TORONTO, ON (March 22, 2021) — ACTRA National President David Sparrow and National Executive Director Marie Kelly represented Canadian performers today before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to sound the alarm about a proposal in Bill C-10 that could significantly reduce the requirement to use Canadian creativity and talent.
“While ACTRA welcomes foreign production investment, we cannot lose sight of the threat to Canadian storytelling if we do not ensure the Broadcasting Act includes the necessary amendments to help strengthen our system,” said ACTRA National President David Sparrow. “We must create an environment in which Canadian stories and storytellers can continue to thrive, or our culture and identity may be lost.”
While Canada is experiencing growth in the creation of high-quality English-language films and television shows, we are seeing a downward trend in the production of Canadian content made by Canadian writers, directors and performers. Profile 2019 highlighted the 6.5 per cent growth television production in Canada experienced in 2018/2019 was largely due to higher average spending on the production of television series, not an increase in the number of Canadian shows being produced. And approximately two-thirds of the 10.7 per cent increase we saw in broadcaster in-house production during this same period was due to higher spending on sports programming.
The proposed wording of the Bill removes the requirement for each broadcasting undertaking to make maximum use, and in no case less than predominant use, of Canadian creative and other resources in the creation and presentation of programming. The proposed change would significantly reduce the requirement to use Canadian creative talent and would devastate our screen-based media production industry – a sector that contributes $12.8 billion to our country’s GDP and generates over 180,000 jobs for hard-working Canadians.
ACTRA proposes to retain the principle of “maximum-but-not-less-than-predominant-use” of Canadian creative and other resources as it applies to Canadian programming as well as the concept of, “to the extent that is appropriate for the nature of the undertaking,” recognizing that all online services will be contributing to the creation of Canadian content.
To read ACTRA’s written submission to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, which outlines all of our proposed amendments to Bill C-10, please click here.
ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of over 27,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.
Carol Taverner, Public Relations Officer, ACTRA National, tel: 416-644-1519, email: firstname.lastname@example.org