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Volume 2, Issue 4, June, 2011 | Canadian Media Producers Association

News & Events

Volume 2, Issue 4, June, 2011




Two of the hottest topics in the Canadian broadcasting industry were front and centre along with the CMPA at the recent Banff World Media Festival.

President and CEO Norm Bolen spoke on behalf of independent producers at a panel on “over-the-top” service providers.   Norm argued online broadcasters like Netflix play in the same arena as regulated Canadian players.  “Why shouldn’t they be mandated to make a contribution to the creation of original Canadian content just like all the other players?,” he asked.  Photograph courtesy of LMS Photography.
Norm Bolen, John Barrack and representatives from Bell Media and Corus participated in a standing-room only Terms of Trade breakfast to explain the new deal to independent producers.  The CMPA will be holding educational sessions about the deal across the country this summer. Photograph courtesy of Bram Timmer.

To find out more about “behind-the-scenes" of the Terms of Trade negotiations click here for an interview with CMPA COO and CLO John Barrack. 



The CMPA welcomes our new Board of Directors for a two year term. Incoming Board Members met in Banff on June 12.  Photo courtesy of Michael Buckley.

For a complete list of our new board, please click here.

REPORT FROM TOM COX, Re-elected Chair CMPA Board of Directors
I'm delighted to be chairing the CMPA board for another year.  I look forward to working with a strong incoming board representing a broad spectrum of genre, platform and geographic backgrounds.  

In the coming months we will be focusing on new initiatives advancing member services, government relations, domestic financing and international business opportunities.

We will also be working with staff to update the CMPA's overall strategic plan-- a year ahead of schedule, keeping pace with profound technological, societal and economic changes affecting our industry. I invite you to participate in CMPA initiatives through our committees and working groups, and by utilizing the new CMPA website to gain information and provide valuable member input. 


Norm Bolen chats with The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage on June 21st.  They were attending the Ottawa premiere of the Quebec comedy “Starbuck” at the National Arts Centre. Minister Moore is a supporter of Canadian feature films, and hosts screenings throughout the year.  Photograph courtesy of Jake Wright.



The CRTC Regulatory Committee- The CRTC released its decision regarding the BCE/CTV transaction in March.  $100 million will be directed to programs of national interest, produced by independent producers. The CMPA also participated in the CRTC’s Group Licence Renewal Hearing in April and filed comments in the CRTC’s Vertical Integration Proceeding.

The CMPA initiated a multi-stakeholder “OTTS Working Group” in February and led the charge to convince the CRTC to undertake a fact-finding process into the “over-the-top” services like Netflix. Written submissions are due by July 5th.  Currently no oral hearing is planned.

Also in play - The CMPA was a party to the reference by the CRTC to the Federal Court of Appeal regarding the question of whether Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are “broadcasting undertakings” when they provide access to broadcasting content to their customers. The Coalition is made up of the CMPA along with ACTRA, the DGC, and the WGC.  Last summer the FCA ruled against the Coalition but we appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. The SCC granted the Coalition leave to appeal in March.  The Coalition will file its factum in mid-July.  The hearing is expected to be set for early 2012.

The CMPA will participate in the CBC renewal hearing this fall. It is also expecting the licence renewal proceeding will get underway for the French-language broadcasters ( this will also include licence renewals for Astral’s English Pay TV services).  Contact Jay Thomson.

Terms of Trade Working Group– The CMPA Terms of Trade negotiating team concluded Terms of Trade agreements with Astral, Corus, CTV, Rogers and Shaw Media on April 26th. Senior staff will be meeting with members throughout the summer to explain the deal and educate them in future dealings with broadcasters.  In the meantime, negotiations continue with the CBC to implement a Terms of Trade deal in time for CBC’s licence renewal hearings in September.  Contact Reynolds Mastin.

CMF Working Group– The CMF Working Group and CMPA staff will participate in the CMF’s cross-country consultations being held again this summer and fall. These consultations are seeking stakeholder feedback that could lead to changes to the CMF Guidelines for 2012-13.  Our representation will ensure producers' interests are fully heard.

Also, a CMF Regional Task Force, composed primarily by CMPA Board members, recently presented an interim report to the incoming CMPA Board.  They will table a final report to the CMF in late September. Contact Reynolds Mastin.

Copyright and International Policy Committee- The Government of Canada is expected to reintroduce a Copyright Bill as one of its early legislative priorities. Initial indications are that the Bill will include essentially the same provisions as Bill C-32.  That legislation died on the Order Paper when the election was called. The CMPA is reaching out to key-decision makers to make certain earlier concerns raised by the Association are considered in the drafting of the bill.

The CMPA also continues its involvement in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and International Federation of Film Producers Association (FIAPF) in respect to a potential Treaty for the Protection of Audiovisual Performances. The next meeting will debate whether discussions should focus solely on the issue of the transfer of rights, or whether parts of the Treaty require renegotiation. Contact Reynolds Mastin.

National Industrial Relations Committee- While the April 1, 2011 regulatory amendments to the HRSDC Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program do exclude a number of key positions filled by TFW, typically on service productions, there are still certain categories that have been left out and are still subject to the “4 and 4” rule.  The CMPA continues to work with industry stakeholders as well as Citizenship and Immigration Canada to ensure the concerns are heard.  Please click here for more detailed information.

WGC IPA Negotiations– CMPA IR staff in Toronto and Vancouver are collaborating on drafting proposals for the re-negotiation of the IPA, which is set to expire on December 31, 2011.  IR staff will also be reaching out to Members to hear about issues and areas of concern members would like to see addressed in these negotiations.

Quasi-National IATSE Negotiations– Staff continues to research and obtain bargaining authorizations in preparation for these negotiations.

National IR staff resolved four grievances in the last quarter and continues to represent members in eight other matters with the various unions and guilds. Contact Jayson Mosek.

Feature Film Committee- A joint English-French CFFF Working Group meeting took place in Montreal last March.  The group reviewed Telefilm’s key priorities over the past year, including an overview of their new strategic plan.  The group also heard from the Department of Canadian Heritage. They are proposing a new measurement model that would track performance in home videos and TV. The Committee has expressed some concerns about the methodology, and is in consultation with Heritage on how to improve the new model.

The FF Committee has also undertaken its own research to look at both financing and television programming trends related to theatrical feature films going back to 2000 and 2004, respectively.  The data shows a decrease in financing from licence fees and broadcaster equity, particularly over the past five years.  The Committee recently met with the CRTC to review these findings. We believe this new information will assist the CMPA in its request to the CRTC to launch a separate proceeding on how Canadian broadcasters can better support Canadian theatrical films. Contact Marc Seguin.

International Business and Production Financing Committee- The CMPA continues discussions with representatives from the High Commission of Canada in Singapore and the Media Development Authority of Singapore about the joint coordination of mission-related events.  As well, after two successful editions in 2009 and 2010, the third edition of the L.A. Pre-sale Pitch Sessions was launched with a June 23 deadline for applications. Up to ten Canadian independent producers with strong dramatic series proposals will be invited to pitch one project to senior Development Executives from major US broadcast and cable networks during a one-day session held on August 9, 2011 in Los Angeles.

The CMPA also continues to participate in the International Business Development Group.  This is an industry group made up of the CMPA, APFTQ, Telefilm Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and all the provincial funding agencies. The group recently discussed the creation of a 3-year strategic plan, market preparedness, in addition to a possible mission to China in November.  Contact Susanne Vaas.

Membership Development and Outreach Committee- The Membership Development and Outreach Committee is reviewing the results from the first phase of its membership survey. Phase two will use the results to focus in on key areas related to benefits, services, and the membership framework. Results and recommendations will be presented to the Board of Directors in December.

A national outreach campaign has begun with members and non-members to better understand their needs and assist in the development of the CMPA’s membership strategy.  More networking, one-on-one and group activities are being planned, with two First Works events already taking place in Toronto and Vancouver.   The CMPA continues to negotiate member deals and discounts with partners such as Air Canada, Banff, Hot Docs, INPlay, Merging Media and Just for Laughs and is looking to broaden this program further in the coming months. A pilot program for member training and professional development is also in the works.  Contact Katie Jeffs.

BC Producers’ Branch- BC is working with Membership Development and Outreach Director Katie Jeffs to target new and lapsed members in the province.  As well, CMPA-BC is partnering with key members of the BC creative industry to put together a comprehensive study to show the significant economic and creative contribution of the sector.  This study will assist the BC Branch in its government relations efforts.  Branch Council members continue to be active on the GR front having met with key Cabinet Ministers and staff over the past few months.

The BC Branch has also presented a number of industry development initiatives including a transmedia lab, a maximizing tax credits seminar, and Market Accelerator Program focused on the LA market.  Contact Liz Shorten.

Mentorship Committee- The Telefilm Producer Trainee Program and the Atlantic Mentorship Program have been renewed.  We are also awaiting a call for proposals from HRSDC. In the meantime, mentorship staff is researching new private and public funding sources for new programs.

Last year’s first-time and very successful Digital Media Production Program has wrapped up.  Forty participants had the opportunity to gain hands-on work experience from many of our members.  Contact Susanne Vaas.

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