Your union has spent years lobbying governments to get more Canada on our screens. Our efforts, and those of our industry partners, have been successful, resulting in nationally and internationally acclaimed CanCon shows like Trailer Park Boys, 19-2, Schitt’s Creek, Frankie Drake Mysteries, Workin’ Moms, Letterkenny, Wynonna Earp, Some Assembly Required, Murdoch Mysteries, Heartland, Orphan Black and so many more. And, although foreign, the amount of service work and co-pros across the country continues to grow each year as our dollar, stable tax incentives and talented cast and crew continue to attract productions from around the world.
So, why then, is this year’s call to action Keep Canada on our Screens? Because we not only need to build on the success of our industry but also address the shifting technologies and distribution methods that are changing how we negotiate our contracts and our industry’s funding and business models.
There is no ignoring the huge decrease cable providers are seeing in subscriptions as streaming services are experiencing exponential growth. (It seems there’s a new digital service provider launching every month.) We’ve been lucky to have strong and supportive regulations here in Canada. It’s thanks to these regulations that domestic broadcasters are required to make an investment in Canadian talent. And it’s because of this investment we have lead and large supporting roles for Canadian performers in film and television – roles that allow us to build a career and earn a living as an actor in Canada. If those opportunities are to be protected, these regulations need to be adapted to the digital age. This is why it’s so important for ACTRA, along with our domestic producers, to continue asking our government to hold streaming services to the same standards as Canadian broadcasters.