Preview: Focus on Canada.  UK/Canada co-productions – the perfect match?

Posted on: Friday 30 June 2017 12:54pm by Jeff Norton

Jeff Norton, moderator of the CMC 2017 Focus on Canada session, and a Canadian in London, tells us what to expect from our friends across the pond…  

As Canada celebrates its historic 150th anniversary, there much to cheer about with respect to its success in kids’ TV. Canada, a country with a population roughly half of the UK, has long punched above its weight in children’s television. Historically, the combination of tax credits, government incentives, and independent funds (created in the wake of various M&A activity in the sector) have enabled creators, producers, and broadcasters to assemble a large percentage of a show’s budget out of Canada. The country’s globetrotting Minister for Heritage, Melanie Joly, is focused on urging Canadian content creators to be internationally minded; creating content for export and not just for domestic consumption.

There are opportunities for international producers and broadcasters to partner with Canada to finance shows for international audiences. Most Canadian platforms are open to, and familiar with, partnering with overseas partners to finance and launch a show. Canada has co-production treaties (or at least memorandums of understanding) with nearly 60 nations.

But there are also challenges. The recent CRTC decision to bring broadcasters’ overall spending commitment on “programs of national interest” to 5% across the board marks a reduction for several key broadcasters and is expected to hit Canadian producers hard. This is coupled with the fact that the two leading kids’ platforms are more and more focused on their owned content instead of buying in from independent producers in order to exploit distribution and ancillary rights.

As a Canadian and British citizen (a “walking co-production”), I’m pleased to host a Children’s Media Conference panel on Canada, where we’ll do a deep dive into the opportunities and realities of co-producing with Canadian partners with: Marie McCann, (recently appointed Senior Director of Children’s and Youth Programming at CBC Kids; Michelle Melanson Cuperus, President of Radical Sheep (part of Boat Rocker Media); and Tatiana Kober, President of Bejuba! Entertainment.

Join us at 9.40am on Thursday 6th July in Showroom 3.

And if you tweet me your questions in advance, to @thejeffnorton (hash-tag #tcmc), I’ll add them to what’s sure to be a lively discussion and debate.



CMC 2017 Blog CMC Ebulletin Event Previews

Jeff Norton

About the author

Jeff Norton

Awesome Media & Entertainment, Writer/Producer

Jeff Norton is an author, writer-producer, and founder of Awesome. He is the author of the award-wining ‘MetaWars’ books (Orchard), ‘Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie’ (Faber), the new YA thriller 'Keeping The Beat' (KCP Loft), and his debut picture book, ‘Stomp School’. He’s also the creator of the best-selling ‘Princess… Read more