TORONTO, July 25, 2019 – Creative industry members will hit the hustings this fall, asking federal election candidates to go on record on the future of Canada’s $9 billion market in screen-based production.
Cast, crew and creators are banding together for the “Just Ask” campaign (“Je m’implique” in French), calling on members to pledge to attend one election-related event this fall and ask at least one question on key issues facing the industry.
The campaign includes the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).
The site will feature election backgrounders and sample questions on the top issues for the industry. Participants will fan out this fall using the hashtags #justask2019 and #jemimplique2019 to spread the word on answers they get from candidates.
The top query on the site encourages pledgers to ask candidates if they’ll “support both legislation and regulation requiring all players that benefit from the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications systems to invest in the creation of original Canadian programming?”
Other top topics include funding and tax credits for arts & culture, protections for precarious workers, copyright protection, public broadcasting and promoting diversity, inclusion and respectful workplaces in the cultural sector.
John Lewis, the IATSE’s Director of Canadian Affairs: “A strong creative industry is critical for Canada, both financially and culturally. We need to ensure that, whatever the result of the upcoming election, the federal government understands and supports the success of our industry.”
Tim Southam, DGC President: “Members of the industry are making their voices heard in an unprecedented, unified way. In a rapidly changing global marketplace undergoing disruptive technological shifts, now is the time to modernize the rules for our broadcasting system to better serve the public and ensure the voices of Canadian creators are heard for decades to come.”
David Sparrow, ACTRA President: “Creative industry workers are seeking out candidates from all political parties to ‘Just Ask’ them where they stand on supporting a strong Canadian film and TV industry. With original Canadian programming like Letterkenny, Anne with an E and Schitt’s Creek finding audiences around the world, we’ll be asking federal election candidates to share their plans to ensure the continued growth of our Canadian entertainment industry.”
Founded in 1893, IATSE represents 140,000 members working in all forms of live theatre, motion picture and television productions, trade shows and exhibitions, television broadcasting, and concerts as well as the equipment and construction shops that support all these areas of the entertainment industry. IA represents virtually all the behind-the-scenes workers in crafts ranging from motion picture animator to theater usher.
ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of over 25,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.
The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) is a national labour organization that represents over 4,800 key creative and logistical personnel in the screen-based industry covering all areas of direction, design, production and editing. The DGC negotiates and administers collective agreements and lobbies extensively on issues of concern for Members including Canadian content conditions, CRTC regulations and ensuring that funding is maintained for Canadian film and television programming.