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National Film Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. N-8)

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Act current to 2020-12-28 and last amended on 2005-12-31. Previous Versions

National Film Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. N-8

An Act respecting the National Film Board

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the National Film Act.

  • R.S., c. N-7, s. 1


Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act,


Board means the National Film Board established by section 4; (Office)


Commissioner means the Government Film Commissioner appointed under section 16; (commissaire)


department means any department or board of the Government of Canada and any agent of Her Majesty in right of Canada; (département)


film means motion pictures, still photographs, photographic displays, filmstrips and such other forms of visual presentation as consist primarily of photographs or photographic reproductions; (film)

film activity

film activity means any activity in relation to the production, distribution, projection or exhibition of film; (activité filmique)


Minister means such member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada as is designated by the Governor in Council as the Minister for the purposes of this Act. (ministre)

  • R.S., c. N-7, s. 2
  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 17, s. 17

Responsibility of Minister

Marginal note:Responsibility of Minister

 For the purposes of this Act and subject to its provisions, the Minister shall control and direct the operations of the National Film Board.

  • R.S., c. N-7, s. 3

National Film Board

Marginal note:National Film Board

  •  (1) There is hereby established a National Film Board, consisting of

    • (a) the Commissioner, who shall be Chairperson, and six other members, to be appointed by the Governor in Council; and

    • (b) the executive director of Telefilm Canada.

  • Marginal note:Tenure of office

    (2) Each member of the Board, other than the Commissioner and the executive director of Telefilm Canada, holds office for three years, but may be removed for cause by the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Re-appointment

    (3) A retiring member of the Board is eligible for re-appointment.

  • Marginal note:Casual vacancy

    (4) When, before the end of the term for which a member of the Board was appointed, the member ceases to be a member thereof, the Governor in Council shall appoint a person to be a member of the Board for the remainder of that term.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-8, s. 4
  • 1995, c. 29, s. 57
  • 2002, c. 17, s. 14

Marginal note:Eligibility

 No person who has any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, individually or as a shareholder or partner or otherwise, in commercial film activity is eligible for appointment to the Board.

  • R.S., c. N-7, s. 5

Marginal note:Fees and expenses

 A member of the Board, other than the Commissioner, the executive director of Telefilm Canada or a member of the Board who is a member of the federal public administration, may be paid such fee for each meeting of the Board that the member attends as may be fixed by by-law of the Board, and the members of the Board are entitled to be paid actual travel and living expenses necessarily incurred in connection with the business of the Board.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-8, s. 6
  • 1995, c. 29, s. 58
  • 2002, c. 17, s. 14
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E)

Marginal note:Meetings

  •  (1) The Board shall meet at the call of the Chairperson of the Board but, in any event, not more than three months shall elapse between meetings of the Board.

  • (2) [Repealed, 1995, c. 29, s. 59]

  • Marginal note:Voting

    (3) Each member of the Board has one vote in the transaction of the business of the Board, and if the number of votes is equal the Chairperson has an additional vote.

  • Marginal note:Minister to get minutes

    (4) The Chairperson of the Board shall furnish the Minister with a copy of the minutes of each meeting of the Board.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-8, s. 7
  • 1995, c. 29, s. 59

Marginal note:By-laws

 The Board, with the approval of the Minister, may make by-laws with respect to the conduct of the business of the Board.

  • R.S., c. N-7, s. 7

Purposes of the Board

Marginal note:Purposes for which Board established

 The Board is established to initiate and promote the production and distribution of films in the national interest and, in particular,

  • (a) to produce and distribute and to promote the production and distribution of films designed to interpret Canada to Canadians and to other nations;

  • (b) to represent the Government of Canada in its relations with persons engaged in commercial motion picture film activity in connection with motion picture films for the Government or any department thereof;

  • (c) to engage in research in film activity and to make available the results thereof to persons engaged in the production of films;

  • (d) to advise the Governor in Council in connection with film activities; and

  • (e) to discharge such other duties relating to film activity as the Governor in Council may direct the Board to undertake.

  • R.S., c. N-7, s. 9

Powers of Board

Marginal note:Powers of Board

  •  (1) Subject to the direction and control of the Minister, the Board may, for the purposes for which it is established,

    • (a) make, project, exhibit or distribute or cause to be made, projected, exhibited or distributed films in Canada or elsewhere on behalf of the Board or on behalf of other departments or persons;

    • (b) determine the manner in which moneys available to the Board for the production of a film may best be expended in the production thereof;

    • (c) acquire personal property and movable property in the name of the Board;

    • (d) enter into contracts in the name of the Board, including contracts for personal services;

    • (e) dispose of personal property and movable property held in the name of the Board or administered by the Board on behalf of Her Majesty, in processed form or otherwise, at the price and on the terms that the Board considers advisable;

    • (f) acquire in the name of the Board copyrights in any literary, musical or artistic works, plays, songs, recordings or films;

    • (g) acquire in the name of the Board and use any patent or patent rights, licences or concessions;

    • (h) make arrangements or agreements with any person or organization for the use of any rights, privileges or concessions; and

    • (i) do such other acts and things as are necessary for or incidental to the purposes for which the Board is established.

  • Marginal note:Legal proceedings

    (2) Actions, suits or other legal proceedings in respect of any right or obligation acquired or incurred by the Board on behalf of Her Majesty, whether in its name or in the name of Her Majesty, may be brought or taken by or against the Board in the name of the Board in any court that would have jurisdiction if the Board were a corporation that is not an agent of Her Majesty.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-8, s. 10
  • 2001, c. 4, s. 107

 [Repealed, 1996, c. 16, s. 44]

Marginal note:Restriction on entry into contracts

 Notwithstanding anything in this Act, the Board shall not, unless the approval of the Treasury Board has been obtained on the recommendation of the Minister, enter into a contract involving an estimated expenditure in excess of such amount as the Treasury Board may determine.

  • R.S., c. N-7, s. 12
  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 47, s. 32
  • 1984, c. 40, s. 49
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