Tag Archives: Writer’s Guild of Canada

Writers Guild of Canada: CRTC decision spells potential disaster

From a media release:

Yesterday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) dealt a major blow to Canadian screenwriters — and Canadian audiences. In its decision on licence renewals for Bell, Corus, and Rogers, the Commission rolled back the broadcasters’ minimum financial contributions to Canadian drama and other programing.

This despite the fact that the WGC’s modest proposal to the CRTC, reflecting well-researched data, asked only for the maintenance of the status quo in terms of broadcasters’ financial contributions towards “programs of national interest” (PNI). PNI includes drama, documentary, and some children’s programming, programing that is at the heart of Canadian on-screen entertainment. But the CRTC set PNI spending minimums for broadcasters at 5%, basically cutting them by up to 44% for certain groups.

“This could mean the devastation of Canadian domestic production,” says Maureen Parker, Executive Director of the WGC. “These cuts potentially amount to over a $200 million loss for PNI over a five-year licence term. Canadian screenwriters only work on domestic productions, not on American shows filming in Canada, and if there is not enough work for them they will simply leave. Once our talent pool is gone you can’t get it back.”

CRTC chair Jean-Pierre Blais, a Harper appointee who has allowed the CRTC to become greatly diminished, has also set us on a course that will make it more and more difficult for Canadians to view stories about ourselves. This, despite the fact that it is only our Canadianness that distinguishes us: Our compassion, our humour, our concern about issues such as cultural diversity, healthcare, and the environment. A Canadian culture that cannot speak to Canadianness through its own storytelling is not Canada. We should not accept it. Nor should the Liberal government.

The headline of the CRTC’s own press release announcing the decision is, “The CRTC supports the production of original content.” This can only be viewed as fake news. There is nothing meaningful about specifically original production in these decisions. The release goes on to claim that the CRTC “ensures on stable funding for Canadian production in all program categories, by focusing especially on dramas, documentaries, and musical and variety shows.” This is patently untrue, given the reduction of PNI requirements. And, since broadcaster spending on PNI also typically attracts investment from other sources like the Canada Media Fund, the potential total impact could be double or triple the $200 million drop in PNI investments themselves.

“If Canadian programming is expendable,” says Maureen Parker, “Why protect the big private broadcasters? What is the CRTC’s purpose if not to ensure that spending on the creation of Canadian drama, documentary, and children’s programming is at the very least maintained? It’s almost as though the very body intended to promote Canadian programming — the CRTC — is actively working to erode it.”


Announcing the WGC Screenwriting Awards Finalists

From a media release:

The Writers Guild of Canada is pleased to announce this year’s WGC Screenwriting Awards finalists. These are the only awards in Canada to focus solely on screenwriting talent. Screenwriters’ scripts for Kim’s Convenience, Odd Squad, Letterkenny, X Company, Private Eyes, Wynonna Earp, 19-2, Degrassi: Next Class and more are up for awards.

The 2017 awards mark the return of a talented duo: Awards host, screenwriter, stand-up comedian, and actor Laurie Elliott, and awards show writer, screenwriter and stand-up comedian Terry McGurrin.

This year the WGC introduces a new category, Best Script from a Rookie Series. Other awards categories include: Children’s, Documentary, Feature Film, MOW and Miniseries, TV Comedy, TV Drama, and Tweens & Teens.

The WGC congratulates all of our awards finalists. Please see below for the full list of nominated screenwriters and scripts.

Numb Chucks, Season 2 “The Chucks Get Stuck in a Hole”
Written by Josh Gal

Odd Squad, Season 2 “Drop Gadget Repeat”
Written by Tim McKeon

Odd Squad, Season 2 “Failure to Lunch”
Written by Mark De Angelis

Not Criminally Responsible: Wedding Secrets
Written by John Kastner

Quebec My Country Mon Pays
Written by John Walker

Written by Tony Elliott

Written by Sherry White

Two Lovers and a Bear
Written by Kim Nguyen

Bruno & Boots: Go Jump in the Pool
Written by Adam Barken

Odd Squad: The Movie
Story by Mark De Angelis, Tim McKeon / Teleplay by Mark De Angelis, Tim McKeon, Adam Peltzman

Written by Dennis Foon

Letterkenny, Season 1 “Ain’t No Reason to Get Excited”
Written by Jared Keeso & Jacob Tierney

Private Eyes, Season 1 “Family Jewels”
Written by Shelley Eriksen

Second Jen, Season 1 “Couch Surfing”
Written by Amanda Joy & Samantha Wan

Wynonna Earp, Season 1 “Bury Me With My Guns On”
Written by Alexandra Zarowny

Kim’s Convenience, Season 1 “Ddong Chim”
Written by Garry Campbell

Kim’s Convenience, Season 1 “Janet’s Photos”
Written by Ins Choi & Kevin White

Letterkenny, Season 1 “Super Soft Birthday”
Written by Jared Keeso & Jacob Tierney

19-2, Season 3 “Fall”
Written by Nikolijne Troubetzkoy

This Life, Season 2 “Destruction as Creation”
Written by Celeste Parr

X Company, Season 2 “August 19th”
Written by Stephanie Morgenstern & Mark Ellis

Degrassi: Next Class, Season 2 “#CheckYourPrivilege”
Written by Cole Bastedo

Degrassi: Next Class, Season 1 “#TeamFollowBack”
Written by Ian MacIntyre

Degrassi: Next Class, Season 2 “#TurntUp”
Written by Courtney Jane Walker

Degrassi: Next Class, Season 1 “#YesMeansYes”
Written by Alejandro Alcoba


Video: Canadian Screenwriter Simon Racioppa: Telling Canadian Stories

From the Writers Guild of Canada:

Telling Canadian Stories. Telling Canadians Stories. On all screens.

Canadian screenwriters write for all screens bringing a Canadian point of view to Canadian and worldwide audiences. If we don’t tell our own stories, who will? In this video, Canadian screenwriter Simon Racioppa talks about why our stories matter.


Video: Telling Canadian stories. Telling CanadianS stories. Stories that travel the world.

From The Writers Guild of Canada:

Telling Canadian Stories. Telling Canadians Stories. On all screens.

Canadian screenwriters write for all screens bringing a Canadian point of view to Canadian and worldwide audiences. If we don’t tell our own stories, who will? In this video, Metis screenwriter Penny Gummerson talks about growing up in the north, her search for meaning and why she writes about family, healing and home.

Canadian screenwriters are among the best. They’re the only creators who reflect a Canadian perspective for audiences at home and around the globe — on all screens. And we want to share our pride in Canadian screenwriters with every Canadian.

The Writers Guild of Canada is proud to present the first in a short series of animated videos featuring Canadian screenwriters sharing personal anecdotes. You’ll find out why they’re passionate about what they do, and where they live. First, Penny Gummerson. She’s an award-winning Métis screenwriter (Strange EmpireArctic AirHeartlandMoccasin Flats).

As the Department of Canadian Heritage wraps its “Canadian Content in a Digital World” consultations, and on the eve of the CRTC’s group-licence renewals, it’s timely to celebrate and promote Canadian screenwriters. After all, watching screen-based entertainment is phenomenally popular, and we all want to make sure the work of our Canadian screenwriters continues to be watched at home and world-wide.