emerging Nunavut talent.
- We support our youth. IBC promotes youth by producing award-winning children’s programming that instills a sense of identity in Inuit youth in Nunavut while promoting and preserving the Inuit language. IBC has hosted, supported, promoted and participated in many activities intended to encourage the development of media skills among young people, including school workshops, production contests, support for work placements, support of initiative such as the Women’s Television Network Girls TV Camps, and numerous other events. For several years, IBC has also been designing and providing specific events (mini-animation workshops, special Takuginai screenings and puppet shows) for children and youth at festivals such as Alianait, a major Nunavut celebration.
- We are fiscally responsible. IBC’s budget ranges from $2.5 to $3.5 million per year. Efficient staffing and cost-effective program production approaches have enabled production at a cost considerably below that of most other public producers in Canada. IBC is proud of its fiscal record: in over 30 years the organization has never run a deficit, missed a payroll, or failed to meet the terms of a contract.
- We look to the future. IBC has taken the lead role to develop and implement a plan for the establishment of TV Nunavut – a territorial television network with the goal of increasing the amount of Inuit language media available to Nunavummiut.