Canadian Film and Television Industry Pushes Ahead
January 29, 2021
Way back in April, we blogged about how the Canadian entertainment industry had re-started itself in the wake of COVID-19 shutdowns. Since then, restrictions to the ability of professional athletes to travel has led to Toronto’s Blue Jays and Raptors to play their seasons in Florida. So far, the Canadian entertainment industry has been able to keep moving forward, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share how it’s been going.
Canada’s film industry keeps moving
Canada’s film and television industry is made up of both productions that are intended for Canadian audiences as well as Hollywood vehicles that shoot north of the border to take advantage of tax breaks or Canadian locations.
A story recently published by CBC states that in Ontario and British Columbia, the film industry is booming. The story quotes one makeup artist who says that she’s been as busy as ever and that safety precautions such as temperature checks, screening, and the COVID alert app have all contributed to easing her safety concerns.
That said, some actors, including Paul Sun-Hyung Lee from the show Kim’s Convenience, say that the precautions have been difficult to adjust to, but that he eventually learned to accept the rules.
While shows and movies are getting made, some of the logistic hurdles caused by COVID-19 are a cause of headaches for producers, including one producer who completed two movies in Northern Ontario this summer but had to compete with foreign productions for access to makeup and hair trailers. He eventually had to send someone from Sudbury, Ontario to Quebec to secure some.
Damian Petti, president of an Alberta union for film and stage technicians, told CBC last week that scouting for film and television productions in Alberta is taking place at a level he has not seen in his 22 years in the business. He credits the usual draws for American productions such as tax incentives and the lower dollar as well as the country’s management of the pandemic as reasons for the continued momentum of the industry.
Industry boosted by government assistance
In October, Variety reported that producers were relieved with the federal government’s creation of a $50 million program to help with the added insurance costs of carrying on production during a pandemic. The fund allows productions to receive up to $1.5 million if production is temporarily shut down because of COVID-19, and up to $3 million if a shutdown is permanent.
The program, which is being administered by Telefilm Canada and the Canadian Media Fund is planned to be operational until March of this year.
Safety is still the number one concern
In Ontario, the Ministry of Labour , Training and Skills Development has continued to update its safety plan for productions taking place in the province. The latest update requires all productions to develop COVID-19 testing plans and enhanced protocols for situations where close contact is required. The robust plan covers everybody involved in production, from actors to delivery drivers, and is intended to address proactive safety measures as well as what to do if the virus emerges on set. Other provinces, including British Columbia, and Alberta have their own safety guidelines.
Contact the experienced team at Feigenbaum Law for more information about the services routinely provided to those in the sports and entertainment industry. We offer services to clients in the US, Canada and around the world. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at (905) 695-1269 or toll-free at (877) 275-4792 to learn more about how we can help.