It has been announced that Netflix will create a brand new presence in Canada, dubbed Netflix Canada.
In an address from Ottawa, Heritage Minister Melanie Joly outlined a vision for Creative Canada. This is the first time the streaming giant has created a presence outside the U.S. and marks a significant milestone in Canada’s partnerships with innovative companies. Netflix will invest a minimum of $500 million over five years to create original productions in Canada in both official languages.
Netflix has also committed to spending $25 million in a market development strategy for French-language content and production. This will happen within Quebec and Francophone communities across the country and will include pitch days for producers, recruitment events, and other promotional activities.
The streaming platform will also work to promote Canadian films and shows to make sure they are discovered not only by Canadian citizens but global audiences as well.
“This is what is possible, this is what we expect, and this is the type of commitment we will work to achieve with other platforms, as well,” said Joly. “So that our creators and industries remain strong, valued and, ultimately, Canadian.”
Netflix has partnered with Canadian broadcasters before, working with the CBC on shows like Anne and Alias Grace, Showcase and Travellers, and Discovery with Frontier.
Joly’s speech began with a question to the country: “Why has culture always mattered to Canadians? Why should it matter now?”
It is clear that the federal government wants to work with outside companies and foster growth within the country. They have done so by promising no taxes on internet or cable services, a hot-button issue that had many citizens outraged when they found out the government wanted to charge a bit more each month for a service like Netflix.
“In our vision, Canada is a world leader in the quality of its creative industries, with creators empowered to make great content that stands out at home and around the world,” said Joly. “And that Canada is a pioneer in ensuring there is a space online for a diversity of voices at home and abroad, including Canadian content in French and English, multicultural and Indigenous expression.”