Report – Focus on Canada

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2016 1:38pm by Helen Dugdale

Find out what Canada wants – and what you can offer in return


  • Yes, Canada has lots of money, but it’s not a cash cow – it wants to develop long-term relationships
  • Canada is searching for incredible stories and characters
  • Canada is a dreamy co-production partner for the UK – we speak the same language and have a similar sense of humour and style
  • Make sure your co-production partner has the same vision for the project and be prepared to make compromises
  • Get good advice to ensure you get the most out of the Canadian co-production treaties



Focus on CanadaThe session kicked off with uber-vibrant host Matt Hornburg, Co-Founder & Executive Producer, marblemedia, announcing: “Canada has money!”

Two successful UK and Canadian co-productions shared their stories, with honesty.

Wildseed Studios’ ‘Countfeit Cat,’ was welcomed by the Canadian audience after the production house secured a partnership. Wildseed were blown away with the strength and depth of talent in Canada and used Vancouver’s 2D animation studio Atomic Cartoons who “just got their style and humour.”

Wildseed’s advice is work hard to get creative alignment from all parties involved from the outset. Aim to have one person who deals with both countries and everyone involved, to ensure that the “vision stays strong”. There’s a whole load of compliance notes, which need careful management. This is why it’s vital to project your vision clearly, from day one.

Happy Films successfully transported ‘Bookaboo’ to Canadian shores and said part of the success of securing the co-production was from a raised profile after winning the Prix Jeunesse 2010. Lucy said she had wanted to find a partner that was as passionate about the show as she was.

Production of ‘Bookaboo’ has currently moved to Toronto. Meaning Happy Films has had to give up some of the members of the creative team that already worked on the show, in turn losing the magical creative short hand that had developed over the years. However on the upside, Canada is a pool of hot talent. Since working with Sinking Ship, a large studio, ‘Bookaboo’ has had access to different skillsets. This has seen the show go from being filmed in a studio to a green screen shoot, which they can take on the road to wherever the celebrity is based who is appearing in the show, opening up the door to working with many more stars.

In a nutshell, Canada is a co-production partner that is eager to work with UK creatives has money available to access and is looking to develop and nurture long term lucrative deals.

CMC Ebulletin Event Reports Andrew Baker CMC CMC 2016 Co-production Corus Entertainment Deirdre Brennan Diane Rankin Distribution360 Focus on Canada Happy Films Kidscave Entertainment Lucy Goodman marblemedia Matt Hornburg Miles Bullough Partner Relationships Sean Gorman Turner Broadcasting Wildseed Studios

Helen Dugdale

About the author

Helen Dugdale

Scribble, Writer/PR Consultant

Helen is founder of Scribble the little, but mighty PR and writing agency based in Altrincham. She has over 18 years experience writing for and promoting events and brands aimed at children and families. Helen has written and created content for children’s books, educational resources, TV and radio and (fun!) corporate literature.… Read more