(February 12, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) The union that represents some 22,000 performers across Canada, ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), has released a statement saying their membership was disappointed “with the federal government’s lack of recognition and support for the Canadian film, television and digital media industry.”
“This is yet another budget with no action on the part of this government to harness the enormous job-generating potential of our industry,” said Ferne Downey, ACTRA National President, pictured below. “Status quo isn’t good enough. To compete internationally, our industry needs to grow and evolve. That means solid, long-term investments and public policy that boosts production from coast to coast.”
“From Republic of Doyle to Motive to Orphan Black, Canadian shows have paved the way for us to demonstrate our expertise around the world,” said National Executive Director, Stephen Waddell. “A vibrant film, television and digital media industry benefits our society as a whole with its contributions to Canada’s economy, national identity, and cultural development.”
For the record, cultural industries contribute more than $85-billion or 7.4% to Canada`s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Film and television production in 2012/13 alone created 127,000 Full-time equivalent jobs and contributed $7.6-billion to the Canadian GDP.
ACTRA has asked the federal government to guarantee stable, long-term funding for the CBC, NFB, Telefilm and increased funding for the Canada Media Fund. ACTRA is also looking to the federal government to make regulatory changes to re-introduce income averaging for artists, and to sign and ratify the Beijing Treaty, thereby extending moral and economic rights to audio-visual performance.
“Culture is not a frill, it’s a major industry based on renewable resources. It’s unfortunate that the Government found no room in their budget to recognize this,” said Downey.