Today's discussion:

CanCon is a cultural scam

The Danish, the French, the Israelis, and the British do not disguise the origins of their cultural exports. They have all created recognizable national brands that are attractive to both viewers and buyers. But if nobody knows that our films and shows are Canadian, it is impossible to be proud of them or even build a category brand around them, no matter how good they are.

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Peter Menzies

The cultural argument for Cancon was long ago consumed by the economic interests of creative industry stakeholders and other CRTC co-dependents. The most important thing is not telling Canadian stories or even whether anyone watches. It’s $$$$$ – the entire system is an industrial subsidy

21st February 2024 at 7:10 am
Alice

I totally agree with the author. I think it is great that we have a film industry in Canada that uses Canadian talent, but I absolutely think we could make shows that are proud to be Canadian. Flashpoint was an excellent example. It would also help remind us that our legal system is not the US system, ie I am pretty sure we don’t have Miranda rights here. It might even help teach us about our political system and stop some of the so called importing of American ideas into our politics and cultural discussions.

Canadian content needs to be revamped to be more than money, it has to be about us.

21st February 2024 at 8:56 am
Robert Rand

Canadian shows are true gems that we should always be proud to support,, I wish CBC would hook up with Australia and New Zealand and actively trade shows,, have been watch various series from both and they are great producers and some of our production would catch on for sure..

21st February 2024 at 7:46 am
Earl Chinchilla

APTN has shows from Australia and New Zealand with an Indigenous focus.

21st February 2024 at 9:47 am
Don Morris

“Canadians said that their number one priority for the redefinition of Canadian content was to make people proud of being Canadian and to contribute to nationhood and national cohesion.”

I find that hard to believe, Canadian viewers number one priority is undoubtedly that they are entertained and feel satisfied that they are watching a quality production. I watch shows from all over the world and find their quality generally exceeds that of Canadian made shows that are very much about Canada, such as some on CBC Gem.
Maybe that’s because most of the good writers,actors and directors have to gone south to where the real fame and money is. The last unashamedly Canadian production that really was entertaining, in my opinion, was SCTV when it was produced in Edmonton.

21st February 2024 at 10:16 am
Cathy

Defining what makes us Canadian is a long standing issue. With such a diverse, multilingual nation with vast geography it’s not easy. What it means to be Canadian in Charlottetown is very different from Montreal etc. Some Canadians will say certain parts of our country have a very American feel. Perhaps if we had a definitive description of what it means to be Canadian then we could clearly define parameters for Cancon but that’s not the reality & it’s unfair to label it as a scam.

21st February 2024 at 9:41 am
Paul Attics

“Besides, surely the whole business is a little embarrassing and undignified. Making shows that deny their origins is like a colonial servant aping his masters hoping that he will be taken as one of their own. Abasement can only lead to humiliation.”

Now that is more than a stretch. Who exactly is feeling embarrassed? The gainfully employed in the sector? The award winners? Spoiler alert, it is primarily about the size of the business, the money. If that makes this a sector subsidy rather than an effort to imbue Canadian culture in entertainment and art produced here, then perhaps it should be explicit. There may well be a business case that does not rely on the vague “visibly Canadian” element.

Note, isn’t abasement, by definition, humiliation?

21st February 2024 at 9:34 am
Robert Rand

I find most of your articles are always negative towards those in power,, and you never seem to provide an alternative from the opposition,, hearing the opinions of your writers is not really relevant

21st February 2024 at 7:50 am
SH

A pretty ‘skewed’ opinion. Notice he does not include ‘French Canadian’ production. Somehow I know most of the examples he cites are Canadian, made in Canada about Canada. It is also great they can produce product here that employs Canadians, but stands in as USA cities. I know where shows like GOT, Vikings and LOTR are made…even if it is not mentioned in the stories, kind of hard as they are fantasy stories!

21st February 2024 at 7:16 am