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Historica Canada releases new Heritage Minutes on Residential Schools and Treaties

From a media release:

In a ground-breaking addition to its Heritage Minute collection, Historica Canada is releasing a pair of new Minutes that explore vital moments in Indigenous history: treaty-making and residential schools. The Minutes highlight darker chapters of Canadian history and come a year after the conclusion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“If Canada is going to move towards reconciliation then we have to engage in some hard truths about residential schools and treaties,” said Shane Belcourt, director of the two Minutes. “We had so much to say about the issues but only one minute. My hope is these Minutes lend themselves to a larger dialogue.”

“Chanie Wenjack” tells the story of a 12-year-old Anishinaabe boy who ran away from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in 1966. Wenjack (known as Chanie to his family, but historically as Charlie) died shortly into his journey. His death sparked the first inquiry into the conditions faced by residential school students. Wenjack’s sister, Pearl Achneepineskum, herself a survivor of residential school, shares the story in her own voice.

“Naskumituwin (Treaty)” tells the story of the signing of Treaty 9 through the eyes of a historical witness, George Spence. Spence, an 18-year-old Cree from AlbanyJames Bay, witnessed the treaty signing at Fort Albany on August 3, 1905. In the oral history tradition, Spence passed the story of the treaty signing down through his family. His great-granddaughter, Rosary Spence, shares the story as she inherited it.

The Heritage Minutes were produced by Historica Canada and Toronto-based Wabunganung Film Company Ltd. They were written by acclaimed author Joseph Boyden. Boyden and filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin provide the iconic end narration for “Wenjack” and “Treaty”, respectively. Additional educational materials for teachers are available here and here.

These Heritage Minutes were made possible through funding from the Ontario government. Historica Canada thanks Porter Airlines for its generous donation of travel vouchers for this project.


Stingray Digital Group to acquire Juicebox, MuchLoud, MuchRetro, and MuchVibe from Bell Media

From a media release:

Bell Media today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Montréal-based Stingray Digital Group Inc. (TSX: RAY.A; RAY.B) for the sale of four of its specialty services: Juicebox, MuchLoud, MuchRetro, and MuchVibe.

“These services are a perfect complement to Stingray’s strong multiplatform music portfolio,” said Mary Ann Turcke, President, Bell Media. “Divesting these channels enables us to focus our resources on Bell Media’s leading slate of specialty services while maintaining our Music First commitment with our portfolio of radio, TV, and digital platforms, including the upcoming launch of iHeartRadio in Canada.”

“Both Bell Media and Stingray recognize the tremendous potential for Canadian content services operated by broadcasters of all sizes. This transaction helps foster a more competitive broadcast environment and ultimately creates more choice for consumers by capitalizing on both companies’ strengths.”

Upon completion of the transaction, the channels will be rebranded by Stingray. The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2016. Financial terms will not be disclosed.

Nova Scotia film budget increased in 2016-17 to meet demand

From a media release:

An additional $1.5 million will be provided for projects completed this fiscal year, bringing the total budget for the program to $11.5 million for 2016-17.

“We value our film industry and we want it to be successful and stable,” said Mark Furey, Minister of Business. “We’ve been working closely with Screen Nova Scotia to monitor activity and requirements under the fund and we’re pleased to see more productions applying. This will benefit the economy with more jobs and increased spending in Nova Scotia.”

Government and industry have been monitoring all approved, pending, and anticipated applications, as well as the year each production is expected to be completed and paid out, to forecast capacity in the fund.

The Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund, introduced in July 2015, provides between 25-32 per cent of eligible costs such as labour and goods and services purchased from a Nova Scotia-based supplier.

To date, Nova Scotia Business Inc., the program administrator, has announced 17 productions representing $4.9 million in funding commitments. Those approved productions, which span several fiscal years, can be found at www.nsbi.ca/filmfunding. Continue reading.

Link: Derek Miller challenges the Canadian entertainment industry with TV show

From Lindsay Monture of Two Row Times:

Link: Derek Miller challenges the Canadian entertainment industry with TV show
Derek Miller is no stranger to the challenges of establishing freedom of expression in the face of the Canadian government. Derek’s performance variety TV series The Guilt Free Zone had been in conflict with some Canadian entertainment industry policies and had fought to bring it into its second season. Continue reading.

CRTC improves support for local news

From a media release:

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today took measures to ensure Canadians continue to have access to local programming that reflects their needs and interests.

Local News
New minimum thresholds for local news will be imposed on all local private television broadcasters. Also, through a rebalancing of resources, the large private broadcasters will now have the necessary flexibility to keep local stations open and fund the production of local news programming. This represents up to $67 million that could be available for local news.

In addition, the CRTC is creating the Independent Local News Fund to give independent stations access to approximately $23 million dollars in resources to produce high-quality local news programming.

The Independent Local News Fund will support independent operators in the following localities: VictoriaPrince GeorgeKamloopsMedicine HatLloydminsterThunder BayHamiltonRouyn-NorandaVal d’OrGatineauMontreal, Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke, Québec, Saguenay, Rivière-du-Loup, Carleton and St-John’s.

Canadians value local news and they watch it on a regular basis. Local news and information is also a key part of a democratic society. However, new technologies are making it harder to monetize viewership on traditional platforms.

Community television
The thorough public record shows that, overall, the framework for community television continues to be valid and relevant, ensuring that citizens have access to content production across Canada.

Cable companies will continue to have the stewardship of the community channel on behalf of their subscribers as they have for decades. The CRTC was not persuaded that this successful model should be changed.

Nevertheless, the CRTC is taking steps to ensure that this programming continues to reflect local citizens and events, and that more of the overall funding is directed to on-screen results rather than overhead.

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC has issued its new regulatory framework for local and community programming, following a process that began in September 2015.
  • During this process, Canadians reiterated that they place great importance on local news to stay informed.
  • Average weekly viewing hours for Canadian news and actualities broadcast by Canadian television services is over 23% of total hours viewed in the English market and over 28% in the French market.
  • The emergence of new technologies allowed Canadians to easily have access to local and international news. However, new digital media do not yet have adequate funding and the expertise necessary to replace traditional local news.
  • There are currently sufficient sources of funding within the system to fund the creation of locally produced, locally reflective programming.
  • Canada’s television system provides a strong foundation on which to build for the future. It employs nearly 60,000 people and invests more than $4 billion in public funds alone each year in the creation of content made by Canadians.
  • The allocation of some of the funding sources has been reviewed to ensure that local programming continues to be of high quality and receive adequate funding.
  • The CRTC expects broadcasters to fulfill their social responsibility to produce programming that informs and reflects local communities.
  • English-language stations will be required to broadcast at least seven hours of locally relevant programming (especially news) per week in non-metropolitan markets, and 14 hours per week in metropolitan markets (namely TorontoMontrealVancouverEdmonton and Calgary).
  • French-language stations will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, using a benchmark of five hours of local programming per week.
  • Canadians still value community television programming, especially in smaller communities.
  • In the digital era, it is increasingly easy to create and share content online at lower cost. Community channels are encouraged to make content available on multiple platforms to all Canadians.
  • The CRTC today also published a notice of consultation that launched the renewal process for television licences owned by large ownership groups.
  • The public hearing to review the applications from the French-language ownership groups, namely Bell, Corus, Québecor and Groupe V, will begin on November 22, 2016, in Laval, Quebec.
  • The public hearing to review the applications from the English-language ownership groups, namely Bell, Corus and Rogers, will begin on November 28, 2016, at our headquarters in the National Capital Region.