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Canada: profile

Key facts

Government funding

Direct funding: National Yes
Direct funding: Regional Yes
Indirect funding: National Yes
Indirect funding: Regional Yes

Society/Industry/Market

Language English, French
Population 35 million
No. films produced per year 93 (2012/13)
Annual cinema admissions 131 million (2012/13)
Domestic share of box office 3%
No. TV households 14 million
Local content regulation on TV Yes
Legal system Common Law
(Quebec Civil Law)
Currency $CAN

Co-productions with Australia

Most Australia/Canada co-productions have been TV programs – predominantly live-action from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, with animation taking over more recently. The majority of TV drama projects occurred between 1998 and 2002, when the low Australian dollar increased Australia’s appeal as a filming location, for both foreign productions and co-productions. As a result, this period presented the highest levels of total budgets for co-productions across all countries to date. Australia/Canada projects accounted for the majority, with the BeastMaster and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World series, in particular, boosting overall budgets during that period.

Canada has long been a market leader in animation, and the majority of Australia’s animated co-productions to date have been made with Canada.

All but two of these animated co-productions (the two series of John Callahan’s QUADS!) were children’s programs. Canada’s broadcast TV regulatory authority, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) recognises the importance of producing local content for children and while there are no quotas for children's content it is held in high esteem for both its excellence and its exportability, both of which ensure its continued development.

Commitment to co-productions more broadly

Canadian co-productions have long been seen as a viable and essential component to building a vibrant domestic market that can compete with the dominant US industry and ensure the sector remains more than a service industry for Hollywood productions. As a result, Canada has embarked on co-productions with more than 50 partner countries over the last 30 years. They also assist Canadian producers to meet their local content requirements for TV.

In 2013, Canada made a total of 56 co-productions (including 37 for TV), with collective budgets reaching over €436 million. France and the UK are among Canada’s most active partner countries.

Government support for the Canadian industry

The Canadian Government’s support for both co-productions and the overall industry strengthened during the decade from 1996 to 2006 (the period when co-production activity with Australia accelerated), with direct funding through new TV and film funds and the introduction of tax rebates through the Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit.

With high output across co-productions and the industry as a whole, comes an abundance of talented, experienced and award-winning crews, strong PDV and animation sectors, and a history of technological innovation. Each of Canada’s principal production centres can handle up to eight major productions simultaneously, making it attractive to large-budget productions.

The volume of available direct and indirect funding programs has historically made Canada an attractive co-production partner country, with federal and provincial tax credits offering rebates ranging from 16 to 65 per cent. However, in March 2012, the Canadian Government announced budget cuts to several funding bodies including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the National Film Board of Canada and Telefilm Canada, in a move likely to impact not only Canada’s local production levels but also collaborations with international partners.

Please note this information is correct as at October 2014.