An Annual Conference on the Future of Content in Digital Media
For a link to this presentation, go to In The Weeds: Defining A Canadian Program For The Digital Age
Douglas Barrett, Adjunct Professor, Arts, Media and Entertainment MBA Program, Schulich
School of Business, former Board Chair of the Canadian Television Fund
Erin Finlay, Partner, Stohn, Hay, Cafazzo, Dembroski and Richmond LLP, and former Chief Legal Officer to the Canadian Media Producers Association
For almost 50 years, Canada has developed a group of complex but effective tools for subsidizing the production of Canadian film and television programmes. Some of the tools are by way of the CRTC’s regulation of broadcasters, some are policy driven by both the CRTC and the Department of Canadian Heritage, some are direct subsidies from provincial and federal governments through the tax system, and some are through non-governmental organizations “nudged” by the CRTC.
Needless to say, every creative producer in Canada needs to be deeply familiar with all of these regimes. And now the recently tabled Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, opens the question of how the foreign streamers will make their own contribution to the system.
Throughout these same fifty years, one set of rules, somewhat differently applied in different circumstances, has underpinned the entire Canadian subsidy system: the definition of what constitutes a Canadian program.
This definition will now be placed under close review as Bill C-11 explicitly asks the CRTC to engage on this.
Some of the larger policy questions are:
And specifically with respect to the definition of a Canadian Program we must ask:
These are weighty questions, and the coming debate will have a critical impact on Canadian policy decision-makers, and on the professional lives of almost everyone in the space. At the upcoming DM@X-tra on March 31,2022, “In The Weeds” will take a deep dive into the issues with a lead-in presentation followed by focussed debate.
The event is free, but registration is required.