The Trudeau Government is rolling out a $50 million COVID compensation plan for the Canadian filmmakers, just seven days after the industry complained to media that it desperately needed funding.
The Canadian Media Producers Association and the Association Quebecoise de la Production Mediatique have complained that over 200 film-ready productions are on hold due to an inability to get COVID-19 insurance for their productions. The Associations allege that this compensation plan would protect over 19,000 jobs.
The hold-up came after the COVID-19 pandemic set in, and insurance companies began excluding the pandemic from policies. As a result, some Canadian productions that did not have insurance in place before the pandemic were unable to take the financial risk of starting filming only to be interrupted by COVID-19.
On September 18, just seven days ago, the Associations complained to media that they needed urgent intervention from Ottawa. Today, Trudeau’s Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault unveiled a $50 million fund to financially support struggling filmmakers, noting that the dedicated financial support may increase if the allotted fund is found to be insufficient.
Guilbeault noted that eligible production companies would have to be Canadian-owned and controlled, as well as independent and not associated with a broadcaster.
Telefilm will be managing the fund, and has announced that more information on the implementation of the program will be issued in the coming weeks. In a conference call with reporters, Guilbeault stated that the ministry was, “literally running to put this together and get this in operation as soon as possible.”