Film and television are central to the cultural life of Canadians. More than entertainment, Canadian films and programs often help us define our identity and rediscover our stories. In addition to being a major economic driver in the cultural industry, the audiovisual sector also plays an important role in job creation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on numerous productions. That is why the Government of Canada is introducing a temporary support measure to allow the industry to get back on its feet.
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced an initiative to compensate for the lack of insurance coverage for COVID-19–related filming interruptions and production shutdowns in the sector. The Short-Term Compensation Fund for Canadian audiovisual productions is a response to a pressing demand of producers that was identified at roundtables and meetings held by Minister Guilbeault. The fund will make as much as $50 million available for the industry.
Administered by Telefilm Canada along with the Canada Media Fund, this funding will compensate independent production companies for the interruption or shutdown of an eligible audiovisual production, due to confirmed cases of COVID-19. This funding is in addition to the support measures and financial assistance previously announced for the culture, heritage and sport sectors.
Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, said, “With this measure, we are responding to the needs of Canadian audiovisual producers who are severely affected by the pandemic.
“We will save jobs and continue to encourage creativity in this industry. Our government is proud to support the Canadian film and television industry, which plays an important role in the social, cultural and economic development of our country,” Guilbeault added.
Christa Dickenson, Executive Director, Telefilm Canada, said, “This temporary measure provides a concrete solution to one of our industry’s most pressing concerns. We look forward to the resumption of filming, and we will continue to serve the industry by helping to administer this fund.”
The Short-Term Compensation Fund for Canadian audiovisual productions is a temporary measure administered by Telefilm Canada, which will fill the void left by the lack of insurance coverage for filming interruptions and production shutdowns due to COVID-19 in the audiovisual production sector. The fund will make as much as $50 million available for the industry.
The maximum compensation will be $1.5 million in the case of a temporary interruption and $3 million in the case of a complete shutdown of production.
More information on the implementation of this new fund, including its terms and conditions, will be released by Telefilm Canada in the coming weeks.
Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations
The audiovisual industry also has access to the $500-million COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. Of this amount, $147.3 million is dedicated to the audiovisual sector and will be distributed by Telefilm Canada ($27 million) and the Canada Media Fund ($120.3 million). This includes $2.5 million for third-language producers, $10 million for the digital media industry, and $19 million for film and television producers (in association with Telefilm Canada).