WRITERS, PRODUCERS WARN STREAMING CONTENT BOOM IS SQUEEZING OUT CANADIAN CREATORS

Report recommending updates to Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Radiocommunications acts coming this month

Canadian soundstages are buzzing with activity and local crews are much in demand amid the current production boom propelled by Netflix and rival streaming services. But some worry about the fate of Canadian-led film and TV productions, and are calling for streaming giants to contribute to funding for Cancon creators. (Kowit Khamanek/Shutterstock)

Scroll through your favourite streaming service and you’re likely to come across some Canadiana, whether homegrown hits like Schitt’s Creek and Kim’s Convenience, or shows filled with familiar landmarks like The Expanse and The Handmaid’s Tale.

But amid the tidal wave of content coming from an increasing number of streamers, members of the Canadian film and TV industry are expressing concern about local storytellers being left out.

This week, a government-appointed panel is set to release a long-awaited report on recommendations to modernize Canada’s broadcasting laws. Industry veterans are eager to see if it will recommend that Netflix, Amazon Prime and other foreign companies streaming programming to Canadians contribute a portion of their revenues directly to funding Canadian-made projects.

“We’re now really focused on a lot of international content and that is fantastic — provided you can still provide some balance with your own stories and your own culture. That’s really what’s missing in the tale of all the new streamers,” said Maureen Parker, executive director of the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC).

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