Canada Post has issued a new stamp honouring acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Denys Arcand, whose career has spanned more than 60 years. Known for his intellectual curiosity, the Quebec-born artist has written and directed over two dozen films, television series and documentaries. Among Arcand’s box office successes is 1986 comedy Le déclin de l’empire américain, which won eight Genie Awards and became the first Canadian film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Arcand built on that success with Jésus de Montréal (1989) and Les invasions barbares (2003), which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film – a first for Quebec and Canada. The stamp features a black and white photograph by Bertand Carrière of Arcand behind the camera in 1985.
Netflix Canada is phasing out its $9.99 “basic” option, its cheapest subscription without ads. Current “basic” subscribers will be grandfathered in unless they switch to another plan or cancel their account. The next ad-free tier is $16.49/month with simultaneous viewing on two devices, followed by the premium $20.99 plan featuring 4K high-definition video and the option to add up to two members who live outside your household. The ad-supported tier is priced at $5.99 and allows viewing on up to two screens.
GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, has announced the expansion of GroupM Motion Entertainment into Canada. Under the leadership of Daniel Mekinda, GroupM says it will work alongside its agencies Mindshare, Wavemaker, and EssenceMediacom to provide a pathway for Canadian-based clients to align with original programming and branded entertainment through creative and talent partnerships. Mekinda, who recently served as head of global partnerships and sales for Dentsu International and launched its content agency in Canada, The Story Lab, will run local operations and report to GroupM Canada CEO Kevin Johnson and Global CEO Richard Foster. Among GroupM’s recent Canadian partnerships is Battle of the Generations, in collaboration with Bell Media Studios and Lilly Singh’s Unicorn Island Productions, which debuted on CTV in June.
CBC will air daytime news special, Canada Day 2023, on July 1, broadcast live on CBC, CBC News Network, CBC Gem and CBC News Explore from LeBreton Flats Park in Ottawa, hosted by David Cochrane, featuring special guests, a citizenship ceremony and performances from across the country. Isabelle Racicot will host evening special Canada Day: A Playlist to Celebrate, featuring Jann Arden, Roxane Bruneau, Jojo Mason, Madison Violet, Aysanabee, Preston Pablo, Tegan and Sara, Dear Rouge, and a special salute to Gordon Lightfoot. The full schedule can be found at CBC.ca/CanadaDay.
CTV Comedy Channel original series Roast Battle Canada returns for an eight-episode third season Mondays at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, beginning July 10 on CTV Comedy, CTV.ca, and the CTV app. Each half-hour episode sees two pairs of Canadian comics face-off, with Season 3 seeing the return of panel judges – Russell Peters, Sabrina Jalees, and K. Trevor Wilson – while actor and comedian Ennis Esmer returns to preside as host. A fourth season of the series has already been ordered.
Sportsnet and SN NOW lay up exclusive coverage of GLOBL JAM FIVES, the 5×5 under-23 basketball tournament featuring men’s and women’s teams from around the world, starting July 12. Tipping off live from Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, the GLOBL JAM broadcast team includes: host Danielle Michaud and analyst Sherman Hamilton providing pre-, post- and halftime coverage. From the booth, Matt Devlin, the voice of the Toronto Raptors, has the play-by-play call for every game, alongside analyst Alvin Williams. Courtside reporter Savannah Hamilton delivers the latest from the sidelines.
Sportsnet has unveiled its 2023-24 national NHL broadcast schedule, set to deliver 155+ national matchups throughout the regular season, bolstered by Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey, Rogers Monday Night Hockey, and Hockey Night in Canada. Sportsnet will also air more than 190+ regional matchups next season as the official regional TV and streaming broadcast partner of the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs. Marking the start of the 2023-24 regular season, the mid-week broadcast debuts Oct. 11 with four games featuring all seven Canadian teams in action. Saturday night broadcasts start Oct. 14, with Sportsnet to air 100 HNIC broadcasts throughout the regular season. Monday night broadcasts premiere Oct. 16, while Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada returns Jan. 20 for its 24th season, with an all-Canadian hockey broadcast marathon, hosted from Victoria.
Crave Original series Nesting has started principal photography in Toronto. The short-form series, created by Rosa Labordé (The Spencer Sisters, Sensitive Skin) and Anna Hardwick (Mrs. America, Murdoch Mysteries). The eight eight-minute episodes, will be directed by Emmy award-winner Allana Harkin (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee). Key cast include Hardwick and Labordé, as well as Salvatore Antonio (Schitt’s Creek, Mary Kills People), Samer Salem (Yellowjackets, The Expanse), Ryan Allen (Titans, Five Days at Memorial), Paul Popowich (Spencer Sisters), and Lisa Berry (Slasher, Supernatural). Loosely inspired by the series creators – unlikely best friends for whom the romantic comedy dream hasn’t panned out – who try to get knocked-up at the same time so they can parent together in a new version of family.
The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has opened applications for the 2023 Indiescreen Awards, also announcing the return of the awards ceremony to TIFF. The prize amounts, doubled in 2022, are $20,000 for the Established Producer category, and $10,000 for the Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer award. To qualify, applicants must have acted as lead producer (or production team) on a Canadian feature film that has or will premiere in the 2023 calendar year. Detailed eligibility criteria can be found on the Indiescreen Awards webpage. The deadline to apply is Aug. 4. The Indiescreen Awards will be held on Sept. 7 at Glenn Gould Studio.
Telefilm Canada is currently accepting entries for Canadian production and distribution companies wishing to join the Canada Pavilion at MIPCOM 2023. The Canada Pavilion at MIPCOM will return to Riviera 8 this year, with space to host up to 80 companies, making it one of the largest national pavilions at MIPCOM.
Women in Film & Television (WIFT Toronto) has announced the recipients of the 2023 CBC Business of Broadcasting Mentorship. The mentorship, now in its 17th year, seeks emerging Canadian screen based media professionals passionate about production and development with a focus on scripted broadcast content. Zeynep Güler-Tuck is a Toronto-based creative producer, who worked with Microsoft News, NBC, CBS, Time Out, Lonely Planet, and Corus Entertainment, before transitioning into film and TV, currently the founder and creative producer of Özlü Creative + Community. Paula Sanderson is a television producer with extensive experience in factual entertainment and the social media manager for Frantic Films/CBC production Still Standing. With experience at WildBrain, marblemedia, Insight Productions, Breakthrough Entertainment, and Blue Ant Media, she is currently pursuing an MBA at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University.
Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy) have unveiled the talent roster for the second iteration of the WBD Access x Canadian Academy Directors Program. The initiative is designed to amplify underrepresented directors in Canada by providing opportunities for participants to hone their artistry and craft, gain deeper industry knowledge, and experience invaluable exposure to production executives, fellow creators, and industry leaders. This year’s participants are: Marilyn Cooke (QC), Duane Crichton (ON), Mary Galloway (MB), Rouzbeh Heydari (ON), Alpha Nicky (ON), Tarique Qayumi (BC), Amar Wala (ON), Samantha Wan (ON), Christopher Yip (ON), and Mayumi Yoshida (BC). Each participant is compensated with $60,000 for their participation in the program.
TIFF has announced that Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins, a soccer comedy directed and co-written by the New Zealand filmmaker, will make its World Premiere at the 48th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept. 7–17). The TIFF Ebert Director Award recipient was last at the festival in 2019 with the World Premiere of Jojo Rabbit. Next Goal Wins stars Michael Fassbender, Oscar Kightley, Kaimana, David Fane, Rachel House, Beulah Koale, Uli Latukefu, Semu Filipo, Lehi Falepapalangi, with Will Arnett and Elisabeth Moss. The sports comedy is based on the 2014 documentary of the same name and follows the American Samoa soccer team, infamous for their brutal 31-0 FIFA loss in 2001. More festival details will be announced in the coming weeks.