IssuesArts & Culture

Arts & Culture

First Published: Oct 04, 2019
Last Updated: Oct 04, 2019
Monitored by: Hugues Théorêt


In recent years, the way that Canadians consume cultural content and news has shifted and changed. Canadian producers of arts, culture and news are told to adapt to this changing reality and continue to tell our unique stories.

The transition to the digital age has forced the Government of Canada to adapt its arts and culture funding.

In September 2017,  the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Netflix announced an agreement that will see the company create Netflix Canada –  a first of its kind production company for Netflix outside of the United States – and  invest a minimum of CAD $500 million in original productions in Canada over the next five years.

Concluded under the Investment Canada Act, the agreement attests to Canada’s creative talent and its strong track record in creating films and television shows that stand out, both here at home and abroad. The agreement also reflects Netflix’s commitment to being a meaningful partner in supporting Canadian creators, producers and the Canadian creative expression.

The agreement includes, among others, the following undertakings by Netflix:

  • Establishing a permanent, multi-purpose film and television production presence here in Canada, the first time that the company has done so outside the United States.
  • Investing at least CAD $500 million over the next five years in original productions in Canada that will be distributed across Netflix’s global platform. As part of this investment, Netflix will continue to work with Canadian producers, production houses, broadcasters, creators and other partners to produce original Canadian content in both English and French.
  • Supporting Canadian French-language content on the Netflix platform through a market development strategy for Canada. Centered on a CAD $25 million investment, this strategy will include “pitch days” for producers, recruitment events and other promotional and market development activities.
  • Ensuring that Canadians and Netflix members around the world find Canadian films and television shows on the Netflix Service by highlighting and promoting those productions on its global platform.

The happiness of some often brings misfortune to others. The transition to the digital age explains the problems of the print media in Canada.

To help Canada's major daily newspapers weather the crisis that threatens their survival, the Government of Canada has introduced three tax measures, including the addition of a refundable tax credit for newsroom workers.

The government also agrees to allow media companies to register under several conditions, which will allow its donors to claim a tax credit. A new temporary tax credit will also be available to encourage digital subscriptions. The estimated cost of these three new proposed tax measures is $595 million over five years.

Current Status

Budget 2019 proposes to provide $20 million over two years, starting in 2019–20, to the Canada Music Fund, so that the Fund can enhance its support for the production, promotion and distribution of Canadian music. With this investment, the Fund will be able to support more Canadian musicians and music entrepreneurs and help with the rising costs of marketing and promotion necessary in the music industry today.

Budget 2019 also proposes to provide $16 million over two years, starting in 2019–20, to the Canada Arts Presentation Fund.

Budget 2019 proposes to provide $24 million over two years, starting in 2019–20, to the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program and the Celebration and Commemoration Program. To further support Canadian Heritage’s efforts to integrate Gender-based Analysis plus (GBA+) in program design, Budget 2019 proposes to provide $1.0 million over two years, starting in 2019–20.


No specific proposals yet.


No specific proposals yet.


NDP will step up to make sure that Netflix, Facebook, Google, and other digital media companies play by the same rules as Canadian broadcasters.

NDP will increase funding for CBC and Radio-Canada to help reverse the damage of decades of funding cuts under both Liberal and Conservative governments.

NDP will make sure that arts and cultural institutions receive stable, long-term funding to grow and promote Canada’s diverse cultures and histories. NDP will also extend support to Canadian media to assist them in making the digital transition.

Green Party

No specific proposals yet.

People's Party

No specific proposals yet.

Bloc Quebecois

No specific proposals yet.

October 4, 2019
Naomi Shuman

A Liberal government will introduce a Culture Pass, a $200 credit that every Canadian child will receive when they turn 12, to access theatres, museums, galleries and other cultural venues. Will strengthen the regional mandate of CBC/Radio-Canada and require them to open up its digital platform. Will support Canadian film by increasing annual funding for Telefilm Canada by almost 50 per cent a year. Will work to ensure that all content providers (including internet giants) offer meaningful level of Canadian content in their catalogues and contribute to the creation of Canadian content in both official languages.

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