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Prime Time 2013 – News Flash

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Today at the Prime Time Conference in Ottawa, Paul Calandra, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and a Member of Parliament announced the implementation of Canada’s policy on coproductions.
So at this point you may well be asking yourself, “Canada has a policy on coproductions?”, or “what is Canada’s policy on coproductions?”.  The answers to these questions are: yes, Canada does indeed have such a policy; and the policy can be found here.
The policy statement as set out recognizes the importance of treaty coproductions in strengthening Canada’s audiovisual infrastructure and sets the objective of making Canada the number one choice as a coproduction partner.   The recognition of the significance of coproductions and the goal set by the policy should not raise any objections – they are both correct and commendable.  
The policy enumerates certain guiding principles which will be used to achieve the objective of the policy.  These principles are flexibility, openness to renegotiation and negotiation of treaties, alignment of coproduction promotional activities and the simplifying of administrative processes.  Again, its hard to argue with these guiding principles – I know they would be welcome by many people in the production industry.
What remains to be seen is how the policy’s goal is achieved in practice, and whether these principles are in fact implemented for future productions.  It would be interesting if some sort of metrics were available in a year from now to measure any changes in the coproduction landscape as a result of the implementation of this policy.