CRTC Renews CBC Licence...with conditions
May 28, 2013
The CRTC today issued its first post-review licence renewal decision for CBC in more than 13 years. The WGC considers the decision is fair and reasonable given the financial constraints under which the national public broadcaster operates.
The key improvement from our perspective is the shift from “expectations” of the broadcaster to formal conditions of licence. Expectations were not enforceable by CRTC whereas a Condition of Licence is a requirement the broadcaster must meet. This means that the CBC can be monitored and measured for compliance. And we’ll be watching closely.
Because of interventions from organizations like the WGC, CBC had to commit to two more hours of PNI than it had originally proposed. It is now a condition of licence for CBC TV that at least 75% of the broadcast day and at least 80% of prime time be devoted to Canadian programming, including nine hours per week of Programs of National Interest (PNI), such as quality Canadian drama and documentaries.
The new licence also means a stronger presence for children’s programming and feature film on the public broadcaster. CBC is now required to broadcast 15 hours per week of children’s programming, and one Canadian feature film per month (which cannot be counted against its PNI requirement).
The CRTC has noted however that the conditions of licence merely set out minimums, and that it encourages the public broadcaster to do more. We echo that sentiment, and will be looking to CBC for more than the bare minimum.
Go West for Awards
May 14, 2013
Nominations for the Rockies (Alberta) and the Leos (BC) were announced, and the work of WGC members is featured highly on both lists. As well, the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association (AMPIA) held its annual Rosie Awards on the weekend, and congratulations go to Andrew Wreggitt, whose project Borealis was recognized with the Best Drama, Made-for-TV Movie or Mini-Series Award. Four Canadian shows made the international list for the Banff World Media Fest’s Rockie Awards – congratulations to all the members involved in those series. Congrats to team Degrassi, led by showrunners Sarah Glinski and Michael Grassi, and to team Heartland, led by showrunner Heather Conkie – both shows were nominated in the Youth category. Big congrats to Adrienne Mitchell and Canadian Screenwriter cover boy Michael MacLennan, showrunner of Bomb Girls, which was nominated in the Drama category. And rounding out the Rockie list is Seed, with a nod to showrunner Mark Farrell and Joseph Raso, nominated for an episode written by Joseph.
A little farther west there are even more members to celebrate. Arctic Air leads the pack with 14 nominations, including Best Series nods for showrunners Ian Weir and Bob Carney, and Best Screenwriting nominations for Ian Weir and Sarah Dodd. Simon Barry and the Continuum team also did well, with showrunner Simon getting a Best Series and Best Screenwriting nod. Congratulations too to Anne Wheeler, who scored a Best Screenwriting nomination for her TV Movie, Horses of McBride, and Mark Sawers & Doug Barber who were nominated for their script Camera Shy. Best Screenwriting nominations also went to Larry Raskin and Chris Aikenhead for their work on Ice Pilots, NWT, and to Louise Moon for her work on Babar. WGC members were also well-represented in the Best Screenwriting for Kids category, with nods to Jennica Harper, Ryan Smith and Cameron Labine for their writing on Mr. Young. Finally, in the Web Series category, Liz Scully was nominated for her series The Runner. Congratulations and good luck to all.
Win Pass to Banff World Media Festival
May 10, 2013
It pays to read the WGC website. Lisa Hunter was the first respond to our website-contest to win a free delegate pass for the Banff World Media Festival, running in Banff, Alberta, from June 9 to 12. Lisa correctly identified that Bomb Girls is nominated for a 2013 Banff Rockies Award. Congratulations Lisa.
Senator Ringuette on Bill C-377
May 8, 2013
Yesterday, Senator Pierrette Ringuette, the Liberal Senate Critic of Bill C-377 (An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations)), spoke in opposition to the bill, and her office issued a press release, headlined:
With Bill C-377 Canada joins Guatemala, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe as countries excessively policing union finances.
Read the full release by clicking Read More.
'Red Carpet' at WGC Screenwriting Awards
April 23, 2013
Several attendees took the opportunity to stop and strike a pose for screenwriting in Canada. You can view and or download your Step & Repeat shots here: http://wgcawards2013.imgur.com/
And the Winners are...
March 20, 2013
It was loud and lively in downtown Toronto on April 22 as we celebrated Canada’s screenwriters at the 17th annual WGC Screenwriting Awards. More than 700 revelers from the film, TV and digital media industry came together to congratulate the finalists and cheer the winners.
And the winners are...
Sidekick “I, Sidebot”
Written by Dan Williams & Lienne Sawatsky
CHILDREN & YOUTH
How To Be Indie “How To Make a Christmas Miracle”
Written by John May & Suzanne Bolch
A Sorry State
Written by Mitch Miyagawa
MOVIES & MINISERIES
Written by Andrew Wreggitt
SHORTS & WEBSERIES
Ruby Skye P.I.: The Haunted Library “#Creepy”
Written by Julie Strassman-Cohn & Jill Golick
Less Than Kind “Jerk Chicken”
Written by Kim Coghill
The L.A. Complex “Down in L.A.”
Written by Martin Gero
WGC Showrunner Award – Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern
The Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize – Wild Medicine by Adam Garnet Jones
Writers Block Award – Anne-Marie Perrotta, Simon Racioppa & Lienne Sawatsky
WTTV with Orphan Black!
March 27, 2013
Just over 100 people gathered at the Bell Lightbox in Toronto on April 11 to hear from showrunner and co-creator of Orphan Black, Graeme Manson, and watch the latest episode on the big screen. Graeme spoke with moderator Denis McGrath, and talked over the ‘genesis’ of the show, its path to greenlight with Space and BBC America, and some of the creative choices made along the way in the writers room and beyond. Listen to the podcast of the conversation here.
WGC at ReelWorld
April 10, 2013
The WGC came together with the ReelWorld Film Festival to present a stellar panel of writers. On Saturday, April 13 at 12:30 pm, WGC Presented "The Writers Room 101" at the Famous Players Canada Square, Cinema 4, 2190 Yonge Street. Moderated by Sugith Varughese (Dany Boy, Blue Murder), the panel included Jessie Gabe (Mr. D, Being Erica), Ben Joseph (Doozers, How to Be Indie), Sudz Sutherland (Home Again, She’s the Mayor) & the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program Internship winner, Faisal Lutchmedial (The Listener, Mr. Crab).
The Writers Room - It’s where every episode of your favourite TV series begins. For even a seasoned writer, it’s tough to get in. Once you’re part of the team, it’s tough to survive the relentless pace of writing for television. But the rewards are great: you become part of a team working to deliver great stories that, if successful, will attract loyal viewers every week and garner critical acclaim. Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) screenwriters discussed how to get into the writers room, and how to collaborate with other writers, the showrunner and the broadcaster to create a compelling TV series. Also, a graduate from the WGC-run Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program discussed how this unique program contributed to getting him into the writers room of a Canadian series.
Bell/Astral Round Two
April 8, 2013
The WGC filed an intervention with the CRTC on the application of Astral Media to give effective control to BCE Inc., offering the deal our conditional support subject to BCE and CRTC addressing several key concerns. Read the WGC’s complete intervention here. For details, click Read More below.
WTTV Digital– Showrunning Your Web Series
March 25, 2013
The audio podcast for "Showrunning Your Web Series" is now available. On Wednesday March 20, Jill Golick (Ruby Skye PI) sat down with web series creators Scott Albert (Tights and Fights; Job Interview with a Vampire), Regan Latimer (B.J. Fletcher: Private Eye) & Jason Leaver (Out with Dad). These showrunners of made-for-web content define their work as creator-driven and audience-focused. Learn why these creators chose the web as a way to express their visions, how they shaped their stories for a digital platform and what the job entails when you’re showrunning for the web. Listen to the podcast here.