The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) is reporting another record year for Canadian film and television, however its Profile 2022: Economic Report on the Screen-based Media Production Industry cautions it will be difficult to sustain that level of production.
Looking at the state of film and television production in Canada between April 2021 and March 2022, the report indicates total production volume leapt by an unprecedented amount, reaching an all-time high of $11.69 billion. The industry added over $2.56 billion in production spending, pushing it 21.8% higher than the previous pre-pandemic high of $9.60 billion in 2019/20. The biggest growth contributions came from foreign location and service (FLS) production, increasing 27.3% to $6.71 billion, and Canadian television production, increasing 38.9% to $3.51 billion. Broadcaster in-house production also recovered from a COVID-19 downturn, increasing by 1.9% in 2021, driven by more spending on news programming, among other genres.
The CMPA notes that growth reflects a number of unique variables. In addition to post-COVID rebound activity, domestic production volume was boosted by pandemic-related government funding initiatives, along with a larger number of productions being commissioned as Canadian broadcasters caught up on Canadian programming expenditures (CPE) underspent during the pandemic. Increases were further fuelled by general inflationary pressures on production costs.
The report says the challenge will be to sustain that level of production activity as the economy faces significant economic headwinds and concerns about lingering inflation and a possible recession.
Other Canadian content production highlights:
- French-language production increased by 44% to $1.24 billion.
- English-language production increased by 37.4% to $2.66 billion.
- Fiction production increased by 44.7% to $2.13 billion.
- Children’s and youth production increased by 17.5% to $534 million.
- Documentary production increased by 59% to $531 million.
- Production of programs in the lifestyle and human interest genre increased by 43.3% to $547 million.
- Production in the variety and performing arts (VAPA) genre increased by 2.2% to $162 million.
- Animation production decreased by 22.6% to $226 million (the second consecutive year of decline after hitting a 10-year high of $411M in 2019/20).
“The ongoing impressive growth of Canada’s production industry is a testament to the extraordinary collaboration of Canadian independent producers, distributors, broadcasters, creators, funders and foreign streaming services, as well as to strong partnerships with every level of government across the country. At the same time, the gap between domestic and service production continues to widen. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure a healthy and balanced production ecosystem for decades to come,” said CMPA President and CEO Reynolds Mastin, in a release.
CMPA’s annual economic report is compiled by Nordicity, and developed in collaboration with the Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM), with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage and Telefilm Canada.
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