This much-anticipated announcement is the latest stage in work initiated in April 2016, which has included consultations with numerous Nova Scotian producers at various phases in the process.
“This is an important first step towards building a framework that fosters and promotes Canadian content creators” said Mike Volpe, Chair of Screen Nova Scotia. “Like many good things, the devil will be in details of its execution, but this is consistent with the work that’s been happening in Nova Scotia to ensure that producers are prepared for the shift to a digital world.”
The announcement included more federal funding for producing and exporting Canadian culture, and $500-million from Netflix for Canadian productions over five years. Nova Scotia’s Film & Television Production Incentive Fund already allows for productions to be triggered by a commercial license agreement from an over the top service, such as Netflix, Crave or Hulu. For instance, the iconic Canadian show Trailer Park Boys (filmed in Nova Scotia for 12 seasons) made the shift to online distribution via a deal with Netflix in 2014 and the Netflix original series Kulipari: An Army of Frogs is animated in Halifax by Cartoon Conrad Productions.
Highlights from the Minister’s announcement include:
Investing in creators and their stories:
– Increased federal contribution to the Canada Media Fund (which funds local TV series such as Mr. D and This Hour Has 22 Minutes) to offset the decline in contributions from cable and satellite distributors.
– Increased support for early stage development, such as script writing.
– Initiatives to reduce red tape and improve administration and efficiencies within federal funding bodies.
Investing in the promotion of Canadian content:
– Reviewing the Broadcasting Act and Telecommunications Act, and a reassessment of the CRTC’s role.
– Bringing digital platforms to the table to discuss how to best showcase and promote Canadian talent. As part of these agreements, Netflix will open a Canadian branch of operations and invest a minimum of $500-million on original productions in Canada over the next five years.
– Investing $125-million over five years towards Canada’s Creative Export Strategy, boosting the sales of Canadian content around the world.
– Expanding and modernizing co-production treaties to attract new financing and production partners.
Strengthening public broadcasting:
– Support for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, including hiring new leadership that reflects Canada’s diversity and talent.
Screen Nova Scotia looks forward to learning more specific details about this policy framework as they become available, and remains dedicated to advocating for a strong and sustainable future for the province’s production sector.
You can read the full transcript of the Minister’s speech “The Government’s Vision for a Creative Canada” HERE.