The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has released new numbers suggesting the COVID-19 pandemic is projected to negatively impact the country’s film and television production sector by putting as much as $2.5 billion in foreign and domestic location production volume at risk.
Based on historical CMPA economic data reflective of five-year trends and a list of current and forthcoming productions from the CMPA, Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM) and Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) reflecting production spending scheduled to occur on or after Mar. 16, the report says a production shutdown lasting from mid-March until the end of June will impact between 73,000 and 81,000 cast and crew, and up to 172,000 spin-off jobs across the country.
“Much like the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors, COVID-19 has brought media production in Canada to a screeching halt,” said Reynolds Mastin, President and CEO, CMPA, in a release. “These numbers should serve as a wakeup call for what’s at stake, and motivate us all to work together to ensure the industry can get back on its feet as quickly as possible once this crisis ends.”
The shutdown hit at what is usually one of the busiest times of the year for the sector when production ramps up and the hiring of cast and crew reaches one of its peak periods. The projections indicate that up to $1.4 billion of the production spending at risk is money that would be spent on labour.
Prepared by Nordicity, the report cautions that the effect of the production shutdown will likely exceed estimates, which are solely based on the value of spending expected to take place in a given month. It says with many projects in production disrupted at the outset of the COVID-19 shutdown, continuing work stoppages may lead to those and future projects being cancelled.
On Friday, the federal government announced $500 million in emergency support funding for the arts, culture and sports sectors, including television production. Canadian Heritage Min. Steven Guilbeault said the department intends to consult further with industry before rolling out the fund.
“The federal government has taken an active interest in the impact on our sector, and I’d like to specifically thank the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Steven Guilbeault, for the recently-announced COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations,” added Mastin. “We look forward to working with the Minister, his staff, and the federal funding bodies to develop a plan to direct this support toward the individuals and companies working in production who have been hit hard by the fallout from COVID-19.”
Subscribe Now – Free!
Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 25 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.
The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.
Let’s get started right now.