Canadian producers very concerned about new cuts to culture funds - CFTPA/APFTQ request meeting with Heritage and Foreign Affairs ministers

    OTTAWA and MONTREAL, Aug. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Film and
Television Production Association (CFTPA) and the Association des producteurs
de films et de television du Québec (APFTQ) are very concerned about the
government's recent decision to cancel several programs in support of Canadian
artists, including the film and television industry.
    Specifically, the Conservative Government announced quietly last Friday
that the A-V Preservation Trust ($300,000), the Canadian Independent Film and
Video Fund ($1.5-million), the National Training Schools Program
($2.5- million), PromArt ($4.7-million) and Trade Routes ($9-million) will be
eliminated as of March 31, 2009.
    "These cuts risk diminishing Canada's international reputation," says
Sandra Cunningham, Chair of the CFTPA. "Highlighting Canadian culture on the
world stage not only benefits artists, it also helps generate tourism,
immigration, business and investment back in Canada. Limiting international
exposure of Canadian excellence is a short-sighted move by the government."
    "While the government maintains that it wants to encourage trade and
coproduction to attract foreign investment, we find it paradoxical that it has
chosen to eliminate the Trade Routes program which has a specific mandate to
help companies in our sector export," said Claire Samson, President and CEO of
the APFTQ. "And, these cuts are in addition to the government's refusal to
respond to the needs of our community for increased support to feature films,
theatrical documentaries and co-production."
    The government has also not yet indicated whether it will continue to
contribute to both the Canadian Television Fund (CTF) and the Canada New Media
Fund (CNMF) which technically wind-down at the end of March 2009. To date
there has been no indication on what the government plans to do with these
programs which are integral to the viability of the independent television and
interactive media production sectors.
    "We are concerned that cuts to Canadian cultural funds will harm the film
and television industry at a time when many producers are looking at what
impact the internet and other federal funding policies will have on them in
years to come," says Guy Mayson, President and CEO of the CFTPA. "We need to
remind the government of this to make certain our industry isn't slowly
chipped away by successive cuts to the support programs that ensure its
viability and success."
    The associations underscore that the cuts to the CIFVF and the National
Training Schools Program will equally undermine the industry. The Canadian
Independent Film and Video Fund supports a critical niche in our industry; one
focussed on lifelong learning in the non-theatrical sector, and most often
supporting the early works of young, upcoming producers. Moreover, the
National Training Schools Program helps support the professional development
of the next generation of creators in our industry. Some of Canada's most
internationally renowned producers and creators have emerged from the national
institutes supported by this program.
    In response to these latest cuts, the CFTPA jointly with the APFTQ have
written to the ministers of Canadian Heritage and Foreign Affairs to request
an urgent meeting to discuss the future of the industry. Annually, the film
and television sector generates about $5 billion in production activity,
including $1.7 billion in exports, and sustains 127,000 direct and indirect

    The CFTPA is a non-profit trade organization that works on behalf of
almost 400 companies engaged in the production and distribution of
English-language television programs, feature films, and interactive media
products in all regions of Canada. More specifically, it promotes the general
interests of its members provincially, federally, and internationally;
negotiates and manages labour agreements with guilds and unions; administers
copyright collectives; trains new industry entrants through 7 national
internship programs; and undertakes a number of other specific initiatives
that help increase awareness and enhance communication within the Canadian and
international production communities.

    The APFTQ represents the vast majority of film and independent production
companies in Quebec. It represents and defends the interests of its members
with governments and film- and television- related organizations, both federal
and provincial; offers its members consulting services on industrial
relations, copyright, financing and taxation; negotiates collective agreements
with Quebec-based artists' associations and technicians' unions; organizes an
annual convention involving the industry's key players; publishes an annual
economic profile of the production sector; provides various training and
professional development opportunities; and intervenes on international issues
such as coproduction, copyright and cultural diversity.

For further information:

For further information: Anne Trueman, Director of Communications and
Media, CFTPA, (613) 233-1444 x 227, C: (613) 851-4538,;
Céline Pelletier, Director of Communications, APFTQ, (514) 397-8600 x 228,

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