CMPA COVID-19 updates

COVID-19 communications


The CMPA is committed to keeping its members informed during the ongoing pandemic. Below is a listing of all communications sent to CMPA members and news releases issued by the CMPA regarding COVID-19.


Notes to Members

Updates to COVID-19 government support programs | May 20, 2020
CMF and Telefilm COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds – Criteria and application processes | May 19, 2020
Canada Media Fund announces new program and guideline flexibility in response to pandemic | May 15, 2020
Federal government announces $115.8 million in COVID-19 related funding for screen-based industry | May 8, 2020
CMPA extends membership year to June 30 in response to ongoing pandemic disruption | April 17, 2020
CMPA questionnaire: Producers’ experiences with COVID-19 federal business support programs | April 17, 2020
COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2 | April 14, 2020
Updated information on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy | April 2, 2020
Updated: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan | March 27, 2020
Survey: Help us measure the impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian film and TV production sector | March 24, 2020
Extension of CMPA membership year in response to COVID-19 | March 20, 2020
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan | March 19, 2020
CMPA update on COVID-19 | March 16, 2020
Key provisions of CMPA labour agreements relating to COVID-19 | March 16, 2020
Union and guild agreements and force majeure | March 15, 2020
COVID-19 | March 11, 2020

News releases

Canada’s film and TV production sector faces $2.5 billion hit due to COVID-19 | April 21, 2020
CMPA’s Profile 2019 highlights economic capacity of Canadian media production industry before COVID-19 | April 2, 2020
COVID-19 Production Industry Taskforce | March 20, 2020

COVID-19 webinar series


The CMPA has launched a new COVID-19 webinar series.  The CMPA-hosted Zoom discussions featuring subject matter experts are designed to provide independent producers with the latest in-depth information to help them navigate the coronavirus crisis. These webinars are open to CMPA members only


Next webinar: Navigating the pandemic disruption for small production companies and sole proprietors


This Friday, May 29 at 1:00 pm ET, the CMPA will host a webinar for small production companies and sole proprietors, to answer questions and help business owners navigate the many issues that have emerged as a result of COVID-19.

(sold out)


Past webinars


For a listing of all previous COVID-19 webinars and information on how to watch recordings, click on the link below.

View past webinars→

COVID-19 insurance considerations

If you have other insurance-related questions, please reach out to any of the below staff.

Jason Lee
Vice-President, BC Industrial Relations

Marcia Douglas
Senior Director, Business Affairs

Marsha Newbery
Director, BC Industrial Relations

Access to insurance for producers is critical to the resumption of production across the country, and the sector’s post-pandemic recovery. The CMPA is working hard to understand and address challenges related to insurance for productions and is committed to providing information to members as it becomes available.

Below is a series of Q & As we have developed, with the latest information available on this issue. We will update this information as new details become available.

What is the CMPA doing to address the lack of COVID-19 insurance?

We recognize that the COVID-19 exclusion is a critical issue for producers – perhaps even an existential one. Producers are now faced with shouldering the entire financial risk of future COVID-19 losses, not to mention any uninsured costs of the current shutdown. We know that companies are deeply concerned about their ability to restart production with this amount of risk.  The CMPA is looking to develop a made-in-Canada solution to this problem. We have been examining proposed solutions in other jurisdictions, such as government-backed plans announced in France, and similar programs being considered in the UK, Holland, Australia and other territories. Other potential areas we are considering include tax credits, shared risk pools, or government liability protections.

Will my policy cover my production shut-down due to COVID-19?

Generally speaking, most commercial insurance policies will not respond to a business interruption claim from a pandemic because typical business interruption coverage usually requires that some type of physical damage prevented access to your place of business (i.e., if a fire caused the shutdown of your premises).


However, some insurers in Canada appear poised to pay COVID-19 claims under the Civil Authority coverage on production policies. If you had a production that shut down due to the pandemic and you incurred costs as a result, talk to your broker about whether your policy may cover the specific circumstances of your production and whether you should be making a claim with your insurer.

Will insurance rates increase?

It is likely that production insurance rates will increase in the future. Consult your broker to understand the impact on insurance costs for your production.

Will insurers cover COVID-19 going forward?

Insurers are adding COVID-19 or “communicable disease” exclusions to new production policies, which means that future claims related to COVID-19 will not be covered by new policies. Your broker will be able to advise you about the different types of exclusions that might apply to your production and discuss the risks that your production might face going forward.

Can I still get insurance for my production?

There are no barriers to obtaining an insurance policy for your production as you normally would. Once productions are permitted to re-start, your insurance policy should cover your production with respect to all normal risks other than COVID-19 and/or communicable disease.

Will I be able to get a bank loan / interim financing or a completion bond for my production without COVID-19 insurance?

The lack of insurance for COVID-19 puts the risk associated with subsequent production delays or shutdowns onto producers. This will have an impact on financing contracts, bank loans, and completion bonds. These arrangements may become more challenging as financing partners become increasingly risk-averse.


Having a plan to manage the uninsured risk of future COVID-19-related shutdowns will be a critical part of production in the near term. Producers should expect to take additional measures to assure financing partners that the risk is being managed as effectively as possible.  Here are some recommendations to position you to speak with your financing partners about risk management:


– Consult your bank or completion bonder about risk management measures that can be taken to help offset the insurance risk.
– Consider setting additional contingency and/or interest reserves to account for subsequent shutdowns.
– Develop written health and safety protocols to minimize the risk of infection or exposure to your staff, cast and crew. Industry protocols are being developed now and will be released in the near future.
– Put practices in place to ensure that you follow all health orders in the jurisdictions in which you plan to film.
– Develop a plan for how you will manage any subsequent production delays or shut-down orders.
– Consider whether you can build additional flexibility into your contracts with buyers, locations, facilities, equipment and cast and crew to account for potential disruptions in the production schedule.
– Pay close attention to force majeure clauses in all agreements and look at whether they provide you with the necessary flexibility on the agreement terms and delivery dates.

Do I need to create my own health and safety protocols?

Developing a set of health and safety practices and policies are a critical element of any risk management strategy for producers; provincial regulations, in fact, require employers to maintain health and safety programs. COVID-19 Industry Best Practices are being developed in British Columbia and Ontario cooperatively by the CMPA, US studios, unions and guilds, film associations and other industry stakeholders. These guidelines will be released in the near future. We recommend that producers use these guidelines as a starting point for developing detailed protocols that are specific to your own operations and productions.


With or without individual company protocols, all employers are obligated to follow all relevant health orders, and we strongly encourage producers to follow all health and safety recommendations from the provincial and federal authorities, workers compensation boards, and industry safety associations.

Extension of CMPA membership year


In recognition of the ongoing disruption caused by COVID-19 and the financial challenges facing many of our members, the CMPA Board of Directors has approved an additional extension of the membership year, to June 30, 2020Membership will automatically be extended for all current members. The organization remains focused on addressing the pressing issues brought about by the pandemic, while continuing to provide members with a full suite of benefits, services, and communications during this period.

The CMPA will continue to assess the situation as it evolves, and will reach out in the weeks prior to June 30, with more information about renewals for the new membership year. Should you have any further questions, please contact Lisa Moreau (Director, Member Services & Special Events).

COVID-19 Production Industry Taskforce


The CMPA along with numerous industry organizations and stakeholder groups have joined forces to create the COVID-19 Production Industry Taskforce. The group will collectively assess the impact on the industry, and this work will inform governments at the federal, provincial and municipal levels on the need for critical support.

As a first step, the COVID-19 Production Industry Taskforce worked with Nordicity research group to create the Canadian Film and Television Survey (now closed). The results of this survey will help us quantify the scope of the financial impact of the crisis on production companies, which we will share with government officials to assist them as COVID-19 response packages are developed.

CMPA office closures


To ensure the health of CMPA employees and to follow best practices in working to curb the spread of COVID-19, physical CMPA offices will be closed effective Tuesday, March 17. During this time, the organization will remain fully operational, with all CMPA staff members working remotely, and available to answer any questions you may have.

For a full listing of all CMPA staff members, visit the Our team page.

Guidance for your business and workplace


The CMPA has developed a guidance document with suggestions on ways to protect the health and safety of workplace parties and plan for disruptions to your business. We have also developed a fact sheet, which you can download below, that you may post around your workplaces.

The document outlines the symptoms of COVID-19, how it is spread, how to limit infection, what to do if an individual is infected, and scenarios in which workers should contact the workplace prior to coming to work.