Canada unveils vision for the arts; Netflix makes investment

Federal government's Creative Canada policy heavy on digital media, with “adjustments” for Canada Book Fund

The move represents the first permanent production studio outside of the U.S. for Netflix.

The $500 million in original productions in Canada over the next five years would be through the newly created Netflix Canada production company (not to be confused with Netflix Canada the service).

As part of a deal with Ottawa, Netflix will open its first production company outside of the United States in this country, while avoiding minimum Canadian content regulations and paying into a government arts fund. The company has also launched "Creator on the Rise" on its Canadian platform, a new feature which highlights an emerging Canadian creator each week. Critics have said more should be done to ensure domestic content does not disappear. The sharing of Canadian content will allow Canadian culture to reach all corners of the world.

The trend started in 2012 two years after Netflix began offering streaming services in Canada - and is expected to accelerate over the coming years, said the Convergence Research Group, which authored the study.

Canada's Heritage Minister, Melanie Joly, said the deal "signals a meaningful partnership in supporting Canadian creators, producers and Canadian creative work, and in bringing that work to millions of viewers around the world".




Some people within the industry as well as the political sphere would have preferred to see Canada impose a "Netflix tax", as France and Australia are doing, to inject development funds into the Canadian industry.

As part of a swath of new cultural policies, Joly also announced new "cultural trade missions" overseas to help Canadian creators break into new markets. "We look forward to continuing our work with Canadian talent, producers, broadcasters and other local partners to create Netflix originals in Canada for many years to come".

Joly had previously ruled out a "Netflix tax" during the consultation.

The deal is the centrepiece of Canadian heritage minister Mélanie Joly's new cultural policy plan. "I know Netflix will have good news to announce on that subject".

Netflix is already working with CBC Television to produce shows "Anne with an E" and "Alias Grace".

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