Status quo for Canadian film, TV content: Budget 2011

The CBC and Canadian Media Fund react to the 2011 Federal Budget.

The good news from Ottawa’s Budget 2011 Tuesday is there was no blood on the tracks for the Canadian film and TV industry from feared subsidy cuts.

But nor was there any new major cash for Canadian content.

For the ninth year running, the CBC received its so-called one-time funding of $60 million from the federal government.

‘It’s good validation for us as a worthwhile public broadcaster, delivering what Canadians want to watch,’ Kirstine Stewart, executive vice president of English services at the CBC, said, mindful of fears that $60 million might be lost in the federal government’s 2011-12 budget.

‘Given the financial challenges of the past few years, we are very grateful to the government for this important reinvestment in public broadcasting, and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage…for going to bat once again for CBC/Radio-Canada and for being a passionate supporter of the corporation and of our programming,’ CBC/Radio Canada president and CEO Hubert T. Lacroix said in the broadcaster’s official reaction to the federal budget.

Budget 2011 also confirmed $100 million annually for the Canada Media Fund, ‘to produce and create Canadian content for the digital era.’

‘This is a very significant commitment,’ CMF board chair Louis Roquet said in a statement.

The industry fund projected it will be able to offer over $350 million to the Canadian TV and digital media industry in 2011-12, when factoring in the federal budget commitment and financing from domestic cable and satellite TV distributors.

And Ottawa repeated that it was lifting the moratorium on the signing of new co-production treaties, as negotiations with India and other major film producing countries continue.

The industry will next watch for events this week in Ottawa to see if Budget 2011 passes an anticipated vote in the House of Commons, or whether a spring election means it all comes to naught.

From Playback Daily