The Organization

The Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) is the collective voice of Canada’s independent documentary creators. DOC began in 1983 as the Canadian Independent Film Caucus (CIFC) to represent the interests of Canada’s growing community of indie doc filmmakers. Today DOC has over 1000 members across six chapters from coast to coast. DOC’s National office leads on research and advocacy work that strengthens the ecosystem for documentary production while DOC chapters provide local programming and community support. DOC’s mandate as a member-driven organization is to advocate for an equitable, sustainable environment for documentary production and to strengthen the sector within the broader cultural industry.

MILESTONES

1983

The CIFC (Canadian Independent Film Caucus) was founded in Toronto in 1983 and advocated successfully for the creation of the CFDC’s (now Telefilm) documentary broadcast envelope.

1990

The CIFC launched POV Magazine, Canada’s premiere and longest running magazine covering documentary culture.

1992

The CIFC was instrumental in bringing new documentary strands to public airwaves, including CBC’s Witness and The Passionate Eye.

1994

The CIFC founded Hot Docs – now North America’s biggest documentary-focused film festival.

2003

The CIFC was renamed DOC.

2004

DOC Quebec co-founded the RIDM Forum, the industry component of North America’s largest francophone documentary festival.

2010

DOC successfully advocated for the creation of the Canada Media Fund’s English POV Program.

2013

The Ontario Chapter launched the DOC Institute, a dedicated hub providing professional development activities for non-fiction professionals.

2019

DOC launched a two-year free membership program for Indigenous filmmakers, encouraging greater representation and equity in Canada’s film industry.

2020

DOC launched Documentary Production in the Era of COVID-19: Best Practice by and for Documentary Filmmakers.

2021

DOC launched a two-year free membership program for filmmakers who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or Persons of Colour, encouraging greater representation and equity in Canada’s film industry.

MANDATE

The Documentary Organization of Canada/Documentaristes du Canada (DOC) is the collective voice of independent documentary creators across Canada. It is a member driven organization dedicated to promoting, supporting and developing the art form of documentary filmmaking. As a national non-profit association it advocates on behalf of its members to foster an equitable environment conducive to documentary production and strives to strengthen the sector within the broader media production industry.

MISSION

The Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) advocates for independent documentary creators. DOC:

1

Advocates for equitable access to resources, fair compensation and safer spaces for all documentary creators.

2

Champions for a sustainable and thriving ecosystem for the production and distribution of documentaries across all platforms.

3

Advances the rights of documentary creators from marginalized, underrepresented and misrepresented groups to hold agency in storytelling and production.

4

Supports, promotes and celebrates documentary creators, documentary culture and the documentary community in Canada, while fostering relationships among creators in Canada and with stakeholders worldwide.

5

Encourages a culture of documentary making based on honest creative exploration, inventiveness, respect, reciprocity, and responsible and ethical best practices.

6

Promotes a culture of documentary making based on honest creative exploration, inventiveness, respect, reciprocity, and responsible and ethical documentary practices.

VISION

Our vision is that documentary is widely recognized as an essential part of Canada’s diverse social fabric; fostering greater understanding, activating discourse and inspiring social change.

In a truly thriving community, independent documentary creators benefit from an equitable media landscape, a sustainable financing ecosystem, and distribution networks that bring our documentaries to all audiences, nationally and internationally.
We envision documentary creation being rooted in a culture that values diversity of voice and expression, an exploration of creativity and form, and deeply ethical practices that are respectful, reciprocal and collaborative.

As DOC inclusively supports documentary creators to continually reimagine the genre,
Canada’s history of documentary storytelling is recognized, celebrated and critiqued.

ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES

These values continually guide and inspire us in our internal and external activities, operations, programs and advocacy, and measure our success:

  • RESPECT for documentary creators and the genre
  • TRANSPARENCY & ENGAGEMENT in everything we do, and how we serve our membership
  • EQUITY, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION to create a documentary ecosystem that represents our vision of a just society, and encourages decolonization
  • CREATIVITY & COLLABORATION to continually advance the art form of documentary