Netflix is going to be dropping some coin in the Great White North.
Under an agreement with the government of Canada, Netflix has agreed to invest a minimum of $500 million Canadian (about $400 million U.S.) in original productions in the country over the next five years.
Netflix will establish a permanent, multipurpose film and TV production presence in Canada — the first time that the company has done so outside the U.S. With its spending commitment, Netflix will work with Canadian producers, production houses, broadcasters, and other partners to produce original Canadian content in both English and French.
“Today’s announcement affirms there’s more to come as Netflix launches Netflix Canada, our permanent production presence in Canada,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing our work with Canadian talent, producers, broadcasters, and other local partners to create Netflix originals in Canada for many years to come.”
Of course, Netflix has already been doing biz in Canada. In announcing the pact, the Canadian government called out “Alias Grace,” a co-production of CBC, Netflix and Halfire Entertainment.” The adaption of Margaret Atwood’s novel, starring Anna Paquin and Sara Gadon, will air on CBC Television in Canada and will stream on Netflix globally. The six-hour miniseries, written and produced by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron, is set to premiere Nov. 3 on the streaming service.
Netflix also teamed with CBC on “Anne,” a retelling of “Anne of Green Gables,” which premiered in March. In addition, Netflix has brought back mockumentary series “Trailer Park Boys,” shot in Nova Scotia, for multiple seasons; and the streamer co-produced sci-fi series “Travelers,” starring Eric McCormack, which was shot on location in Vancouver.
Part of the Netflix agreement with the Canadian government specifically covers French-language content on the Netflix platform. That’s centered on a $25 million Canadian investment pledge by Netflix to stage “pitch days” for producers, as well as recruitment events and other promotional and market development activities.
Like numerous countries around the world, Canada has sought ways to funnel entertainment production money into its country from tech giants like Netflix.
“We are encouraged to see global online platforms highlighting the great talent that Canada has to offer,” the Canadian government says in its newly released Creative Canada policy framework statement, citing companies like Netflix, YouTube, and Facebook. “But we also know that digital platforms can – and must – do more.”
The government of Canada pegs arts and culture as representing a $54.6 billion industry in the country, providing direct jobs for more than 630,000 Canadians.