TV + Film NewsTV & Film News - Canadian Heritage announces temporary COVID-19 insurance support

TV & Film News – Canadian Heritage announces temporary COVID-19 insurance support

Canadian Heritage has announced temporary support to get Canadian film and television productions, unable to get COVID-19 insurance, back on set. Heritage Min. Steven Guilbeault announced the Short-Term Compensation Fund for Canadian audiovisual productions on Friday. It will make a total of up to $50 million available to independent production companies should their productions be interrupted or shutdown due to confirmed cases of COVID-19. The fund will be administered by Telefilm Canada and the Canada Media Fund (CMF) and offer maximum compensation of $1.5 million in the case of a temporary interruption and $3 million in the case of a complete shutdown of production. Read more here.

The Canadian Academy has been selected as a Global Access Programs partner for WarnerMedia, starting with the WarnerMedia x Canadian Academy Global Access Writers Program. The talent development initiative will focus on experienced but underrepresented Canadian writers, offering them connections and exposure to WarnerMedia executives, creators, and other opportunities. The multi-year initiative will be administered by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, in collaboration with Telefilm. Additionally, the Academy has announced support for the efforts of the Indigenous Screen Office in seeking “narrative sovereignty” for First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities by instituting a new rule for the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards season, that puts new eligibility requirements in place for Indigenous content. When the work being submitted tells an Indigenous story and/or is from an Indigenous perspective, entrants must affirm that a minimum of two thirds above the line talent identify as Indigenous; OR that the production company is majority Indigenous-owned. 

Netflix has signed a lease agreement with Burnaby’s Canadian Motion Picture Park (CMMP). British Columbia’s COVID-19 protocols are defining the province as a safer option for productions choosing Lower Mainland B.C. over locations like London and Los Angeles, with an estimated 60 productions set to simultaneously shoot in the Vancouver area in October. The 25-acre CMMP includes 178,000 square feet of production space and 18 sound stages.

Ryan Reynolds says he’ll be dedicating part of his own salary to hire BIPOC trainees on his upcoming Vancouver film shoot this fall. The Vancouver-born actor has announced the Group Effort Initiative, which will see up to 20 people from marginalized backgrounds fill roles as production trainees on the Netflix project. According to its website, “The Group Effort Initiative exists to create a pipeline for Black, Indigenous, people of colour or people from marginalized and excluded communities to get real experience towards a lasting career within the entertainment industry.”

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has announced the reopening of the WildBrain-CMF Kids & Family Development Program to support the development of Canadian kids’ and family content. The $960,000 program aims to support new entrants to the production community as well as regional projects, creators in official language minority communities, and French-language producers. Half of the program’s funds are reserved for women-led projects. Click here to access the guidelines. The deadline to apply is Nov. 30.

Canada Media Fund (CMF) and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture of the Republic of South Africa, have renewed their dedicated incentive for the co-development of television projects between Canadian and South African producers. The total maximum contribution for each project funded through the incentive is CAD $65,000. Closing date for applications is Oct. 30. Find program details here.

Telefilm Canada is launching virtual townhalls over the next few weeks to review its Success Index. Upcoming sessions will be held in both French and English, covering the Development Program Oct. 7, and a dedicated Success Index discussion on Oct. 14. More details here.


imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival has announced full programming for the 21st Annual Festival, running online Oct. 20-25. imagineNATIVE will present work from 153 Indigenous artists in 23 languages from 13 countries and 97 Indigenous nations. Among 10 feature films streaming are Michelle Latimer’s Inconvenient Indian, which recently won People’s Choice Documentary Award at TIFF 2020; Monkey Beach, directed and produced Loretta Todd; Love and Fury, directed and produced by Sterlin Harjo, a feature doc that follows Native artists as they navigate their careers in the U.S. and abroad; and the Canadian premiere of The Legend of Baron To’a, directed and produced by Maori filmmaker Kiel McNaughton. Corner Gas and Fargo actor Lorne Cardinal will be honoured with the 6th annual August Schellenberg Award of Excellence. The annual imagineNATIVE Awards Presentation, hosted by Tiffany Ayalik (Inuk), will take place Oct. 25 with a record $53,000 in cash prizes to be handed out. 

Faytene Grasseschi, Tore Stautland, Nima Rajan, Sheldon Neil, Tanya Granic Allen, and Tony Clement. (

The News Forum is now available on Bell platforms across the country, a new right-of-centre news channel with a mandate “to provide viewers with politically balanced domestic and international perspectives, inclusive of a conservative counterbalance for the current media landscape.” The channel’s schedule includes shows like Boom or Bust, hosted by former Conservative health minister Tony Clement; Canadian Justice, with Niagara area lawyer and pastor K.R. Davidson, looking at polarizing constitutional freedom cases; and Counterpoint with former Ontario PC candidate Tanya Granic Allen which promises “conversations on fundamental Canadian rights and freedoms – where all sides are presented, respected and discussed.” At the helm of The News Forum is CEO Tore Stautland, founder of St. Catharines, ON-based Trillenium Media Group (TMG Inc.), who was formerly involved in the programming of ZoomerMedia-owned JoyTV and FaithTV. Read more here.


A GoFundMe campaign, in support of Bowen Island, BC-based actor Michael Hogan and his wife Susan, has surpassed it’s initial $300,000 fundraising goal. Hogan, who is best known for his roles as Colonel Saul Tigh on Battlestar Galactica, Hagan in The Man in the High Castle, and Otto Gerhardt in Fargo, suffered a serious head injury after a fall following the Battlestar Galactica convention in Vancouver on Feb. 17. The accident left Hogan with complete paralysis on his left side, memory loss, cognitive impairment, and an inability to swallow. He continues to recover with an eventual goal to return home where he’ll require ongoing care.  

ICF Films, Eagle Vision, and eOne have announced that production is underway on Season 4 of CBC original drama series Burden of Truth (8×60) in Winnipeg. The series, which also airs on The CW in the U.S., began production in early September and is set to shoot until late fall. Reprising their roles are executive producer Kristin Kreuk, Peter Mooney, Star Slade, Meegwun Fairbrother, and Anwen O’Driscoll. New cast additions this season include Brynn Godenir (The Middles, Journey Back to Christmas) and Cherissa Richards (A Dog’s Journey, The Secret Ingredient). Season 4 directors are Doug Mitchell (The Pinkertons, Less Than Kind), Kelly Makin (Flashpoint, Saving Hope), Michelle Latimer (Trickster, Rise), Madison Thomas (Taken, Colour of Scar Tissue), and 2nd Unit Director, Tyson Caron (Wynter, Lovesick). 

CBC has announced the 16 skaters making up the eight pairs for the upcoming new season of Battles of the Blades. This is the first time in the series’ history that three female hockey players, and three male figure skaters, have been part of the competition. Season 6 pairings include: Violetta Afanasieva and Anthony Stewart; Meghan Agosta and Andrew Poje; Jennifer Botterill and Eric Radford; Jessica Campbell and Asher Hill; Meagan Duhamel and Wojtek Wolski; Carlotta Edwards and Kris Versteeg; Vanessa James and Akim Aliu; and Kaitlyn Weaver and Bryan Bickell. Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean also returns as host, alongside the judging panel of Scott Moir; Season 5 runner-up Natalie Spooner; and Elladj Baldé. The new season launches with a special two-hour premiere Thursday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem.

TVO premieres the second season of its original series, Striking Balance, on Sunday, Oct. 4, a day ahead of the United Nations’ World Habitat Day. Narrated by Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and directed by Zach Melnick, the series explores nine of Canada’s UNESCO-designated biosphere reserves and shares stories of sustainable communities from coast to coast. All nine episodes will be broadcast weekly and made available to stream free at and on TVO’s YouTube Channel. 

Open Door Co. and TVO will premiere of TVO Original Margin of Error, Saturday, Oct. 17 as part of a celebrational TVO 50th Anniversary Telethon. Directed by veteran filmmaker Peter Gombos and produced by Tom Powers (Political Blind Date), the documentary investigates how a new artificial intelligence or “AI” method – led by a Canadian tech startup – is shaking up the landscape of traditional political polling. 

CTV has confirmed additional premiere dates for its Fall 2020 schedule, including the return of The Good Doctor (Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning Nov. 2), as well as Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 (in a crossover event Nov. 12). Additionally, the two-hour Season 5 premiere of This Is Us moves to Oct. 27. The Conners also returns to CTV on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT, paired with back-to-back episodes of The Goldbergs.

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