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WGC Commends Minister Joly’s Vision Statement

September 28, 2017

Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly delivered a much-anticipated speech today outlining the government’s vision for Canada’s cultural and creative industries. The Writers Guild of Canada commends Minister Joly for emphasizing the key role screenwriters play in the industry by announcing a new focus on early-stage pitch document and script development at the Canada Media Fund (CMF). As well, the government will top up CMF funding to account for monies lost from diminishing contributions from cable and satellite companies.

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Kim's Convenience "Writers Talking TV" Oct. 10

September 26, 2017

Kim’s Convenience is a hit Canadian comedy about the Kims, a Korean-Canadian family who run a convenience store in downtown Toronto. The WGC is very pleased that co-showrunners Ins Choi and Kevin White are coming to Writers Talking TV on Oct. 10 to take us behind the scenes of writing the show. So, #OKseeyou there! But make sure you RSVP to reserve a seat.
 
What: Kim's Convenience co-showrunners Ins Choi and Kevin White talk about writing the show with host Jeff Biederman; episode screening; audience Q&A
When: Tuesday Oct. 10, 2017, 7 p.m. [Doors open at 6:30]
Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., Cinema 4
RSVP: Free and open to the public, but please RSVP to make sure you have a seat. Email Elizabeth Ingold, e.ingold@wgc.ca

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Government's "Vision Statement" Sept. 28

September 19, 2017

Canadian Heritage will release its "vision statement" on Sept. 28, live on Facebook from 12-1 p.m. EST. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, will "outline the Government of Canada’s vision for cultural and creative industries in a digital world." The Facebook event page includes the following statement. 


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Heritage Minister Joly's "Breakfast With Creators"

September 15, 2017

The WGC was pleased to attend a meet and greet during TIFF with Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly.  A number of WGC members and staff were able to personally thank Minister Joly for her part in sending back the flawed CRTC decision of May (reducing spending on Canadian programming) for reconsideration. As well, the gathering provided an opportunity to let the Minister know more about the current situation faced by Canadian screenwriters.
 
Photo: WGC Executive Director Maureen Parker, President Jill Golick, Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, and Liberal MP Arif Virani

Harold Greenberg Fund Cuts

September 15, 2017

The Harold Greenberg Fund has played a significant part in helping to get Canadian films made, including features written by WGC members (Maudie and Meditation Park, among many others). The HGF has also helped fund Canadian TV shows such as Alias Grace and Book of Negroes, originally intended as features, to cite two examples.

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Screenwriters and Producers Extend Agreement

September 11, 2017

Canadian screenwriters and producers have agreed to extend the current agreement governing English-language screenwriting in Canada. The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC), the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), and the Association Québécoise de la Production Médiatique (AQPM) announced today that all parties have ratified an eighteen-month extension to the Independent Production Agreement (IPA), which will come into effect Jan. 1, 2018. This agreement maintains the current terms of engagement, with an increase of minimum script fees, and now expires on June 30, 2019. 

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CMF Annual Report Update

September 7, 2017

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) released its annual report recently, which covers the CMF’s fiscal year from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017. The report includes information on the revenues received by the CMF from broadcasting distribution undertakings, or “BDUs” — the cable and satellite television services that contribute a portion of their revenues to the creation of Canadian programming, pursuant to CRTC regulation. 

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Daryl Duke Prize Deadline Sept. 30

August 28, 2017

The Daryl Duke Prize is for "excellence in a screenplay for an unproduced long-form dramatic film telling a fictional story." The prize is intended to provide time and support to a screenwriter to "complete a new draft of the intended work, a copy of which is to be submitted subsequently to the jury." Deadline to apply for the prize (total amount $25,000, awarded in two stages) is Sept. 30. Find out more here.


Open letter to Konrad Yakabuski

August 21, 2017

Konrad Yakabuski published an opinion piece in the Globe and Mail on Aug. 17 with the headline How ‘bold’ will Mélanie Joly’s broadcasting policy be?. It’s a good question, and one the WGC is keen to have answered, hopefully via the Minister’s “vision statement,” upcoming in September. The WGC also agrees that it’s essential to find new funding models that will take Canadian programs into the future, something Yakabuski’s colleague, Kate Taylor, astutely points out in an Aug. 18 article (Cancon television regulations need updating in the age of streaming). And it goes without saying that we want to see more Canadian programs viewed the world over. But just as there is no perfect formula for hit shows, nor is there a magic potion that creates “export potential.” First, you support your creators, and make sure that the support evolves to reflect the new technological realities. But we’d be remiss not to point out that Yakabuski’s article contains some incorrect information about the industry as it stands today, and draws some dubious conclusions. 

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WGC Applauds Government for Rejecting CRTC Decision

August 14, 2017

The WGC is extremely pleased to announce that Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly and the federal cabinet have sent back the flawed CRTC decision of May (reducing spending on Canadian programming) for reconsideration. WGC Executive Director Maureen Parker, speaking to the Globe and Mail about the decision, notes that it's "a very definitive signal to the entire broadcasting community – including the internet service providers – that creators are important to the system. Canadian screenwriters, directors, actors, producers, we’re important to the growth and the health of our industry. Obviously we’re facing many new challenges. … Our broadcasters are going to have to be creative and competitive. Undermining their talent pool, that’s not the answer.”

Read the government's statement about the decision here and the WGC press release here.




Canadian Screenwriter summer 2017 is on newsstands now. View excerpts, and subscribe here.

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