Canadian Film Industry

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In the Canadian Film industry there are numerous major players, some of which are supported by the Canadian and Provincial governments and others are independent companies. In this paper, we will take a look at the structures in which these firms function as well as their roles within it. The government of Canada has a strong support and purpose for the film industry and we will take a closer look at some of the motivators for these actions and how they seek to do so. The objectives of the government, politicians and bureaucrats involved and how this came to be a strategic industry will also be examined. The performance of each of these players will present burdens and benefits to the policy community and the industrial policy for the Canadian film industry itself.

For the purposes of this paper we will define the Canadian film industry as, the filmmaking industry in Canada. Canada is home to several film studios centres, primarily located in its three largest cities: Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. Most of these industries and communities tend to be regional and niche in nature, therefore a typical film in Canada is made through a complex array of government funding and incentives and from distributors. We may include television as apart of film productions definition but broadcast will not be included because of the variety different types of distribution, coverage and funding it adds to the topic at hand.

The Government of Canada has set up film advisory boards, started major corporations and spent billions of dollars in support of this industry, in this paper we seek to answer the question, why? (Government of Canada, 2010) There are a few different hypothesis, but as we will see it is a more complex of a situation than meets the eye. The political and economic motivators for attracting film and television production activities are to capture economic multiplier effects, which are believed to exceed the cost of foregone tax income by a factor of two or three. (Davis, 2009) Other positive views include the large employment that the industry provides for Canadians, for foreign outsourced productions 31,650 jobs were created in one year, with an average employment income of $36,000. (Canadian Government, 2010) Another main factor is the indigenous productions are on the rise Canadian content accounted for 13.1% of total revenues, up from 4.9% in 2005. (Government of Canada, 2008) This shows that the main objectives, as stated by the Canadian Government themselves, are to foster the quality and diversity of Canadian film by restructuring support programs to reward ongoing performance and by encouraging an increase in average production budgets. (Government of Canada, 2010) These are only some of the reasons why this has become a strategic industry.

Close substitutes including, sporting events, concerts all affect the consumers consumption of movies. The recession is said to have had a positive affect on the consumers desire to go out to the movies, this could be based on the relatively low financial commitment of a movie versus the price of a ticket to a concert or sporting event. Of interest is the issue of the 2010 Olympics, were staged in Vancouver, one of the Canadian hot spots for film making especially co-productions with Hollywood. Revenues dipped more than 22 percent based on the fact that not many producers wanted to shoot during the Winter games. Oddly though, due to the recession production numbers were able to increase. (Post Media News, 2011)

Some of the main keys to success of the industry are, in fact, the support from the government, the ability of the industry to produce a decent profit margin and to create jobs for Canadians. Also, indigenous film making is on the rise mainly due to the support and the active goal making that the government had put into motion. Distribution and marketing of these films need growth, there are some festivals and award shows that are...
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