CANADIAN CONTENT IS THERE WHEN WE NEED IT MOST

One of the great salves of this pandemic has been the arts, more specifically the Canadian content that has brought us together virtually when we can’t be together physically.

Left to Right: Christa Dickenson, executive director, Telefilm Canada, Catherine Tait, president and CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada, Valerie Creighton, president and CEO, Canada Media Fund. CBC PHOTO

It has been nine weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to retreat into our homes, where the days blur from one to the next to the next. It’s easy to be worn down by the negatives, and there are many.

But there are positives, too. This has been a chance to pause, to re-evaluate our lives, and even to see things we may have taken for granted in a new light.

For us, one of the great salves of this pandemic has been the arts, more specifically the Canadian content that has brought us together virtually when we can’t be together physically. It has stoked our imaginations, helped us learn, and taken our minds off reality for a couple of hours at a time.

Simply put, Canadian content reflects the world outside our doorsteps in a way other content can’t, and right now it’s that world outside our doorsteps that we miss the most.

Forced into isolation, Canadians have watched more TV shows and movies, more information programs, have played more videogames, listened to more podcasts and visited more news websites than ever before. Our broadcast networks have experienced record-breaking audiences, like the more than 12 million Canadians who tuned into “Stronger Together,” a national salute to front-line workers by Canadian talent from Buffy to Bieber.

Meanwhile, lovers of Canadian cinema have found new favourites, like Jeff Barnaby’s brilliant “Blood Quantum,” a zombie movie with an Indigenous twist that had to forgo its theatrical release and was released early on digital when theatres shut down. The cast and crew tuned in online, hosting watch parties with viewers.

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