Vancouver Film Commission Welcomes Federal–NETFLIX Agreement

  • October 5, 2017

On September 28, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Netflix announced an agreement that will see the company create Netflix Canada – a first-of-its-kind production company for Netflix outside of the United States – and invest a minimum of CAD $500 million in original productions in Canada over the next five years.

The agreement includes, among others, the following undertakings by Netflix:

  • Establishing a permanent, multi-purpose film and television production presence in Canada, the first time that the company has done so outside the United States
  • Investing at least CAD $500 million over the next five years in original productions in Canada that will be distributed across Netflix’s global platform. As part of this investment, Netflix will continue to work with Canadian producers, production houses, broadcasters, creators and other partners to produce original Canadian content in both English and French
  • Supporting Canadian French-language content on the Netflix platform through a market development strategy for Canada. Centered on a CAD $25 million investment, this strategy will include “pitch days” for producers, recruitment events and other promotional and market development activities
  • Ensuring that Canadians and Netflix members around the world find Canadian films and television shows on the Netflix Service by highlighting and promoting those productions on its global platform

Here is Vancouver Film Commissioner David Shepheard’s take on why this is great news for Canada in general, and Vancouver in particular:

NETFLIX’s commitment to invest $500 million into Canadian IP – with a potential global distribution platform by the same company – will be an enormous boost for Canadian content creators.

The Vancouver Film Commission (VFC) congratulates Minister Joly on negotiating this major investment from NETFLIX. The business model and delivery systems of the Film & Media industry are in a period of rapid change, and this new, focussed approach in securing strong partnerships with global players is a unique one. The Minister demonstrated foresight by entering negotiations with one of the industry’s most powerful players; her success has secured significant investment into Canadian companies producing original, world-class content. We hope her leadership and openness will encourage other companies to follow NETFLIX‘s example.

NETFLIX already invests millions of dollars into the Vancouver and B.C. economy through the production of recent shows like A Series of Unfortunate Events, Altered Carbon, and Travelers. Canadian producers (especially Vancouver-based talent) have been trusted business partners of NETFLIX for years, contracted to produce shows from other countries. We see this investment by NETFLIX as an opportunity to fulfill our objectives of turning our talent-rich community of contractors into suppliers.

The next step is to assist Vancouver’s creative community in securing a significant amount of this investment. This will be another catalyst in Vancouver’s metamorphosis from a top-notch service hub to a globally renowned production hub and the Vancouver Film Commission is prepared to throw its full support behind this objective. This commitment aligns directly with the Vancouver Economic Commission’s mandate to attract more foreign direct investment into IP and content creation – goals that enable the long-term business prospects and overall strength of our world-class production community.


3cec242David Shepheard

David Shepheard is Vancouver’s first Film Commissioner and Director of the new Vancouver Film Commission. He is a seasoned industry leader bringing over 16 years of experience as a film commissioner to the table. Formerly of Film London and Abu Dhabi Film Commission, David also played key roles in setting up multiple other film commissions and agencies around the world.