Netflix commits $500m to Canada location filming

Posted September 30, 2017

Its publication followed a consultation on "Canadian Content in a Digital World".

The Wall Street Journal noted that before the announcement of its investment, Netflix commissioned a year ago "hundreds of millions of dollars" of original Canadian programming, making the country one of the top three locations for original productions after the U.S. and United Kingdom, according to a letter from the streaming service's Washington-based lobbyists.

The company has largely avoided the requirements put on Canadian content producers by the country's government. "Today's announcement affirms there's more to come as Netflix launches Netflix Canada, our permanent production presence in Canada". Quebecor, Bell and Rogers were quick to point out their Canadian content budgets far exceed the annualized $100-million figure, which represents less than two per cent of Netflix's overall US$6-billion original programming budget for 2017 alone.

This will be known as Netflix Canada, a "first of its kind production company". The company has previously said it commissioned "hundreds of millions" of dollars of Canada-produced programming in 2016 alone.

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Canada's Heritage Minister, Melanie Joly, said the deal "signals a meaningful partnership in supporting Canadian creators, producers and Canadian creative work, and in bringing that work to millions of viewers around the world".

Along with Netflix contributing $500 million to Canadian content, Joly went on to explain that Facebook has teamed up with Toronto's Ryerson University to fund a new digital news incubator. The deal is part of Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly's overhaul of decades-old culture policy.

Joly cited already high rates paid by Canadians for broadband Internet access in her decision not to add a new tax on streaming services. "I know Netflix will have good news to announce on that subject".

"In announcing the pact, the Canadian government called out "Alias Grace", a co-production of CBC, Netflix and Halfire Entertainment".