Federal Government Announces New Creative Canada Strategy and $500M Netflix Deal



On September 28, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly unveiled the federal government's new Creative Canada creative strategy. The new plan responds to the increasing online shift in consumers' film, music, and media consumption habits, and is the result of months of consultation with the cultural sector and general population. Minister Joly also announced a five-year, $500 million agreement with streaming giant Netflix, who will set up a Canadian branch of operations to produce Canadian content.

The government's strategy also includes initiatives from other web media players like Google and Facebook, the latter of whom will help fund a new digital journalism program with Ryerson University in Toronto.

In addition to the news around digital content, Joly announced that the government will bump up its contributions to the Canada Media Fund starting in 2018, to compensate for the decline in contributions from private broadcasters.

Other initiatives highlighted in the Creative Canada strategy include:

  • An investment of $125 million over five years in the Creative Export Strategy.

  • Establishing a Creative Industries Council to bolster growth and tackle barriers.

  • Modernizing key funding programs for media, music, books and periodicals beginning in 2017 through to 2019–2020.

  • Using the $300 million investment in the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to support the next generation of cultural spaces—creative hubs—where creators can build their entrepreneurial skills, create, collaborate and innovate.

  • Launching a review of the Broadcasting Act and Telecommunications Act.

  • Setting the Parliamentary Review of the Copyright Act in motion in 2017 and acting on the results of the review.

  • Bringing forward changes to the Copyright Board of Canada in 2018 based on input from the current consultations. 

  • Seeking commitments and agreements over the coming year with new players that have emerged as key elements of Canada’s digital creative landscape.

The overall focus of the strategy, and Minister Joly's remarks, emphasized modernizing Canada's investment in media by supporting expansion into innovative technologies. "Our approach will not be to bail out industry models that are no longer viable," she said. "Rather, we will focus our efforts on supporting innovation, experimentation and transition to digital."

While this post highlights some of the prominent components of Minister Joly's announcement, it is not comprehensive. To read the Creative Canada document in its entirety, please click here. For more information on the Minister's announcement of the government's new partnership with Netflix, click here.

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