Support Canadian content
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
In the past few years, Canada has become famous around the world for its music from Drake, shows like Orphan Black and Murdoch Mysteries, books by Margaret Atwood, and other examples Canadian art. While they are doing well around the world, back at home, they are trying to get an audience with a lot of people getting content through digital platforms like Netflix and Facebook. The Government of Canada will ensure that everyone can access Canadian content and they have a plan to fund them in the digital age. On September 28, 2017, the Minister of Heritage Melanie Joly announced a plan for Canadian content called Creative Canada. This plan has increased funding for various organizations to make sure that more Canadian content is produced and that everyone can access it. I believe this will promote Canadian culture and media and will make Canada prouder of the content that we create.
The speech began with Joly talking about the history of promoting Canadian content, “to create a space for Canadian voices.” She then talked about more content being available online today than ever before and Canada dominating the Emmy Awards this year with The Handmaid’s Tale (Based on a book by Margaret Atwood), Saturday Night Live (Created by Canadian Lorne Michaels) and Big Little Lies (Directed by Quebec’s Jean-Marc Vallée) getting awards and Donald Sutherland getting an honorary Academy Award this year.
There are three things to make this possible: Investing in our creators and their stories, promoting the discoverability and distribution of Canadian content at home and abroad, and strengthening public broadcasting and supporting local news. Joly announced increased funding for the Canada Media Fund will allow them to fund more Canadian shows, help musicians get their music released and publish books through the Canada Book Fund. This will cause more Canadian content to be available and so that everyone can access it.
There will also be a review of the Copyright Act to make sure that creators’ work will be protected. Next, to make sure that the Broadcasting Act will be modernized for the digital age, Joly said that the act will also be reviewed. This is great because they could increase the amount of Canadian content that has to be shown in a channel because three out of the four Canadian channels mainly air US shows and not a lot of Canadian shows. She announced that Netflix will open a production company in the country and invest $500 million towards original shows that will be aired exclusively on the service. This means that we give the international streaming rights of some of our shows to Netflix. An example of this is that Anne airs on CBC and airs internationally on Netflix.
Local news is important and more of it is starting to become available online. She said that Facebook will open a digital news incubator to allow anyone to learn the skills to be a journalist and this will make sure that local news will still be available in the future. Also, Joly announced that they will invest $675 million in CBC to guarantee that they “play a leading role of showcasing Canadian cultural content,” and that they show a lot of great shows, including the number one comedy in Canada, Kim’s Convenience.
I believe that Canadian shows are as great as US shows, and Creative Canada will make sure that Canadian culture will be promoted and that everyone will be proud of the content that we make. Canadian content preserves the history of our country, shows what makes us Canadian and makes you proud to live in a great country. You can support Canadian content by watching and listening to Canadian content.