Tag Archives: WGC

WGC and CMPA Ratify Extension of Independent Production Agreement

From a media release:

The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) and the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) today announced that an 18-month extension to the CMPA/WGC Independent Production Agreement (IPA) has been ratified by both parties. The current IPA will now expire on December 31, 2023. The IPA establishes the terms, conditions and rates for writers, story editors, and story consultants.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that protects Canadian screenwriters and maintains our strong relationship with the CMPA”, says WGC President Alex Levine. “As our government looks to modernize the Broadcasting Act with Bill C-11, our relationship with our producing partners is more
important than ever.”

“This extension will create a welcome foundation of stability for all involved, as the industry continues to recover from the challenges of the pandemic,” said Sean Porter, Vice President, National Industrial Relations and Counsel, CMPA. “We thank our negotiating partners at the WGC for their commitment and diligent work throughout these negotiations.”

The two groups reached an agreement in principle in May after constructive negotiations between the parties. As part of the newly ratified agreement, the minimum Script Fees in effect from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, will increase by 3 percent effective on July 1, 2022. The budget thresholds under the Low-Budget Television Production Incentive will also increase by 3 percent effective on July 1, 2022.


Writers Guild of Canada releases new equity, diversity and inclusion data

From a media release:

The Writers Guild of Canada has released a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Report with 2020 data. The initiative is part of the WGC and its Diversity Committee’s efforts to work towards addressing issues of historic underrepresentation in Canadian television. (Diversity groups are defined by the WGC as Indigenous, Black, LGBTQ2S, People of Colour, People Living with Disabilities.)

The new report provides membership data from 2017 to 2020, and includes contract data from 62 live-action and animated series that started production in 2020, in addition to the 280 series previously covered in the period from 2017 to 2019.

The data shows some marked increases between 2019 and 2020 in key credit categories, including:

  • The share of writers from underrepresented communities receiving upper-level staffing credits increased in multiple categories, including Co-Executive Producer (from 25% in 2019 to 28% in 2020) and Consulting Producer (from 24% in 2019 to 33% in 2020).
  • The combined share of Black and People of Colour who received credits for entry-level Story Editor and Executive Story Editor positions rose in 2020 by 14% to 46.9% and by 5.5% to 52.6%, respectively. Both categories of credits have reached a parity zone, when population numbers in urban centres where writers’ rooms are often located are considered (visible minorities make 54% of the population in Toronto and 51% in Vancouver).
  • Black writers have made strides to achieve representation in live action that is on-par with population numbers. The percentage of Black writers in live-action writers’ rooms increased from 8% in 2019 to 9.2% in 2020 and is slightly higher than population numbers in highly dense population centres like Toronto and Montreal. Other indicators such as writing credits show that there is still room for improvement.

Other observations on the 2020 data include:

  • The participation of Indigenous writers decreased across the board in 2020. The share of Indigenous writers working on Canadian TV dropped to 1% in 2020 from 4% in 2019. No Indigenous writers were engaged in animation productions during the same period.
  • The share of East Asian (1.4% in 2019 to 2.8% in 2020) and South Asian (3.2% in 2019 to 3.6% in 2020) writers increased slightly, but there’s still work to do to achieve representation on-par with Canadian population numbers.
  • The share of writing credits received by LGBTQ2S writers decreased across different formats. In live action, credits dropped from 8.6% in 2019 to 6.9% in 2020. When it comes to animation, writing credits going to LGBTQ2S writers decreased from 4.1% to 1.7% during the same period.

The full report is now available on the WGC’s website HERE.


The WGC announces new president, council

From a media release:

The Writers Guild of Canada is pleased to announce that showrunner Dennis Heaton is the WGC’s new president, elected by WGC council to serve the 2,200 members of the Guild from May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2020. Dennis is an award-winning screenwriter based in Vancouver; currently showrunner of the upcoming Netflix show, The Order.

“We’re very excited to work with Dennis,” says WGC Executive Director Maureen Parker. “His showrunning experience will hold us in good stead as we go into Independent Production Agreement bargaining within the next year.”

Dennis has been a member of the WGC since 2001 and has served on the Guild’s council since 2012. He was showrunner of the internationally renowned police procedural Motive (CTV/ABC seasons one and two), and has written for The Listener and Blood Ties, among other shows.

“It’s great to be the new WGC president,” says Heaton. “I’m looking forward to building on the Guild’s past successes, as well as facing the challenges ahead.”

In addition to electing a new president, the Guild also has a new council, responsible for setting policies and overseeing Guild activities. The 2018-20 WGC council is made up of experienced screenwriter members from across the country: Vice President Andrew Wreggitt (Mayerthorpe), Treasurer Mark Ellis (X Company), Marsha Greene (Mary Kills People), Alex Levine (Orphan Black), Anne-Marie Perrotta (Max & Ruby), and Michael Amo (Pure).

The WGC’s new council, along with Executive Director Maureen Parker, is ready to move ahead in a time of industry flux, and to continue the Guild’s ongoing work on behalf of Canadian screenwriters.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Announcing the WGC Screenwriting Awards finalists celebrating Canada’s screenwriters

From a media release:

Every powerful show, movie or webseries comes from an equally powerful script — the work of talented screenwriters. The WGC Screenwriting Awards celebrate Canadian screenwriters and the scripts they write in a gala evening hosted this year by Gavin Crawford, writer, comedian, and host of CBC Radio’s Because News. Gavin’s long-time accomplice, screenwriter Kyle Tingley, is this year’s awards show writer.

In contention: scripts from shows, films, and webseries including Alias Grace (Sarah Polley), Cardinal (Aubrey Nealon), Mary Kills People (Tara Armstrong), Kim’s Convenience (Matt Kippen, Anita Kapila), Letterkenny (Jared Keeso & Jacob Tierney), Allure (Carlos & Jason Sanchez), The Hundred-Year-Old-Whale (Mark Leiren-Young), Spiral (Karen McClellan), The Bagel and Becky Show (Evan Thaler Hickey) and many others. Please see below for the complete list of categories and finalists.

The Bagel and Becky Show, Season 1 “The 12 Quadrillion Days of Christmas”
Written by Evan Thaler Hickey

Mysticons, Season 1 “Heart of Gold”
Written by Elize Morgan

Mysticons, Season 1 “Sisters in Arms”
Written by Sean Jara

The Hundred-Year-Old Whale
Written by Mark Leiren-Young

The Road Forward
Written by Marie Clements

The Taming of the Queue
Written by Josh Freed

Written by Carlos & Jason Sanchez

Written by Jason Filiatrault

Indian Horse
Written by Dennis Foon

The Man Who Invented Christmas
Written by Susan Coyne

Alias Grace “Part 5”
Written by Sarah Polley

Anne of Green Gables: Fire and Dew
Written by Susan Coyne

Bruno & Boots: This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall!
Written by Adam Barken & Mike McPhaden

Bruno & Boots: The Wizzle War
Written by Mike McPhaden

Anne, Season 1 “I Am No Bird, and No Net Ensnares Me”
Written by Moira Walley-Beckett

Bellevue, Season 1 “You Don’t Understand Me At All”
Written by Jane Maggs

Ghost Wars, Season 1 “Whatever Happened to Maggie Rennie”
Written by Rachel Langer

The Drop In
Written by Naledi Jackson

Hotel Transylvania: “Who’s the Boss?”
Written by Mike D’Ascenzo

Spiral, Episode 101 “The Girl in the Dream”
Written by Karen McClellan

Kim’s Convenience, Season 2 “Business Award”
Written by Matt Kippen

Kim’s Convenience, Season 2 “Resting Place”
Written by Anita Kapila

Letterkenny, Season 2 “Relationships”
Written by Jared Keeso & Jacob Tierney

Still Standing, Season 3 “Fort McMurray”
Written by Jonny Harris, Fraser Young, Graham Chittenden and Steve Dylan

Cardinal, Season 1 “John Cardinal”
Written by Aubrey Nealon

Mary Kills People, Season 1 “Bloody Mary”
Written by Tara Armstrong

Pure, Season 1 “Ordination”
Written by Michael Amo

X Company, Season 3 “Promises”
Written by Nicolas Billon

Degrassi: Next Class, Season 4 “#FactsOnly”
Written by Courtney Jane Walker

Degrassi: Next Class, Season 4 “#RollUpToTheClubLike”
Written by Matt Huether

Raising Expectations, Season 1 “Food Fight at the Algonquin”
Written by Barbara Haynes

The Stanley Dynamic, Season 2 “The Stanley Cheer”
Written by Matt Kippen



Todd & The Book of Pure Evil’s Ian Malone on his WGC Screenwriting Award Nomination

IanMaloneThis year’s Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award winners will be announced on April 22. We’ve been catching up with many of the writers nominated in the comedy and drama categories. Todd and the Book of Pure Evil‘s Ian Malone is nominated (along with Craig David Wallace and Charles Picco) for their episode “B.Y.O.B.O.P.E.”

Can you describe the episode “B.Y.O.B.O.P.E.” and how it fit into the Todd & the Book of Pure Evil season?

The episode started out as a chance to see what our heroes are like after hours.  What do they like to do when they’re not fighting monsters?  How do they relax?  We thought a great place to take them (a quintessentially high school place) would be a house party.  I think this was the longest period of time we got to see our kids outside of the high school, so it was exciting if you were a fan of the show.  It opened up the world a bit.  We also knew that this was always going to be a mythology-heavy episode, with some big answers to lingering questions, so that stuff was serviced.  Those reveals launched the story toward the events of the finale (an awesome episode written & directed by Craig).

What was the biggest triumph in this particular episode?

On top of getting all the mythology stuff into the story and making it surprising and satisfying, it’s an episode about a house party, and a house party needs to look and feel like jam-packed non-stop good times. Usually it’s one kid a week using the book, but we thought, “If the house is packed, let’s have a million kids use the book!” That’s hyperbole. But we did end up having the book fall into three or four different hands. I’m particularly proud of how we kept the various story threads intertwined. There’s everything going on with our gang, and everything going on with the kids at the party, and all the stuff with Atticus pretending that he’s a teenager named Scooter. And it all tracks! I hope.

What does this recognition mean to you?

It means a lot to me. A couple years ago I was a sweaty, nervous story coordinator trying to find the courage to pitch lines in a story room. Now I’m a sweaty, nervous WGC Award nominee for my second produced script ever! It’s nice to be recognized by other writers, and if nothing else it’s a pat on the back that says, “Hey you, you’re alright.”

If there was one Canadian show that is no longer on the air that you could see honoured at this year’s awards, what would it be? (If you have a specific episode, even better).

How about a show that’s still on the air? Degrassi has been running for thirteen seasons and they’re still finding compelling character-driven stories to tell. I think people probably take it for granted because it’s been on for so long, but they shouldn’t. Ramona Barckert wrote two amazing episodes in season twelve (“Bitter Sweet Symphony” 1 & 2) that are up there with the most riveting hours of drama.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail