December 2011 – Volume 3

At our Annual General Meeting last week staff reported on various activities over the past year and we have included those updates in this newsletter. The Government Relations and Industrial Relations overviews are in dedicated sections of this report.  I’d also like to highlight key industry development initiatives undertaken throughout the year including the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund Industry Reception (March), Merging Media Transmedia Seminar + Lab (April), Maximizing Tax Credit Session (May), LA Market Accelerator (June), Terms of Trade Roadshow (July), SIGGRAPH Business to Business Meeting Program (August), and the Merging Media Conference + Master Class (October).  Note: All CMPA offices will be closed from December 24 reopening January 9, 2012. On behalf of Gigi, Robyne, Melanie and myself I want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and we look forward to working with you in 2012.

2011 has been a very busy year for the BC Branch IR team.  Since early summer Robyne and I have been in the midst of prepping or negotiating contracts with the DGC-BC, the UBCP (Performers), the BC Council of Film Unions (Teamsters 155 (Drivers), IATSE 891 (Technicians) and IATSE 669 (Photographers) and the WGC – Writers Guild of Canada.  Please see below for a short update on the status of the negotiations.

Negotiations Update: DGC-BC – A new Agreement was ratified byDGCBC members Nov 8, 2011.

Term: Three Years – April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2015.

Highlights:  New Sideletter No. 4 – increases to budget breaks on almost all types of production make more many more projects eligible for the Low Budget discounts.

Negotiations Update: IATSE 891 (Film Technicians), IATSE 669 (Camera) and Teamsters 155 (Drivers) – collectively the “BCCFU” or Joint Council – We were not able to fully conclude bargaining by the last day of scheduled negotiations on October 28th, 2011 inLos Angeles.  We anticipate scheduling more days in January when we hope to conclude negotiations.

Negotiations Update: UBCP – We are currently in a recess with UBCP.  We left off bargaining by mutual agreement on Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011 after three (of the scheduled five) days of negotiations inVancouver.  We expect to continue negotiations in early Spring 2012.

Negotiations Update: WGC – The CMPA began bargaining in the first of three scheduled sessions Nov 30 and Dec 1, 2011 inMontreal. We meet again inToronto on Dec 15 and 16, 2011 and for a third session on Jan 25 and 26, 2012.  We expect to conclude negotiations in early spring 2012.

Thank you to all of the members who worked on the various bargaining committees and to those who submitted proposals for discussion.  We look forward to updating you in our next issue regarding progress on all of the above negotiations. 

Happy Holidays! Gigi and Robyne

BC Branch Council Election Results This year’s election results were announced at the CMPA-BC Annual General Meeting on December 8, 2011.

Returning Branch Council members include:

Brian Hamilton, Omni Film Productions
Jayme Pfahl, Gang of 2 Productions
Cal Shumiatcher, Paperny Entertainment
Karyn Edwards, Brightlight Pictures
Elyot Waller, Nerd Corps Entertainment

New members elected this year include:

Kim Roberts, Sepia Films
Matthew Toner, Zeros2Heroes Media
Mary Anne Waterhouse, Quadrant Motion Pictures

The 2012 Executive was elected at a Branch Council meeting held today and members are:

CHAIR -Brian Hamilton
VICE-CHAIR -Karyn Edwards
SECRETARY -Elyot Waller
TREASURER – Jayme Pfahl

Terms of Trade – The CMPA Terms of Trade team has compiled a “Handbook” designed to be a guide to provide you with our interpretation of how Terms of Trade should be applied in your day to day dealings with the five private English language broadcaster groups who are signatories to this agreement.  The Terms of Trade agreement is a living document, meaning that as we gain experience working with it we will, no doubt, make modifications to this guide. The handbook can be downloaded here:


Note from Brian Hamilton, Chair – BC Producers’ Branch (November 2011)

On behalf of the BC Branch Council, I’d like to take this opportunity to identify some key government lobbying issues the CMPA-BC is working on, to update you on recent efforts, and to ask for your input and help.

We have held numerous meetings with government officials and politicians over the past 24 months, with the three ministries affecting our sector: the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development (which oversees BC Film + Media and the film/TV/digital industries), and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation (which makes recommendations on supporting key job generating industries). We have met with elected ministers, and also separately with their top officials (Deputy Ministers, Assistant Deputy Ministers, etc.) and also with more junior staffers. We have appeared and gone on the public record at the BC Government’s Pre-budget Consultation Committee, which is the key forum to advocate for changes to the upcoming provincial budget.

In our meetings, we emphasize the importance of a healthy domestic industry in the terms that theClarkgovernment responds to: the language of jobs and economic activity. We talk about the importance of retaining control of intellectual property and how our industry reinvests the profits locally to create more jobs.  We point to statistics that show significantly reduced levels of BC-owned production over the last 2-3 years, particularly in scripted TV series. In explaining this, we refer to the “triple whammy” of cuts to BC Film, lower rates for tax credits compared toOntarioand other jurisdictions, and finally the prospect of the reintroduction of the PST. Another contributing factor is the increased concentration of decision making inToronto– none of the key broadcast buyers or film distributors have western offices any more.

To date, despite our message to government that something needs to be done, there have been no substantive changes offered to address the competitiveness gap facing the domestic industry.  We have asked government to work with us to address this situation and have outlined three action items in a recent government submission.  These actions are:

Action 1

When BC reverts to PST, define digital/film/TV production and post production as “manufacturing” for the purposes of calculating PST. This will create jobs by putting BC employers on an even playing field with other provincial jurisdictions.

Action 2

Further to the Premier’s commitment to trigger a competitive review of business taxation for the film/TV/digital sectors, immediately strike a working group bringing government and industry together to complete this review as a priority. The working group could consider administrative tax credit adjustments to significantly and immediately improve the investment climate and competitiveness for new projects to be developed and produced inBritish Columbia:

–  Include writer fees as eligible labour expenditures;
–  Remove the copyright grind on inter-provincial co-productions;
–  Provide a 5% bonus incentive for new TV pilots and series;
–  Accelerate the payment of FilmIncentiveBC(FIBC) tax credits paid to BC-owned employers to enhance their competitiveness vis a vis other jurisdictions.

Action 3

Implement a repayable BC Production Investment Fund of $2Million/year over 5 years to enable private sector employers (producers) to jump start projects, create jobs, hire more graduates from BC’s expanding higher education sector, retain Intellectual Property and work towards a fully integrated production centre in BC.


BC Success Stories:  We are building an inventory of BC projects that have received BC Film support to demonstrate how vital that funding is to trigger projects in the province.  In the New Year,Liz Shortenwill be in touch with members directly to facilitate the gathering of information.

Notice of Production:  Starting in January 2012, CMPA-BC wants to start tracking production activity of members in the province so we have a better sense of the types and level of production activity throughout the year. More info on this to come.



Merging + Media Update

Conference and Master Class – Vancouver

Our second annual Merging Media Conference + Master Class took place on October 27 and 28 at SFU Woodwards with over 300 attendees from across screen based media including film, television, digital/interactive, and gaming professionals.  Podcasts highlighting the “best of” speakers and presentations are now available on-line at:

Transmedia Seminar and Lab – Toronto

After a successful launch here in Vancouver this past April, CMPA is pleased to be partnering again on this lab featuring transmedia expert Anita Ondine. The combined seminar+lab curriculum provides a unique and intensive look at transmedia from “Conception to Consumption”.  Covering the key areas of transmedia development, financing, design, production and distribution both in theory and through hands-on lab work that identifies and brings together key media professionals from a broad spectrum of media disciplines.  More information and registration details can be found here:

Melting Silos

Open Call to BC based Filmmakers and Digital Media Companies for Melting Silos Concept Development Proposals

Agentic Digital Media is launching the third year of Melting Silos, a set of workshops that connect local filmmakers and digital media professionals in order to develop transmedia projects and to build common knowledge between the two sectors. Melting Silos is now accepting applications from BC based filmmaker/digital media partnerships on narrative projects with transmedia potential. Five teams will be selected to participate in 2 two-day workshops, made possible by the financial participation of Telefilm Canada’s Skills and Screens Program, BC Film and Media and the CMPA-BC Branch. Please submit your application to Phillip Djwa at by JANUARY 13, 2012. Visit for more information.



January 13 Melting Silos Applications Due

January 19-20  Merging+Media Transmedia Seminar + Lab – Toronto

January 23-25 NATPE – Miami Beach, FL

February 7-10 Kidscreen Summit – New York, NY

February 29-March 2 Prime Time in Ottawa – Ottawa

April 1-4 MIPTV – Cannes, France


Canadian Media Production Association  |  BC Producers’ Branch 600-736 Granville Street  |  Vancouver  |  BC  |  Canada  |  V6Z 1G3 Phone   604.682.8619 |  Toll free  866.390.7639 |  Fax   604.684.9294


Liz Shorten
Managing Vice President, Operations and Member Services
Extension 222;

Gigi Boyd
Vice President, Industrial Relations
Extension 224;

Robyne Switzer
Industrial Relations & Operations Coordinator
Extension 223;

Mélanie Lê Phan
Administrative Assistant
Extension 221;


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