×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Praise but no raise

Canuck minister lauds biz, cuts funding

MONTREAL — Canadian Heritage Minister Liza Frulla came to Montreal on Tuesday to praise the country’s film and TV industry — and to order the main cultural agencies to cut budgets by 5%.

This mixed message didn’t go down well with producers and broadcasters at the luncheon speech. “It’s bizarre when you have (government) surpluses as far as the eye can see,” said Arnie Gelbart, prexy of Montreal production company Galafilm, whose production credits include the “Cirque du Soleil Fire Within” series. “The system is already seriously underfunded. They’re cutting money when they should be rethinking the whole film and TV system.” Mario Clement, general manager of programming at French-language pubcaster Radio-Canada Television, said a 5% cut would hit programming.

“Each time there are cuts there are major repercussions,” Clement said.

Frulla said the Heritage Ministry has asked pubcaster CBC, film-funding agency Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board, to suggest ways to make the savings, which she called “reallocations.”

“The ministry is sitting down with each agency to see if they can make the reduction,” Frulla said.

“But if they say it’s impossible … then I’ll fight for them. That’s why I say it’s a reallocation, not a cut. But I can’t make any guarantees.”

CBC receives C$927.4 million ($751 million) annually from the federal government, so a 5% cut would cost it around $37 million. CBC learned last week that its parliamentary allocation was also being reduced by $8 million this year.

The NFB receives $49 million annually from Ottawa, and its annual federal grant was permanently cut by $405,000 this year.

“Any cut is a big deal for us,” said Laurie Jones, director of communications at the NFB. “In 1996, we were cut by 30%, and we haven’t had subsequent increases.”

Telefilm Canada, which funds film and TV production, has a parliamentary appropriation of $105 million. The Canadian Television Fund, one of the main funders of TV production, has not been asked to reduce its budget.

Prime Minister Paul Martin’s government has committed to maintaining its $81 million grant to the fund for the next two years, but the new round of cuts could still affect it because it also receives $36 million from Telefilm each year.

More Scene

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream hosted by AT&T and from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized [...]

  • Emile Hirsch, Matt SmileyEmile Hirsch hosts

    Emile Hirsch Hosts Smiley Face Art Opening at Mondrian Hotel

    Despite the rain on Wednesday night in West Hollywood, there were plenty of smiles inside the Mondrian hotel thanks to artist Matt Smiley‘s Refresh exhibition. Not only is Smiley his real last name, but several of his paintings and other pieces in the exhibit feature smiley faces. “I’ve seen more smiley symbolism lately, and I’ve [...]

  • Randall Park, left, and Constance Wu

    Constance Wu Wants Her 'Fresh Off the Boat' Co-Star Randall Park to Host the Oscars

    While the Academy may have decided to go hostless for this year’s Oscars, that doesn’t mean the rest of Hollywood has stopped thinking about who would be a good choice for the emceeing gig. Former host Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested Ken Jeong. Jeong said, when he was a guest on “The View,” Goldberg told him [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content