Canada’s film and TV production sector faces $2.5 billion hit due to COVID-19

In a statement released on April 21, the Canadian Media Producers Association released new numbers that illustrate the significant negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the country’s film and television production sector. Projections based on historical data from the CMPA’s economic report, Profile, show that a production shutdown lasting from mid-March until the end of June will put as much as $2.5 billion in production volume – made up of both domestic and foreign location production – at risk. Such a shutdown would impact up to 172,000 jobs across the country. A summary of these numbers is available here:

“Much like the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors, COVID-19 has brought media production in Canada to a screeching halt,” said Reynolds Mastin, President and CEO, CMPA. “These numbers should serve as a wakeup call for what’s at stake, and motivate us all to work together to ensure the industry can get back on its feet as quickly as possible once this crisis ends.”

The timing of the pandemic shutdown has hit the industry particularly hard given that spring and early summer is one of the busiest times of the year for the sector, a time when production ramps up and the hiring of cast and crew reaches one of its peak periods. The projections indicate that up to $1.4 billion of the production spending at risk is money that would be spent on labour.

“The federal government has taken an active interest in the impact on our sector, and I’d like to specifically thank the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Steven Guilbeault, for the recently-announced COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations,” added Mastin. “We look forward to working with the Minister, his staff, and the federal funding bodies to develop a plan to direct this support toward the individuals and companies working in production who have been hit hard by the fallout from COVID-19.”

The report, prepared by Nordicity, can be downloaded here.

In the coming days, the CMPA will also release results of the national production impact survey, developed to quantify the corporate costs associated with the production shutdowns and forced delays caused by COVID-19.

— Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA)

— AB

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