Thursday, September 25, 2008


For immediate release

Toronto, 15 August 2008...The Directors Guild of Canada has written the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to protest the recent abolition of two international cultural promotion programs, Trade Routes and PromArt, designed to assist the arts and the cultural industries gain access to foreign markets. The relatively small investments made by these programs have generated large returns over the years, and their loss will severely limit the ability of the film, television and new media sector to explore and exploit foreign marketing possibilities.

"We are gravely concerned by these recent decisions," said Sturla Gunnarsson, acclaimed director and President of the Guild, "and will be seeking meetings with both Ministers to encourage their reconsideration. Given the size of our market and the current state of our industry, now is the time to strengthen, not abolish, such key programs," he went on to say.

The $4.7 million PromArt program administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the $9.0 million Trade Routes program of the Department of Canadian Heritage have played a vital role in enabling organizations and individuals from the film, television and new media industry explore and exploit international marketing opportunities.

The federal government also announced this week the termination of the $2.5 million National Training Program in the Film and Video Sector and support to the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, both programs administered by the Department of Canadian Heritage. The loss of these programs is of similarly great concern to the Guild.

DGC National Executive Director and CEO Brian Anthony said "Now is the time for the federal government to recommit to its vitally important role in the cultural life of Canada, and reinforce its programs of direct and indirect investment. Thanks to federal partnership, we have accomplished much in recent decades," Anthony added, "and need to work together to build on our accomplishments and forge a more vibrant and competitive future for our sector."

The film, television and new media industry in 2006-2007 accounted for just under 5 billion dollars, and generated 126,900 jobs - - 48,800 directly involved in production and 78,100 in providing goods and services to the production industry. That year, a total of 9,090 hours of Canadian television programming was produced, as well as 96 theatrical films.

About the Directors Guild of Canada
The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) is a national labour organization that represents over 3,800 key creative and logistical personnel in the film and television industry covering all areas of direction, design, production and editing. The DGC negotiates and administers collective agreements and lobbies extensively on issues of concern for members including Canadian content conditions, CRTC regulations and ensuring that funding is maintained for Canadian film and television programming.

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