Netflix Inc. recently announced plans for it’s first production unit outside of the United States, and it will happen right here in Canada. Furthermore, the media giant stated that it plans on spending $500 million on Canadian productions over the next five years.
The news came as something of a surprise because just last month Netflix announced that it had spent $6 billion on programming, despite retaining over $4 billion in debt. Despite the massive spending and large debt, Netflix remains one of the world’s top media platforms and its stock is higher than ever.
Regardless, the company’s new Canadian initiative is a very exciting prospect for all Canadian filmmakers, actors, and businessmen. This is the biggest move the Canadian entertainment industry has seen in a very long time, perhaps ever.
The deal came about between Netflix and the Government of Canada. After the announcement some wondered if Netflix had simply introduced the new initiative as a means of receiving a tax break from the Government, however Netflix were quick to assuage those concerns:
“We have not made any deals about taxes. Our investment was approved under the Investment Canada Act. No tax deals were part of the approval to launch our new Canadian presence…Netflix follows tax laws everywhere we operate. Under Canadian law, foreign online services like Netflix aren’t required to collect and remit sales tax.”
As per the agreement, here are some highlights of what you can expect from the deal between the Government of Canada and Netflix:
- Establishing a permanent, multi-purpose film and television production presence here in Canada, the first time that the company has done so outside the United States.
- Investing at least CAD $500 million over the next five years in original productions in Canada that will be distributed across Netflix’s global platform. As part of this investment, Netflix will continue to work with Canadian producers, production houses, broadcasters, creators and other partners to produce original Canadian content in both English and French.
- Supporting Canadian French-language content on the Netflix platform through a market development strategy for Canada. Centered on a CAD $25 million investment, this strategy will include “pitch days” for producers, recruitment events and other promotional and market development activities.
- Ensuring that Canadians and Netflix members around the world find Canadian films and television shows on the Netflix Service by highlighting and promoting those productions on its global platform.
This is great news for the Canadian entertainment industry as a whole. Rising tides lift all boats and that’s hopefully what we will see with this influx of cash and production in the Canadian world of film and TV.
So if you’re an aspiring actor or filmmaker living in Canada, there has never been a better time to knuckle down and grind until you get the part you were born to play. You could be part of Netflix’s next big show.