Open letter from the Toronto Film Board to the Leaders of all Federal Parties|
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The open letter that was sent to all federal party leaders is provided below.
The Toronto Film Board (TFB) is calling on all Federal Party Leaders to develop a comprehensive economic strategy for Canada’s screen-based industries. In an open letter, Co-Chairs Susan Murdoch and City Councillor/Budget Chief Shelley Carroll have asked all parties to address the growth of the national film, television and interactive media industries that together generated $4.97 billion in direct spending in the Canadian economy last year. More than 125,000 Canadians - 43,000 in Ontario - make their living from this green industry.
The TFB points out that: “The economy of the 21st century is based on creativity and the screen-based industries are at the heart of a creative economy.” Further, the letter indicates that federal government policies and mechanisms such as tax credits and film funding, international marketing and pro-Canadian broadcast regulation will “attract substantial private investment, create new jobs and result in significant economic multipliers.”
“I am tremendously proud of our screen-based and other creative industries in Toronto,” said Mayor David Miller. “Investing in them is to invest in the economic future of our city and our country. The Toronto Film Board is a model of industry and municipal government working together to develop policies that bolster the climate for doing business instead of impeding it. I know leaders and candidates in the current federal election will want to join us in growing a diverse and creative economy for our city and our country.”
The global market for screen-based industries is estimated at more than $300 billion. The combined annual growth rate is almost 6 per cent with video gaming leading the way at 11 per cent.
The TFB was created by Mayor David Miller in 2004 to advise the Toronto government as to policies and best practices that need to be protected and implemented in order for Toronto to remain a globally competitive leader in screen-based content creation. The TFB is Co-Chaired by both an industry leader and a City Councillor designated by the Mayor and comprised of industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and union and guild leaders.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.
Newspaper Editors: If possible, please reproduce the attached Open Letter in its entirety in your publications. The letter is also available in Portable Document Format (PDF) at: http://www.toronto.ca/committees/film-television-commercial-production.htm.
Susan Murdoch, TFB Co-Chair, 416-406-6528 ext. 3324
Councillor Shelley Carroll, TFB Co-Chair, 416-392-4038
September 25, 2008
An Open Letter to the Leaders of All Federal Parties:
Canada’s screen-based industries - film, television and interactive media - are an important economic driver in Canada and Ontario. The Toronto Film Board is calling on all parties to put forward a comprehensive strategy for the development of the screen-based industries as part of an overall economic plan for Canada.
The economic impact of the screen-based industries in terms of jobs and investment is well established and documented.
- $4.97 billion in direct spending on film and television production last year
- More than 125,000 good paying environmentally responsible jobs for ordinary Canadians across the country (43,000 in Ontario)
- Part of a $300 billion global industry which is one of the fastest growing economic sectors (almost 6% annually, with the video gaming sector mushrooming at 11%)
- Drives tourism spending, the Toronto International Film Festival alone contributes more than $200 million into the economy, and raises Toronto and Canada’s global profile
The economy of the 21st Century is based on creativity and the screen-based industries are at the heart of a creative economy.
Canada is struggling to remain competitive on the global stage, but to do so and then to capture a further share of this expanding market will require continuous attention. A partnership with the Federal Government is essential especially in the form of policies and mechanisms if the country is to succeed in the 21st century. Granted, existing tools can and should be reviewed and updated. As well, new ideas and initiatives are welcomed. Past successes do provide some direction for the future, including:
- partnership through tax and other funding mechanisms that secures the employment of ordinary Canadians and creates sustainable companies
- programs that foster innovation, industry transformation and intellectual property rights management
- international marketing efforts
- attention to New Media
- broadcast regulation which stimulates the production of Canadian drama and limits foreign ownership
Initiatives like those above attract substantial private investment, create new jobs and result in significant economic multipliers.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter over the next few weeks. We hope that you will create the opportunity for us to work together to ensure that Canada develops a significant role in the global digital economy.
Councillor and Budget Chief