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Canadian TV Pioneer Patrick Watson Dies at 92

Patrick Watson, a veteran Canadian actor, producer, TV host and one-time chairman of pubcaster CBC/Radio-Canada, has died. He was 92. Watson died on Monday of natural causes; no further details were available. “From his start as a teen actor on CBC Radio’s The Kootenay Kid, to his storied career with CBC News and his time […]

CBC Faces Minimum Spending Requirements for Program Diversity

The CBC/Radio Canada, Canada’s public broadcaster, has had its federal broadcast license renewed to 2027, but the strings attached include first-time obligations to support indie TV producers from “equity-seeking” communities. The CRTC, the country’s TV and telecom watchdog will require that CBC’s English-language services direct at least 30 percent of overall programming expenditures to local […]

Directors Guild of Canada B.C. Reaches Tentative Deal With American, Local Producers

The Directors Guild of Canada’s British Columbia branch has reached a tentative deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, representing Hollywood producers, and its local counterpart, the Canadian Media Producers Association. “As of this afternoon, the DGC BC has reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP and the CMPA. We are finalizing […]

Toronto Posts $2.5B in Film, TV Production Activity in 2021

Thanks to local U.S. series shoots for See, Star Trek Discovery, Titans and Reacher and new soundstages opening their doors, Toronto posted a record $2.5 billion in production activity in 2021, it was announced on Friday. That production volume from 1468 projects — comprising budgets for $1.37 billion in major film and TV series, $409 […]

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively Donate $500,000 to Indigenous-Focused Safe Water Charity

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have donated half a million dollars to Canadian charity Water First Education & Training Inc. The organization trains Indigenous youth and young adults in bringing safe water to their communities through operating key water treatment plants. Residents of First Nations communities often rely on water treatment facilities to end poor, […]

Chinese Star Zhang Hanyu to Lead Suspense Drama ‘Unspoken’

Chinese actor Zhang Hanyu (The Taking of Tiger Mountain) has grabbed the lead role in Unspoken, a China-Canada co-production. Zhang, who also starred in Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall, opposite Matt Damon and Andy Lau, toplines an ensemble cast for the suspense drama that includes Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead), Jake Abel and Vivienne Tien. […]

ACTRA Ratifies New Three-Year Contract With North American Producers

The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, representing local actors, has ratified a new Independent Production Agreement to maintain labor peace on Hollywood film and TV sets north of the border. American producers who shoot in Canada become signatories to the IPA agreement. The new contract, to kick off Jan. 1, 2022, includes […]

Christopher Newton, Actor and Former Shaw Festival Artistic Director, Dies at 85

Christopher Newton, the former artistic director of Canada’s Shaw Festival, has died. He was 85. The Shaw Festival, which has its home at Niagara-on-the-Lake, near the Canadian-U.S. border in Ontario, said Newton died peacefully on Monday morning. “It is no exaggeration to say that, without Christopher Newton, there would be no Shaw Festival today. He […]

Toronto: Naomi Watts and ‘Lakewood’ Team on Filming the Thriller Amid Pandemic

The irony of Lakewood, the Naomi Watts-starring thriller that follows a mother racing against time to save her child as the police put her town into lockdown, is that the indie movie was shot during the height of real pandemic-era lockdowns across North America. “No one was shooting in America. You really couldn’t shoot in […]

Toronto: Jason Priestley to Direct Suspense Thriller ‘Projekt M’ for Samizdat Pictures (Exclusive)

Samizdat Pictures has tapped Jason Priestley to direct its suspense thriller Projekt M. Inglorious Basterds actor Richard Sammel is already on board for a lead role in the Canada-Spain co-production about a psychologist sent to evaluate someone with special needs and special abilities and who is sequestered near a remote village. Sammel will play a […]

Toronto Film Fest to Require Proof of Vaccination for 2021 Edition

The Toronto Film Festival will require Hollywood talent and execs attending its upcoming 2021 edition to show proof that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of their arrival at any TIFF venue. The move, announced on Monday, follows a directive that those launching […]

LeBron James, Drake, Maverick Carter to Exec Produce Hockey Racial Reckoning Doc ‘Black Ice’

NBA superstar LeBron James, Drake and Maverick Carter are set to executive produce Black Ice, a feature documentary about the game of hockey’s racial reckoning. The film from Uninterrupted Canada and The SpringHill Company, which was founded by James and business partner Carter, is about Black hockey players facing systemic racism in the sport and […]