Press release

Apr 21, 2020

Canada’s film and TV production sector faces $2.5 billion hit due to COVID-19

Current production standstill puts the livelihood of 172,000 workers at risk

OTTAWA, April 21, 2020 – The Canadian Media Producers Association today released new numbers that illustrate the significant negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the country’s film and television production sector. Projections based on historical data from the CMPA’s economic report, Profile, show that a production shutdown lasting from mid-March until the end of June will put as much as $2.5 billion in production volume – made up of both domestic and foreign location production – at risk. Such a shutdown would impact up to 172,000 jobs across the country. A summary of these numbers is available here:

“Much like the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors, COVID-19 has brought media production in Canada to a screeching halt,” said Reynolds Mastin, President and CEO, CMPA. “These numbers should serve as a wakeup call for what’s at stake, and motivate us all to work together to ensure the industry can get back on its feet as quickly as possible once this crisis ends.”The timing of the pandemic shutdown has hit the industry particularly hard given that spring and early summer is one of the busiest times of the year for the sector, a time when production ramps up and the hiring of cast and crew reaches one of its peak periods. The projections indicate that up to $1.4 billion of the production spending at risk is money that would be spent on labour.

“The federal government has taken an active interest in the impact on our sector, and I’d like to specifically thank the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Steven Guilbeault, for the recently-announced COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations,” added Mastin. “We look forward to working with the Minister, his staff, and the federal funding bodies to develop a plan to direct this support toward the individuals and companies working in production who have been hit hard by the fallout from COVID-19.”

The report, prepared by Nordicity, can be downloaded here.

In the coming days, the CMPA will also release results of the national production impact survey, developed to quantify the corporate costs associated with the production shutdowns and forced delays caused by COVID-19.


The Canadian Media Producers Association is the national advocacy organization for independent producers, representing hundreds of companies engaged in the development, production and distribution of English-language content made for television, cinema and digital media channels. We work to promote the continued success of the Canadian production sector and to ensure a bright future for the diverse content made by our members for both domestic and international audiences.

For more information:

Kyle O’Byrne
Manager, Media Relations & Communications, CMPA