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July 2011

AMPIA Welcomes CRTC Group Licence Renewals

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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

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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!

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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!

CRTC Releases 2010 Financial Results for Canadian Broadcasting Distributors

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OTTAWA-GATINEAU, July 14, 2011 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released statistical and financial information on Canadian broadcasting distribution companies. For the year ending on August 31, 2010, this sector of the broadcasting industry experienced strong growth as the combined revenues for cable, satellite and multipoint distribution companies rose from $11.4 billion to $12.5 billion…


Terms of Trade Information Sessions

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The Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) is travelling the country to support the roll-out of the Terms of Trade agreement – all elements of the deal come into effect August 1st 2011.  The agreement applies to all independently produced projects developed and commissioned by Astral, Bell Media (CTV), Corus, Rogers and Shaw Media.


The CMPA successfully negotiated the historic Terms of Trade deal that redefines the relationship between producers and broadcasters. The deal applies to the entire life cycle of a show – from first pitch, through to development, production and broadcast on all platforms.

“This deal changes everything,” says Norm Bolen, CMPA’s President and CEO. “It forever redefines the relationship between producers and broadcasters. But it isn’t worth the paper it is written on unless all independent producers show solidarity and strictly follow the terms of the agreement in their individual negotiations with broadcasters.”

Between July 20th and August 5th, the CMPA will be visiting EDMONTON, CALGARY, VANCOUVER, WINNIPEG, TORONTO, HALIFAX and MONTREAL.  Additional teleconferences will be scheduled for other cities. All sessions are offered free of charge and are for Canadian independent producers only. The sessions will advise producers on how to interpret and implement the agreement and offer additional time for Q&A and networking.

“The two hours it takes to attend the “Terms of Trade” seminars will be the best spent two hours any producer has ever made time for,” says John Barrack, the CMPA’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer. “Now is the time to ask us the tough questions so that you can leverage the benefits of terms of trade to the maximum degree possible.”

For more details on dates and venues and to register your attendance, please visit our event page.

Copies of the Terms of Trade agreement can be accessed here. Please note that while Corus signed a separate Terms of Trade agreement, it contains no substantive differences from the agreement signed with the other broadcasters. CBC negotiations are underway.

Should you be unable to attend but would like to be kept informed of Terms of Trade activities, calls and additional information sessions, please send your contact details to Katie Jeffs.

The CALGARY and EDMONTON presentations will also include an AMPIA mixer. Please see details below:

Calgary – Wednesday, July 20th
Location: The Den Room/The Olympic Room, Delta Bow Valley Hotel
AMPIA & CMPA Breakfast Mixer: 8:00am – 9:00am ($10 cash at door, fee includes hot breakfast)
Terms of Trade Seminar: 9:00am – 11:00am

Edmonton – Wednesday, July 20th
Location: The Drawing Room, The Fairmont Hotel MacDonald
Terms of Trade Seminar: 4pm-6pm
AMPIA & CMPA Mixer: 6:00pm – 7:30pm (cash bar available)

CMPA logo

A Message From the Executive Director

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Summer is finally upon us, and that means Production! Four series are currently in production in Alberta – Blackstone, Caution: May Contain Nuts, Heartland and Hell on Wheels; and filming just wrapped on the indie feature War Reporter. Many more projects are in the final stages of pre-production and will be rolling out in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, AMPIA continues to work behind the scenes preparing for the upcoming CRTC licence renewal for CBC, as well as soliciting feedback from the membership via our Professional Development survey. If you would like to have input into either of these activities, please contact me directly at or to take the survey, please go to our website (the deadline has been extended to July 8).

AMPIA hosted a very successful ‘Access to Hollywood’ reception at the Banff Festival in June, where AMPIA members had the opportunity to mix and mingle with broadcast executives from some of Hollywood’s biggest companies. Even Howie Mandel was there! Thanks to our partners SMPIA, On Screen Manitoba, as well as the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles, and of course, the Banff World Media Festival. Have a great summer and we will see you in August!

Bill Evans

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