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Volume 1, Issue 1, September 2010 | Canadian Media Producers Association

Volume 1, Issue 1, September 2010

In This Issue

  • Video message from Norm Bolen

  • News Briefs

  • Denise Robert Wins CMPA Feature Film Producer’s
    Award @ TIFF

  • Quarterly report from Tom Cox, CMPA Board of
    Directors Chair

  • Committee Activity - Summer 2010

  • Calendar of Events


Video Message from Norm Bolen, President & CEO


News Briefs

  • Since June the CMPA has resolved 12 grievances with the DGC, WGC and ACTRA
  • Welcome to Gigi Boyd as the new VP Industrial Relations in the B.C. Branch, to Jennie Piekos as the new Executive Assistant to John Barrack, COO & CLO in our Toronto office, and to Angela Tupper, Receptionist and Administrative Assistant at our Ottawa office
  • Congratulations to Denise Robert, winner of the 5th annual CMPA Feature Film Producer’s Award. The $10,000 prize was awarded on September 9th at TIFF
  • The CMPA Board of Directors met in Toronto on September 14th
  • Our Annual General Meeting was held on September 14th
  • On September 22nd the CMPA intervened in the CRTC hearing into the Shaw/Canwest deal
  • The CMPA’s B.C. Branch is busy preparing for the first-ever Merging+Media Conference  in partnership with Merging Media Productions Inc.  This not-to-miss event  is being held October 28-29th, 2010 in Vancouver. Early bird registration is available until October 8th.

Denise Robert (Courtesy of Sonia Recchia/Getty Images for TIFF)

A Message from Tom Cox, Chair, CMPA Board of Directors

I am delighted to begin by reporting on the presentation made by CMPA staff at the CRTC Shaw/Canwest hearing in Calgary.

Norm Bolen, John Barrack, Mario Mota and Reynolds Mastin presented oral remarks in support of and updating the CMPA’s written submission to the CRTC regarding Shaw’s acquisition of CanWest.

The CMPA’s oral presentation followed Shaw’s appearance and was therefore able to respond directly to Shaw’s statements made to the Commission. Given that Shaw no longer disputes the overall value of the transaction, staff was able to focus on the value and contents of the benefits package itself, safeguards for related corporate transactions and the necessity of completed terms of trade negotiations.

Norm, John, Mario and Reynolds were articulate and succinct. It was a pleasure to watch them work. I am grateful for our outside consultant Elizabeth Duffy-MacLean’s guidance in crafting the presentation and coaching the presenters. The Commissioner’s responses to the oral submission made it clear that the material was understood and valued.

In other news, the CMPA Board met on September 14 with a full agenda that included the Shaw/Canwest deal, Terms of Trade, group licence renewals, feature film strategy, digital strategy, national IR undertakings, enhanced public and new private financing mechanisms, copyright and mentorship initiatives, and membership services. Committee chairs reported to the board on new or renewed committee mandates and action plans developed in concert with staff for the coming year. Please visit the CMPA website to learn more about the committees, their chairs and related key staff.

The CMPA Board is committed to the growth of a vibrant and sustainable independent production sector. CMPA members face unprecedented challenges, but we are heartened by clear evidence that Canadian audiences, in ever increasing numbers, want to watch Canadian stories. We know that the best way to ensure Canadians can continue to receive Canadian stories is through independent producers, creating and producing content from all corners of the country for domestic and world audiences.

We are also committed to enhanced communication with members, and welcome your input at any time.

Thank you,

Tom Cox

Committee Activity - Summer 2010

National Industrial Relations Committee     Discussions are ongoing with IATSE to negotiate a long-term collective agreement covering technicians and camera; discussions are ongoing with the Teamsters in Alberta to negotiate a long-term collective agreement in that Province; and the American Federation of Musicians and the CMPA will meet in mid-November to commence bargaining on a quasi-national agreement. For more information contact Reynolds Mastin.

Copyright and International Policy Committee   The Committee is consulting with legal experts, government officials and industry stakeholders with a view to proposing potential amendments to Bill C-32.  For more information contact Reynolds Mastin.

CMF Working Group The CMF is developing a pilot “Producer Incentive Program” to reward producers who develop projects that generate better recoupment by the Fund.  The program will be launched when the CMF Guidelines for 2011-2012 are issued later this year. In the meantime, the CMPA urges members to consult with CMPA staff if you intend to participate in the CMF’s cross-country stakeholder consultation sessions this fall.  Click here for the full schedule registration link.  For more information contact Reynolds Mastin.

CRTC Regulatory   Since June, the CMPA has filed 9 interventions or submissions with the CRTC. Our most recent appearance before the CRTC was on September 22nd in Calgary where the CRTC held a hearing into Shaw’s acquisition of Canwest’s broadcasting holdings. CMPA staff has also met with CRTC Commissioners and staff over the summer to discuss Terms of Trade and other on-going issues. Click here to view our filings. For more information contact Mario Mota.

Feature Film   This committee worked with Telefilm on the development of a new Premier Writer’s Program under the CFFF.  The new program will replace the existing Writers First Program which has performed poorly since its inception.  We have also flagged our concerns with regard to development application cutoff dates.  We will be working with Telefilm on a better system for development applications and notifying producers when development resources have all been committed in a given year.  For more information contact Marc Seguin.

Membership Development and Outreach   This committee will oversee the development, implementation and performance of a Membership Outreach Strategy that seeks to further the strategic objectives of the CMPA in being the leading national organization representing screen-based media content entrepreneurs.  The committee has also launched a new hire process for a Director, Membership Development and Outreach. For more information contact Marc Seguin.

International Business and Production Financing Committee The CMPA filed a submission in the context of the 2010 federal pre-budget consultations, outlining the Association’s five main federal spending priorities: enhancements to the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit programs, strengthened support and long-term renewal of the Canada Media Fund, the introduction of an international trade and investment program, increasing the annual allocation to the Canada Feature Film Fund and continued support for skills development. Funding has been approved for a mission to Singapore’s Asia Media Festival in December. Discussions are also underway to hold the “L.A. Pre-Pitch Sessions for Dramatic Series” on an annual basis and expand the opportunity include a broader range of program genres. For more information contact Susanne Vaas.

Mentorship   Internships for the CMPA’s secured programs in 2010-11 have been allocated and placements have begun. The mentorship committee is looking into branching out into other training opportunities, such as offering seminars and workshops to fill specific skill gaps. For more information contact Susanne Vaas.

BC Branch and IR Reports The BC Branch is continuing to recruit new members from the interactive community and anticipates the upcoming Merging+Media Conference it is co-presenting in October will help in that effort. The CMPA-BC has also had several meetings with government to push for changes to its current domestic industry film/TV policies and programs. For more information contact Liz Shorten.

Calendar of Events

Featured Event


Edmonton International Film Festival September 24th-October 2

Vancouver International Film and Television Forum and Vancouver International Film Festival September 30th- October 15

MIPCOM 4-8 October 2010, Cannes, France

Ottawa International Animation Festival October 20-24

St. John’s International Women’s Festival October 26-30th 2010

nextMedia Toronto November 29th and 30th

Canadian New Media Awards Gala Toronto November 29 to 30


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