Netflix to invest $500 million in Canadian content

30 September, 2017, 15:50 | Author: Rolando Keller
  • Federal government's Creative Canada policy heavy on digital media, with “adjustments” for Canada Book Fund

It's unclear whether the C$500 million must be spent on productions directed by or featuring Canadians, or if it would apply to shows Netflix is producing in Canada simply because the country is a cheap place to shoot. While there are still active hopes of Facebook and Google investing in Canadian content, it's Netflix that's offering up the big bucks.

"It might be suggested that the Trudeau government was taken to the cleaners when it agreed to exempt Netflix from taxation in exchange for an undertaking to spend $100 million on Canadian content for five years ..."

"The Government of Canada is committed to growing our creative industries with new investments that create opportunities for creators and producers across the country to make great content that stands out", said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. Money will also go on French-language content. This agreement-the first of its kind in the world-will ensure the investment of more than C$500 million in original production in Canada in both official languages. It's part of a widespread reform of Canadian cultural policy that includes a review of broadcasting laws and direct government funding to support domestic productions. "We look forward to continuing our work with Canadian talent, producers, broadcasters and other local partners to create Netflix originals in Canada for many years to come".

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The minister announced C$125 million over five years to drive exports of cultural productions, and will push for a continued cultural exemption during North American Free Trade Agreement talks.

Billing it a first for Canada, Joly said the program will dole out funding and offer mentorship "to accelerate innovative ideas that contribute to the digital development of journalism".

The company has already co-produced a handful of Canadian television series with public broadcaster CBC and others, including Anne, based on the novelAnne of Green Gables, and Canadian author Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace.

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