AMPIA Welcomes CRTC Group Licence Renewals

On July 27th the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) renewed the licences of all English-language television services operated by Rogers Media until 2014, and the licences of the services operated by Bell Media, Corus Entertainment and Shaw Media until 2016.

In renewing the licenses for almost all English-language television services in Canada, the CRTC estimates Canadian content requirements will spark billions in domestic programming investment over the five- and three-year license terms.

In the next five years, Bell Media, Corus Entertainment and Shaw Media must allocate at least 30 per cent of their gross annual revenues to the production of Canadian programs. They must also direct at least 5 per cent of these expenditures to finance Programs of National Interest (formerly referred to as Priority Programming), with the exception of Corus Entertainment who will be required to allocate at least 9 per cent of their gross annual revenues.

Along with other intervenors, AMPIA appeared at the CRTC Group Licence renewal hearing this past April during which we submitted to the Commission a copy of a report that we and AAMPTU jointly commissioned from Nordicity, in which it was detailed that a number of tangible benefits for regional programming resulting from previous changes in ownership transactions as well as certain previous license renewals remained unexpended at the end of 2009. The report also detailed that the level of investment in regional programming by private broadcasters in Alberta as well as the prairie provinces overall had significantly diminished between 2003 and 2009.

AMPIA is pleased to note that one of the key conditions of these licence renewals requires specific and annual reporting of regional spending and, where applicable, a plan to disburse any existing unexpended tangible benefits for independent production.

The ruling also requires regular visits to the regions by Broadcaster programming executives. Overall, this is a significant CRTC decision both for independent production across Canada and more specifically for independent production in the regions.

Thank you to the AMPIA Broadcast Committee, the AMPIA Board and AAMPTU for their help in putting our intervention together, and thank you to the CRTC for their strong support for regional independent production.

To read the complete decision, please click here.

The Alberta Creative Hub Receives City of Calgary Funding

Calgary Film Commission - Calgary Economic Development
Long-awaited funding is a major step towards development of permanent sound stage facilities in Calgary.

(CALGARY) – Today, the Alberta Creative Hub Corporation (ACH) is excited to announce that it has received approval from Calgary City Council for $10 million in funding through the Cultural Space Investment Process for the building of the Alberta Creative Hub, an innovative initiative by Calgary Economic Development.

“The approval from Council for $10 million in funding represents a significant step towards the development of the Alberta Creative Hub,” says Luke Azevedo, Calgary Commissioner – Film, Television & Creative Industries, Calgary Economic Development. “After completing extensive stakeholder engagement and due diligence, we are confident that this facility will enable Calgary to remain a competitive location for film and television production and grow our local industry.

Calgary is no stranger to the film and television industry. The city is well-known for its breathtaking scenery as well as its award-winning crews. To date, Calgary- and Alberta-based crews have amassed more Emmy, Golden Globe and Oscar nominations than any other jurisdiction in Canada. However, the city is also the only major film and television centre in Canada without permanent sound stage facilities. The Alberta Creative Hub will address this concern, along with providing collaborative space and opportunities for training and mentorship.

“The support of Calgary City Council through the Cultural Space Investment Process highlights the City’s ongoing commitment to arts and culture spaces,” says Bruce Graham, President & CEO, Calgary Economic Development. “The Alberta Creative Hub will allow Calgary to continue to attract foreign projects while ensuring the next generation of local filmmakers have opportunities to train and work without moving to another jurisdiction.”

The City of Calgary’s funding will be released over a two year period, starting in 2011. The Alberta Creative Hub has also applied for funding from the Provincial and Federal Governments through applicable granting programs. An offer to purchase has been presented to WinSport Canada for land at Canada Olympic Park.

For more information contact:
Calgary Economic Development


Professional Development Survey – The Results Are In!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the AMPIA Professional Development Survey this summer! Results are now in and we are working hard on AMPIA’s upcoming professional development activities. Details soon.

To see the results, click here: Survey Results 2011

Congratulations to Michelle Wong (Corkscrew Media) for winning the prize draw for this online survey. She has won the Kodak Easy Share W1020-10 Digital Frame, valued at $300!