Guide to the CRTC Canadian Program Certification Application Process

This Guide has been prepared to assist producers and broadcasters to complete the application forms for Canadian program certification of:

  • Live action (Live action and continuous action animated productions)
  • Animation (Animated production other than continuous action animation)
  • Dubbing (Foreign and Canadian productions dubbed in Canada into an official language of Canada or a native Canadian language)
  • Live and live-to-tape sports events
  • Production packages
  • Twinnings

Although sections 1-9 of this Guide is of interest to persons completing all of the above application forms, section 10 corresponds to the individual line item numbers for completion of the Live action and Animation application form. Only those line items requiring additional explanation have entries in section 10.

The relevant sections of the Broadcasting Act, the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987, the Pay Television Regulations, 1990, the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990 Broadcasting Regulatory Policies CRTC 2010-905, 2010-808, 2010-167 and Public Notice CRTC 2000-42 take precedence over these guidelines.

The link Contact Us will provide the necessary information on how to reach us.


Table of Contents

Sections

  1. Introduction
     
  2. What is Canadian Program Certification?
     
  3. What is the role of the CRTC, Telefilm and CAVCO in the certification process?
     
  4. What productions need to be certified by the Commission?
     
  5. Productions not eligible for certification as Canadian programs
     
  6. What is the role of the broadcaster?
     
  7. The application process – When and where to file?
     
  8. Application Forms – Which form to file?
    1. Live Action
    2. Breakdown of Costs (BOC) for Live Action Productions
    3. Animation
    4. Breakdown of Costs (BOC) for Animated Productions
  9. Definitions and Requirements

    Advertising material
    Affiliated production company
    Animation
    Assistant animation/In-betweening (location)
    Camera operator (person) and Operation (location)
    Canadian
    Canadian production company
    Commercial message
    Continuous action animation
    Co-production
    Co-venture
    Design supervisor
    Director
    Director of photography/Technical director
    Dramatic program credit
    Dubbing
    Financial participation and profit sharing
    Foreign credits
    Infomercial
    Key creative positions
    Layout and background (location)
    Lead performers
    Live action
    Live or live-to-tape sports events
    Music composer
    Music video clip: Definition of a Canadian music video clip
    Music video program
    Picture editor
    Point system
    Producer
    Producer control
    Production company
    Production costs
    Production designer
    Production package
    Screen credits
    Scriptwriter and Storyboard supervisor
    Series
    Stock footage
    Time credits
    Twinning
    Writer

  10. Completing the Live action and the Animation application forms

1. Introduction

Pursuant to the Broadcasting Act, 1991 (the “Act”), the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the “Commission or CRTC”), must regulate and supervise all aspects of the Canadian broadcasting system with a view to implementing the broadcasting policy set out in subsection 3(1) of the Act. The policy objectives include, among other things: 

  • encouraging the development of Canadian expression by providing a wide range of programming that reflects Canadian attitudes, opinions, ideas, values and artistic creativity, by displaying Canadian talent in entertainment programming and by offering information and analysis concerning Canada and other countries from a Canadian point of view;
     
  • ensuring that each element of the Canadian broadcasting system contributes in an appropriate manner to the creation and presentation of Canadian programming;
     
  • ensuring that each broadcasting undertaking makes maximum use, and in no case less than predominant use, of Canadian creative and other resources in the creation and presentation of programming unless the nature of the service provided by the undertaking, such as specialized content or format or the use of languages other than French and English, renders that use impracticable, in which case the undertaking shall make the greatest practicable use of those resources; and
     
  • ensuring that the programming provided by the Canadian broadcasting system includes a significant contribution from the Canadian independent production sector.

To achieve these objectives, the Commission requires that television licensees broadcast a certain percentage of Canadian programs over the course of the broadcast year and during specific time periods of each broadcast day. The Commission monitors compliance to these requirements by requiring licensees to file program logs in which all Canadian programs broadcast during the preceding month are identified.

2. What is Canadian Program Certification?

Following extensive consultation with both the Canadian film and television industries, as well as other interested parties, the Commission developed a set of criteria to define a “Canadian” program. Programs that meet these criteria will be certified as Canadian. Once certified, such programs may be claimed against Canadian program exhibition requirements.

In general, the Commission will certify a program or series that meets each of the following criterion:

  • the producer is Canadian, controls and is the central decision-maker of the production from beginning to end and any person fulfilling a producer-related function is Canadian;
     
  • the production earns a minimum of 6 points (out of a possible 10) based on the key creative functions being performed by Canadians, with at least one of the director or screenwriter positions and at least one of the two lead performers being Canadian;
     
  • a minimum of 75% of the production’s services costs incurred to produce the production are paid to Canadians; and
     
  • at least 75% of the production’s post-production and laboratory costs are paid for services provided in Canada by Canadians or Canadian companies.

The Commission will also certify international co-ventures/co-productions involving Canadian and foreign producers as well as foreign programs dubbed in an official language of Canada or a native Canadian language.

This approach benefits the Canadian television, film and production industries by giving exposure to Canadian producers, directors, writers, composers, actors, performers, musicians, dancers, etc. that they might not otherwise receive and it ensures that Canadians from coast-to-coast have the opportunity to see, hear and share their experiences, stories and values with other Canadians through the medium of television.

When a production is certified as Canadian, it is assigned a certification number; a “C” number for a domestic Canadian production or the dubbing of a Canadian production; an “SR” number (special recognition) for an international co-venture/co-production; or a “D” number for the dubbing of a foreign production. As part of the certification, the time credit and category (“genre”) will also be confirmed.

The criteria for certification are set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905 and Public Notice CRTC 2000-42. The categories of programs which the Commission will certify as Canadian are contained in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-808. All of these documents are available on the Commission’s Web site.

3. What is the role of the CRTC, Telefilm and CAVCO in the certification process?

Telefilm Canada is responsible for recognizing international co-productions involving Canada and countries with which Canada has an official co-production treaty. Once a co-production is recognized as an official international co-production, it enjoys all the rights and privileges of a fully Canadian domestic production. Applications for certification of treaty co-productions should be filed directly with Telefilm Canada.

The Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) of the Department of Canadian Heritage is responsible for administering the tax credit for international co-productions on the recommendation of Telefilm and for the certification of domestic productions applying for the Canadian film or video production tax credit.

Programs certified as Canadian by the Minister of Canadian Heritage on recommendation by Telefilm Canada and CAVCO (hereinafter referred to as certified by CAVCO) will be recognized as Canadian by the Commission. Conversely however, because of the income tax implications, programs certified by the Commission will not automatically be recognized by CAVCO for the purpose of the tax credit. In order to obtain the tax credit, the appropriate application must be filed directly with CAVCO.

Apart from the programs certified by CAVCO, the Commission is responsible for certifying all independently-produced co-ventures (international co-productions not included under the treaties administered by Telefilm Canada), domestic productions and dubbings of Canadian and foreign programs that are intended for broadcast as Canadian programming by a licensed Canadian programming undertaking for the purpose of its Canadian program exhibition requirements.

4. What productions need to be certified by the Commission?

With the exception of the programs specified in i. to vi. below, all programs that are intended for broadcast as Canadian content programming on any licensed Canadian programming undertaking must be certified as being “Canadian” by the Commission. When a television broadcaster airs a program, he or she must enter the “C”, “SR” or “D” number, as applicable, into the program log in order to have the program recognized as Canadian by the Commission’s TV logs system and receive the appropriate time credit against its conditions of license. Without certification, the broadcaster cannot claim the program against its Canadian program exhibition requirement and the program will be treated as foreign content.

The following types of programs are generally recognized as Canadian without having to file a formal application for certification:

  1. programs produced solely by a CRTC licensee that meet the Canadian program certification criteria set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905 and Public Notice CRTC 2000-42;
     
  2. official co-productions recognized by Telefilm which received a Part “A” Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) certification number;
     
  3. programs which have been certified by CAVCO and have received a Part “A” CAVCO certification number. This CAVCO number is equivalent to Commission certification and the Commission will accept it in a broadcaster’s program logs for its Canadian program exhibition requirements;
     
  4. commercially-released music video clips of 5 minutes or less in duration that meet the Canadian program certification criteria for music clips as set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905;
     
  5. federal and provincial government productions; and
     
  6. Public service announcements and interstitials of less than 5 minutes in duration that meet the criteria set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905 and Public Notice CRTC 2000-42.

Notwithstanding the above, an application will be required in order for a program to be eligible for the 150% dramatic program time credit or the 25% supplementary time credit for dubbings of Canadian programs set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905 and Public Notice CRTC 2000-42 or in circumstances where the Commission specifically requests the filing of an application.

Productions produced prior to 15 April 1984 which have already been certified under the pre-1984 definition will continue to be recognized as Canadian.

Productions produced prior to 15 April 1984 which have not yet been certified, will be granted Canadian certification if credible evidence is provided that the producer was Canadian and that the production would have qualified under the point system set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905 and Public Notice CRTC 2000-42 had it been in effect when the production was completed. However, they are not required to meet the expenditure requirements.

Productions produced after 15 April 1984 that have not yet been certified must meet the criteria set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905 and Public Notice CRTC 2000-42. All productions that were certified by the Commission or CAVCO prior to the issuance of Public Notice CRTC 2000-42 on 17 March 2000 will continue to be recognized as Canadian by the CRTC.

5. Productions not eligible for certification as Canadian programs:

  • Infomercials, promotional and corporate videos/films, such as those produced by groups and businesses for public relations reasons, recruitment, etc. and other forms of advertising material.
  • Repackaged or adapted versions of existing foreign productions or program segments, which use some or all of the following: excerpts from an original foreign production; a significant portion of the original foreign production in essentially unedited chunks; or the mention of the original foreign production in the credits.
  • Except for documentaries, productions made up predominantly of existing footage produced by a foreign producer even if assembled or edited in Canada with Canadian narration.

6. What is the role of the broadcaster?

Once a production is certified by the Commission, the producer will be sent a letter outlining the details of the certification including the title of the production, the certification number, the points awarded (points are not applicable in the case of live or live-to-tape sports, dubbings of foreign programs and music video clips), the program category and the time credit. The letter may also contain other important information on the certification such as the conditions on which the certification was granted. As licensees, broadcasters are ultimately responsible for the programming they broadcast and as such are strongly advised to obtain a copy of this letter from the producer before airing any program that they intend to claim as Canadian content.

When the program is broadcast, the broadcaster must enter into its program logs the name of the production, the certification number and the category exactly as they appear on the certification letter. CAVCO certification letters do not provide program categories so the broadcaster must enter the appropriate category as set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-808. Moreover, as a certification number is specific to the production it was issued for, it is the broadcaster’s responsibility to ensure that the certification number entered into its program logs is the number that was issued for the actual program i.e.: series, episode, being broadcast.

Broadcasters are also responsible to ensure that any advertising material, whether contained in the body of the program or in the distinct commercial breaks, is identified and logged as such in their program logs.

Although programs produced solely by a CRTC licensee will be recognized as Canadian, it is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that all such programming for which Canadian content credit is claimed meets the certification criteria. Licensee-produced programming may be subject to verification by the Commission.

Although a program may be certified as Canadian, it will only qualify as Canadian content under the time credits where it meets the following exhibition requirements:

  • where the certification letter indicates a 150% time credit, this refers to the 150% dramatic programming credit set out Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905 and appendices I and II of Public Notice CRTC 2000-42. Only those broadcasters that do not have a priority programming exhibition condition-of-licence may claim it. Broadcasters who have a priority programming condition of licence should consult Public Notices CRTC 1999-205 and 1999-206 for further information on priority programming;
     
  • as set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905 and appendices I and II of Public Notice CRTC 2000-42, the 150% credit may only be claimed for each showing of the qualifying drama within a two-year period from the date of the first program broadcast. For a series, the credit will only be available for a single two-year period, for each cycle of the series, commencing with the broadcast of the first episode of that cycle. Finally, the program or episodes must be broadcast between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., or, in the case of a dramatic program intended for children, at an appropriate children's viewing time;
     
  • a Canadian music video clip must be played in its entirety in order to be certified as Canadian content. It cannot be credited if played in part as an opening, a bridge or a closing, or as a back drop for program credits; and
     
  • programs within production packages and twinnings must receive equitable scheduling on the same Canadian station or network.

7. The application process - when and where to file?

A separate application form, complete with all required supporting documentation, must be submitted for each production or series for which certification is being requested. There is no fee for this service.

The certification number granted to a particular program or series is specific to that particular program or series. Subsequently produced programs or series, including subsequent seasons, will require that a new application be filed for certification in order to obtain a new certification number specific to that new season.

Re-cut versions of differing lengths require a separate certification number. Where the episodes have different durations, the production will not be considered a series and will instead require a separate application for each episode as each will have to be certified separately as an individual program.

With the exception of live broadcasts, all 3 of the following conditions must be met prior to submitting your application:

  1. the principle photography has started;
  2. all key creative personnel are under signed contract; and
  3. the committed budgets are in place.

If these conditions are not met the application will be returned to you. For live broadcasts, only conditions ii. and iii. must be met prior to submitting your application.

Submit your application online via My CRTC Account, which is available on our website under Forms and My CRTC Account. My CRTC Account allows secure transmissions to the Commission and also authenticates your identity. A signature is not required when using My CRTC Account.

When filing your application, please ensure that the file name of the documents attached to your application form includes a brief description of the document content. For example, "Doc1-Application"; "Doc2-Schedule 3, Mr. Smith’s affidavit", and so forth.

After you have submitted your application to the Commission, you will receive an e-mail within the following 24 hours which contains a Canrec submission confirmation case ID number. This number confirms that the Commission received your application and any supporting documentation. However if you don't receive a confirmation, please contact us by telephone at 1-866-893-0932 (toll-free) or by the on-line services.

Allow 6-8 weeks processing time, slightly longer for international co-ventures, twinnings and production packages. Applications will be processed in the order they are received. Delays may occur if an application is incomplete or if additional information is required.

The Commission may request additional information to support the application, e.g.: audited financial statements, signed copies of contracts or agreements, affidavits, independent legal opinions, proofs of citizenship or certificates of landed immigrant, invoices, DVD recording of the program.

Advance rulings and preliminary certifications will not be issued.

Applicants must notify the Commission immediately as to any changes in the information provided in the application subsequent to its filing with the Commission. Commission decisions will be based on the information provided in the application and all supporting documentation. If any of the information is subsequently found to be inaccurate or incomplete, or if the production evolves to other than what has been presented in the application, the production may require re-evaluation which may affect the continued certification of the production.

Notwithstanding that a production has been certified, the Commission may, as part of its supervisory mandate, monitor the actual broadcast of the production. The continued validity of the certification will be re-evaluated in the case of material changes, omissions, inaccurate statements or the inclusion of non-certifiable program material that affect a program’s eligibility as a Canadian program.

8. Application forms - which form to file?

i) Live Action

Applicants for certification of a live action or a continuous action animated production must complete the form entitled Live Action – Application form 206, which is available on the Commission’s Web site.

A documentary on or including animation will be dealt with as a documentary under the live action criteria. Non-documentary productions with scenes combining live action and animation will generally be considered as live action for purposes of applying the point system.

Productions that mix animation and live action will be assessed according to the criteria of the predominant format except when the minor format exceeds 20%. In that case, both sets of criteria will be used to assess the application for certification. Submit the application form according to the predominant format of the program unless the minor format exceeds 20%. In that case, complete and submit the the form entitled Animation – Application form 205.

Applicants for certification of live or live-to-tape sports events must complete the application form entitled Live and Live-to-Tape Sports Events – Application form 204. All other types of sports programs, such as documentaries on sports-related topics or programs on leisure and recreational sports are assessed under the point system and expenditure rules for live action productions. Applicants for certification of these types of sports programs must use the form entitled Live Action – Application form 206.

ii) Breakdown of Costs (BOC) for Live Action Productions

Completion of the BOC form is required whenever non-Canadian services or post-production and laboratory costs are incurred for a live action or continuous action animated production. For co-productions and co-ventures, the BOC must include both the foreign and Canadian portions of the budget to reflect the total cost of production. Complete and file the form entitled Live Action, Breakdown of Costs (BOC) - Appendix 5B, when applicable.

The form and its respective Guide are available on the Commission’s Web site.

iii) Animation

Refer to "Animation" and "Continuous action animation" in section 9, Definitions and Requirements, of this Guide.

A documentary exclusively in animation form will be dealt with as an animated production.

Applicants for certification of an animated production (other than a continuous action animated production) must complete the form entitled Animation – Application form 205 which is available on the Commission’s Web site.

iv) Breakdown of Costs (BOC) for Animated Productions

Completion of the BOC form is required whenever non-Canadian services or post-production and laboratory costs are incurred for an animated production. For co-productions and co-ventures, the BOC must include the foreign and Canadian portion of the budget to reflect the total cost of production. Complete and file the form entitled Animation, Breakdown of Costs (BOC) - Appendix 5A, when applicable.

The form and its respective Guide are available on the Commission’s Web site.

9. Definitions and Requirements

Advertising material: As defined in the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987 means any commercial message and programming that promotes a station, network or program, but does not include:

  1. a station or network identification,
     
  2. the announcement of an upcoming program that is voiced over credits,
     
  3. a program that consists exclusively of classified announcements, if the program is broadcast not more than once during a broadcast day and has a duration of not more than one hour, or
     
  4. a promotion for a Canadian program or a Canadian feature film notwithstanding that a sponsor is identified in the title of that program or that film, where the identification is limited to the name of the sponsor only and does not include a description, representation or attribute of the sponsor’s products or services.

(see also “Commercial message”)

Affiliated production company: a Canadian company carrying on business in Canada, with a Canadian business address, owned and controlled by Canadians, whose business is the production of film, videotape or live programs for distribution and, in which, the licensee, or any company related to the licensee owns, in aggregate a 30% or greater (voting) equity interest.

Animation: this includes computer-assisted animation (the technique of revising existing animated material using computer technology); computer-generated animation (the technique of generating animated movement principally or wholly through digital image synthesis using computers and computer programs) as well as frame-by-frame animation which involves the process of filming or otherwise recording a series of poses of figures, objects or shapes, or drawings, each slightly displaced from the preceding pose, or of drawing them in sequence on successive frames of recording material, one or more frames at a time. When the film is projected or the recording is played, the rapid projection of the multiple images gives the illusion of movement.

Assistant animation/In-betweening (location): the assistant animator and in-betweener complete the breakdown drawings and in-between work, once the key characters or figures have been determined by the animator and the animation has been completed. Breakdown drawings are the main drawings between the key animation drawings that help to define the path of action. In-between drawings are done after the main path of action breakdown drawings are completed. (see also “Key creative positions”)

Camera operator (person) and Operation (location): the camera operator operates the camera for the purpose of recording the sequences of cells and backgrounds according to instructions from the director. Both the camera operator (person) and the operation (location) must be Canadian to earn the point in an animated production. (see also “Key creative positions”)

Canadian: a person who is, at all relevant times, a Canadian citizen as defined in the Citizenship Act, a permanent resident as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, who has received its Permanent Residence Certificate.

Canadian at all relevant times means that an individual must be Canadian at the time he or she begins his or her duties in relation to the production and during the entire course of the filming or taping and post-production. An individual cannot acquire permanent resident status in order to qualify as Canadian at any point during a production; such status must be confirmed before the individual begins engaging in any activity related to the production. An individual acquiring permanent resident status after he or she begins engaging in any activity related to the production will be considered a non-Canadian for the entire production. Likewise a corporation must be a Canadian-controlled corporation during the same time period.

Therefore it is important that applicants confirm the status of each person who will occupy a key creative position before the person begins engaging in any activity related to the production.

Canadian production company: a licensee of the CRTC, or a company incorporated and carrying on business in Canada, with a Canadian business address, owned and controlled by Canadians, and whose principal business is the production of film, videotape or live programs for distribution on television or in a theatrical, industrial or educational markets.

Commercial message: as defined in the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987 means an advertisement intended to sell or promote goods, services, natural resources or activities and includes an advertisement that mentions or displays in a list of prizes the name of the person selling or promoting these goods, services, natural resources or activities. (see also “Advertising Declaration” in section 10, line 13.0 of this Guide)

Continuous action animation: refers to the process of filming real figures, shapes or objects as they are manipulated using mechanical or other devices. When the film or recording is played, the rapid projection of the multiple images gives the illusion of movement. Examples of continuous action animation would include puppets controlled by a puppeteer and filmed continuously in real time, and pixillation animation using live action shots of real people in real locations, manipulated to achieve the effect of having actors jump, jerk or twitch as if they were being animated.

Co-production: an audiovisual work produced jointly by a Canadian producer and a producer from a foreign country with which Canada has a co-production treaty administered by Telefilm Canada. The production must be produced in accordance with the terms and conditions of the treaty.

As Telefilm Canada is responsible for recognizing international treaty co-productions, applications for recognition of these types of productions should be filed directly with Telefilm Canada.

Co-venture: an international co-production which is not included under any of the treaties administered by Telefilm Canada. These include all ventures with co-producers of foreign countries that either do not have a film or television production treaty with Canada or, if there is a treaty, the co-production is not specifically covered by the treaty.

As the Commission is responsible for certifying international co-ventures, applications for certification of these types of productions should be filed directly with the Commission.

Design supervisor: the design supervisor is responsible for style, visual character, colour theme and colour continuity; develops the tones of the backgrounds, figures and textures; can sometimes create the actual characters jointly with the director; prepares visual proportion charts of the characters to safeguard uniformity during the production. (This position is sometimes referred to as Art Director or Character Designer). (see also “Key Creative Positions”)

Director: the person who controls the action and dialogue in front of the camera and who is therefore responsible for realizing the intentions of the scripted concept. In animated productions, the director has overall control of the artistic and creative aspects of the production; establishes the instructional workbook for the production from script and storyboard; times the action and supervises the creative and technical aspects of the work in the various stages of production; provides shot-by-shot and frame-by-frame, details of the camera movement and shot punctuation by preparing the timing of each individual scene at the storyboard stage; prepares the bar-sheets or exposure sheet instructions for the animator. These functions may also be performed in collaboration with, or by the key animator or animation director. (see also “Key Creative Positions”)

Director of photography/Technical director: if there is no Director of Photography, the equivalent is Chief Camera Operator. The position of Lighting Director is equivalent to Technical Director for videotape productions. (see also “Key Creative Positions”)

Dramatic program credit: as defined in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905 and appendices I and II of Public Notice CRTC 2000-42, a 150% time credit may be awarded to a live action or continuous action animated drama or an animated dramatic production (other than continuous action animation) where:

  1. In the case of a live action or continuous action animated drama it is produced by a licensee or a Canadian production company after 15 April 1984 or after 15 July 1988 in the case of an animated dramatic production (other than continuous action animation);
     
  2. it is recognized as a Canadian program (receives a "C" or "SR" number from the Commission) and achieves ten points;
     
  3. it is broadcast between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., or, in the case of a dramatic production intended for children, at an appropriate children’s viewing time; and
     
  4. it contains a minimum of 90% drama content.

Notwithstanding that a production has been produced solely by a licensee or has received a Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) certification, in order to obtain the 150% drama credit, an application for certification must be filed with the Commission.

Evidence establishing that each of the producer(s), producer-related personnel (e.g. executive producer(s), associate producer(s), other producer(s)), and every person filling a key creative position are Canadian will be required for all productions eligible for the 150% drama credit. A legible copy of one of the following documents is acceptable proof:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport
  • Certificate of Permanent Residency
  • CRTC Declaration of Citizenship or Permanent Resident, available as Appendix 4 on the Commission’s Web site

Note: As the information is not accessible to the CRTC, the CAVCO Personnel Number will not be considered an acceptable proof of citizenship or permanent residency.

Eligibility for the 150% time credit will be indicated on the certification letter.

As announced in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-167, the time credits for Canadian drama described in Public Notice 1999-97 (priority programming) will be discontinued when a broadcaster is included within the new group-based approach. As well, the time credit for Canadian drama (Canadian content) will be discontinued for all English-language broadcasters.

In addition, the 150% drama credit is unavailable to productions that require the application of the series averaging rule (60%) to obtain Canadian certification. (see “c) Series:” under “Point system”)

Dubbing: refers to a Canadian or foreign program which has the audio portion converted into an official language of Canada or a native Canadian language by a process of lip synchronization or voice-over translation done in Canada, using Canadian resources. A “C” number will be awarded to the dubbing of a Canadian program along with a supplementary time credit of 25% of that for the original version. This time credit is valid for a period of two years from the date of first broadcast of the dubbed version. After this period, the dubbed version shall be awarded the same time credit as the original version. Where a program recognized as Canadian by the Commission is dubbed outside of Canada, the dubbed version of the program shall be awarded the same time credit as the original version.

A “D” number will be awarded, to the dubbing of a foreign program along with a time credit based on the duration of the original program. A time credit of 25% will apply if the foreign program is dubbed from an official language of Canada or a native Canadian language into the other official language of Canada or a native Canadian language. A time credit of 50% (to a maximum of 50 hours during each six-month reporting period) will apply if the foreign program is dubbed from a language other than an official language of Canada or a native Canadian language into an official language of Canada or a native Canadian language.

Financial participation and profit sharing: the Canadian production company in a co-production or co-venture must retain a financial participation of at least 50% in the production. This means that at least 50% of the financing required for the production must have been raised or acquired by the Canadian production company. It may take the form of licence fees, equity, debt, production fund funding, etc.

The Canadian production company in a co-production or co-venture must also retain the right to at least 50% of the profits.

Evidence that these requirements are met must be clearly set out in the co-production or co-venture agreement or such other satisfactory documentary evidence as entered into by the co-producers.

Foreign Courtesy Credits: courtesy or vanity credits may be awarded to non-Canadians for non-creative, non-production-related functions that in no way interfere with the financial and creative authority of the Canadian Producer and either relate to the arranging of foreign distribution or financing, or the provision of services to the production under the strict supervision and control of the Producer. 

With the exception of a lead performer, all other non-Canadian individuals granted a courtesy or vanity credit will be required to file with the CRTC an affidavit, using Appendix 3 which is available on the Commission's Web site, outlining the duties performed and declaring that those duties have been/will be carried out only under the direction, control, and with the full knowledge of the Canadian producer. No courtesy or vanity credit will be allowed without an affidavit. In no circumstances can non-Canadians receive a producer, co-producer, line producer or production manager credit. (see also “Producer Control” in these definitions)

The Commission will not, however, adopt the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO)'s exemption for the writer credit. More precisely, the Commission will not accept that a non-Canadian individual, in addition to receiving a writer credit, also receive a courtesy or vanity credit for a producer‑related function in a production. 

Non-Canadians may receive courtesy or vanity credits for producer related functions as set out below providing that: 

  • the remuneration to the Canadian producer exceeds the aggregate remuneration to foreign executive producers, and
  • with the exception of a non-Canadian lead performer, foreign executive producers limit their time on the set to a maximum of 25% of principal photography, and their role solely to that of observers.

As stated in CAVCO’s Production Control Guidelines, for all productions whose first day of principal photography commences any time after 31 August 2007, non‑Canadians may be given courtesy or vanity credits from Group A and/or Group B. While courtesy or vanity credits may be chosen from either group, such credits must not exceed the number of credits given to Canadians from the same group. For example, if a non-Canadian is given one Group A credit, a Canadian must be given at least one Group A credit. However, if a non-Canadian is given a Group B credit, a Canadian must be given a credit from either Group A or Group B. Credits within the same group are interchangeable. 

Group A Group B
  • Executive Producer
  • Senior Executive
  • Executive in Charge of Production
  • Supervising Producer
  • Associate Producer
  • Supervising Executive
  • Production Supervisor
  • Production Executive
  • Production Associate
  • Executive Consultant
  • Production Consultant
  • Creative Consultant

 

Infomercial: a program exceeding 12 minutes in length that combines information and/or entertainment with the sale or promotion of goods or services into a virtually indistinguishable whole. This category includes videos and films of any length produced by individuals, groups and businesses for public relations, recruitment, etc. You can consult the CRTC Circular No. 350 dated 8 August 1988, available on the Commission’s Web site, for a more detailed description of “informercials”.

Key creative positions: refer to the “key” creative functions involved in the making of the production for which points are awarded when they are performed by Canadians. (see also “Point system”)

i) Live action and continuous action animated productions:

  • Director (2 pts.)
  • Screenwriter (2 pts.)
  • First and Second Lead Performers (performer or voice) (1 pt. each)
  • Production Designer (1 pt.)
  • Director of Photography (1 pt.)
  • Music Composer (1 pt.)
  • Picture Editor (1 pt.)

For certification, at least one of the director or screenwriter positions and at least one of the two lead performers must be Canadian for individual programs and for each episode in a series. Where persons share the duties of a particular position, the point(s) will only be awarded if all of the persons are Canadian.

Exception: Where a production does not qualify as Canadian because:

  1. both the director and writer are non-Canadians, or
  2. both lead performers are non-Canadians,

and the applicant provides compelling reasons why the production should receive certification as an exception, the Commission may certify it as a Canadian program as long as Canadians fill all other key creative functions. In this regard, the onus is solely on the applicant to provide compelling reasons in sufficient detail to convince the Commission why a Canadian could not be found to fill the position, including the steps that were taken to find a Canadian and why they were not successful.

Productions with less than 6 points will not qualify for the exception. Therefore, it is important to note that when requesting an exception for non-Canadian director and writer, all other key creative positions including both lead performers must be filled and must be filled by Canadians to attain the minimum 6 points requirement.

ii) Animated productions (other than continuous action animation):

  • Director (1 pt.)
  • Scriptwriter and Storyboard Supervisor (1 pt.)
  • First or Second Voice (or first or second lead performer) (1 pt.)
  • Design Supervisor (1 pt.)
  • Camera Operator and Operation (1 pt.)
  • Music Composer (1 pt.)
  • Picture Editor (1 pt.)

In addition, animated productions are also awarded points when key creative functions are performed in Canada, namely, key animation (1 pt.); layout and background (1 pt.); assistant animation/in-betweening (1 pt.) and camera operation. Where persons share the duties of a particular position, the point will only be awarded if all of the persons are Canadian. Where the point is assigned to a location, it will be awarded only if all of that function is performed in Canada.

For most types of animation the Commission will consider it mandatory that the following persons or locations or both be Canadian:

  • the director or the combination of scriptwriter/storyboard supervisor (persons);
  • key animation (location), excluding pixillation;
  • the first or second voice (or first or second lead performer);
  • the camera operator (person) and operation (location), for pixillation only.

Layout and background (location): working from the storyboard, the layout artist outlines the graphic organization in the form of line drawings of background environment and staging of action for the animators' and background artists' reference. The layout artist also draws up camera field references. In feature work, the layout artist will also provide a detailed tonal rendering for the background department. (A related position is that of the poser. The poser, however, is an animator whose work is preliminary and ephemeral and does not form part of the final print.)

Background (location) provides finished backgrounds for individual scenes of a film. (see also “Key creative positions”)

Lead performers: an actor or actress is an individual engaged to speak lines of dialogue or mime a scene, or whose performance consists in interpreting a character, even where there is no dialogue. When there is no actor or actress as in categories 8 (Music and Dance) and 9 (Variety) programs, the leads will be the performers, singers, dancers, etc. The host of these programs is not considered a “Lead Performer” unless the host also performs.

In other program types, the leads will usually be the host, the moderator, the quizmaster, the narrator, the commentator and/or the interviewer (a performer engaged to perform narrative material or commentary on- or off-camera), off-camera performer (a performer other than the narrator or commentator engaged to perform a role in a dramatic work off-camera), or the actor who performs or reads the voice of a character in a film or animated production. However, guests on a magazine program, or the subjects of biographical documentaries, are not considered performers for certification purposes.

At least one of the two lead performers must be Canadian. A production in which a non-Canadian(s) is (are) the only lead performer(s) will not be certified as Canadian. The addition of Canadians in minor roles will not be sufficient for a production to qualify.

Determination of lead performers will take into account billing, screen-time and remuneration. In non-dramatic productions, the second lead must have at least 50% of the on-screen time (or off-screen time where narrators or interviewers are involved) and 50% of the remuneration of the first lead, plus billing appropriate for a second lead in order to be awarded the point. Individuals not meeting these criteria will be considered as filling minor roles.

To determine the lead performers in an animated production, the Commission will take into account billing, on-screen time (or off-screen time for voices), the number of lines and the payment. (see also “Key creative positions”)

Live action: refers to programs using real people as actors, host, subjects, narrators, etc.

Live or live-to-tape sports events: refers to live or live-to-tape productions of amateur or professional sports events or tournaments. Applicants for certification of live or live-to-tape sports events must complete the application form entitled Live and Live-to-Tape Sports Events available on the Commission’s Web site.

Music composer: the point will be awarded only if a Canadian has been commissioned to compose the original music specifically for the production. The rearrangement of existing music, even if it is Canadian, utilizes the position but does not earn the point. Existing music (archival, stock or library music) may be used in addition to the original music. The position of Music Director is not accepted as equivalent to Music Composer. (see also “Key creative positions”)

Music video clip: Definition of a Canadian music video clip: music video clips are short films, videotape productions or concert excerpts (clips) not produced primarily for the program in which they are presented, and which normally contain one musical selection with visual material. Music video clips played in their entirety will be considered as Canadian where they meet the requirements of item 5 below, as well as one of the requirements or elements set out in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, or 4, below.

1. The music video clip meets at least two of the following audio conditions a) through e):

  1. the music is or lyrics are performed principally by a Canadian;
  2. the music is composed entirely by a Canadian;
  3. the lyrics are written entirely by a Canadian;
  4. consists of a live performance that is wholly recorded in Canada;
  5. the performance was recorded after 1 September 1991, and a Canadian who has collaborated with a non-Canadian receives at least 50% of the credit as composer and lyricist according to the records of a recognized performing rights society;

2. The music video clip is an instrumental performance of a musical composition that meets the conditions set out in 1b) or c) above;

3. The music video clip is a performance of a musical composition that a Canadian has composed for instruments only;

4. The music video clip has already been qualified as a Canadian music video clip under the regulations previously in effect, and

5. The music video clip meets at least one of the following conditions a) through c):

  1. the video director or producer is Canadian;
  2. the video production facilities are located in Canada; and
  3. the video has already been qualified as a Canadian selection under regulations previously in effect.

To be considered Canadian, all performances exceeding five minutes in length, including commercially released music videos appearing outside music video clip programs and logged as category 8b (Music Video clips), require a certification number from the Commission.

In order to be certified, a Canadian music video clip must be played in its entirety. It will not be credited if played in part as an opening, a bridge or a closing, or as a backdrop for program credits.

Appendix 2, which is available on the Commission’s Web site, must also be completed and attached for each music video clip broadcast during any program.

Music video program: program consisting predominantly (i.e. more than 50%) of music video clips and, in some cases, including a host and other programming elements. A music video program will be certified as Canadian if all elements other than the music video clips qualify as Canadian and a minimum of 30% of the music video clips are Canadian. This provision does not apply to music specialty services.

Appendix 2, which is available on the Commission’s Web site, must also be completed and attached for each music video clip broadcast during any program.

Picture editor: means Film Editor. The positions of Sound or Music Editor will not be acceptable in place of Picture Editor. For videotape productions, the equivalent to Picture Editor is the Off-line Editor.

In animated productions, the picture editor assembles individual shots and sequences in continuity and fits them to the various soundtracks; provides the sound effects track; analyses the characteristics of the music or dialogue track; provides information to animators in terms of timed film frames; supervises the dubbing, the separate sound tracks; and liaises with laboratories to obtain prints. (see also “Key creative positions”)

Point system: points are awarded for live action and continuous action animated productions, and for animation (other than continuous action animation), based on the key creative functions being performed by Canadians. (see also “Key creative positions”)

Normally, a production must earn a minimum of 6 points in order to qualify as Canadian, with the following exceptions:

  1. Fully Canadian productions: In productions where some of the key creative positions are not utilized, and fewer than 6 points are therefore possible, Canadian certification will be granted if Canadians perform all key creative functions.
     
  2. Co-productions/Co-ventures: A co-production/co-venture involving a co-producer from a Commonwealth or French-speaking country, or a country with which Canada has a film or television production treaty, may be considered for special recognition and will be granted Canadian certification if, among other requirements, the program attains 5 points. In these cases, the co-production/co-venture must also meet the normal co-production/co-venture requirements regarding decision-making responsibility and administration of the production budget, at least 50% of the costs for services must be paid to Canadians, and at least 50% of the post-production and laboratory costs (except for picture editor) must be paid for services provided in Canada by Canadians or by Canadian companies. Notwithstanding these requirements, the director or the writer and at least one of the two lead performers must be Canadian.
     
  3. Series: The production elements of a series can vary, and some individual episodes might not meet the minimum requirement of the point system. The Commission has therefore determined that, in order for a licensee to claim Canadian certification for any episodes in a series which might not meet the six-point requirement:
    • at least 60% of the series' episodes must attain 6 points or more,
    •  the episodes must be broadcast or otherwise distributed at equitable times, and
    • the entire series must attain an average of six points per episode.

For live action or continuous-action animated series, each episode must meet the two mandatory requirements for writer or director, and first or second lead performer (minimum of 3 points). For animated series, each episode must fulfill the three mandatory requirements for scriptwriter and storyboard supervisor or director, first or second voice/performer, and key animation (location) (minimum of 3 points).

Episodes that are ineligible for certification for any reason will not be segregated from the remainder of the episodes.

Producer: an individual Canadian or Canadian-controlled corporation who:

  1. controls and is the central decision-maker of the production from beginning to end;
  2. is directly responsible for the acquisition of the production story or screenplay and the development, creative and financial control and exploitation of the production; and
  3. is identified in the production as being the producer of the production.

The producer is expected, among other things, to be involved in acquiring and developing the story, selecting and engaging the key creative personnel, financing, budget preparation, control of expenditures, and distribution of the production.

All the positions related to the producer function must be held by Canadians, unless a request for an exemption for a foreign courtesy credit has been granted. No exemption will be granted for the functions of line producer, co-producer, or production manager; these positions must be held by Canadians and all persons to whom they report must be Canadians.

The producer must be prepared to demonstrate full decision-making power by submitting, upon request, ownership documents, contracts or affidavits. The producer must also submit, upon request, an independent legal opinion confirming that financial and creative control of the production is held or exercised by a Canadian(s).

Where the program is being produced by a production company, the producer will be the individual(s) to whom the production company has delegated the responsibilities in (a) to (c) above.

Producer control: control by the Canadian producer over the financial and creative elements of the production may be subject to reasonable and customary approvals required by other non-Canadian arm's length financial participants such as distributors, broadcasters and financiers. For greater clarity, however, reasonable and customary approvals shall not confer to individuals other than the producer, significant controls and/or approval rights consistent with, or encroaching in any manner on, those of the producer.

The producer is involved in and ultimately responsible for: the acquisition and/or meaningful development of the story; the commissioning of the writing of the screenplay/series bible; the selection, hiring and firing of key artists and creative personnel; the preparation, revision and final approval of the budget; all overages; the binding of the production company to talent and crew contracts; the arranging of the production financing; the supervision of the filming/taping and post-production; final creative control (as per contract), production expenditures (as per contract), production bank accounts (sole and unfettered cheque signing authority subject to Indicator 3(a)(ii)); and the arranging of the commercial exploitation of the production.

To satisfy the requirement of production control, the following guidelines provide that the Canadian producer:

  1. Must have and maintain full control over the development of the project from the time at which the producer has secured underlying rights;
  2. Must have and maintain full responsibility and control over all aspects (creative and financial) of the production of the project;
  3. Must have and maintain full responsibility and control over all aspects of production financing; and,
  4. Must receive a remuneration (in the aggregate) that exceeds the total aggregate remuneration paid to all credited or uncredited foreign producer-related positions.

The following guidelines provide guidance on the indicia that will be applied to determine whether producer control is met:

GUIDELINE 1: DEVELOPMENT

The Canadian producer must have and maintain full control over the development of the project from the time at which the producer has secured underlying rights.

Indicator 1(a):

The producer must demonstrate full responsibility for the development of underlying rights of the project from the date upon which the producer has secured the underlying rights.

  1. The CRTC will review the chain-of-title documentation to confirm that the producer is responsible for the development of the project. *
  2. The CRTC will assess chain-of-title documentation against all relevant documents concerning creative decision-making and the hiring of creative talent (writer, director, consultants, script editors, etc.).
  3. The producer must affirm that all documentation affecting his/her decision-making authority has been disclosed and submitted to CRTC as part of the application.

*Provision to be made for industry-standard third-party approval rights
(distributors, broadcasters, financiers, completion bonders, etc.).

Indicator 1(b):

Prior development of the project by non-Canadians is permitted. However, ongoing involvement of prior rights-owners in development, production or exploitation of the project subsequent to the producer securing the underlying rights will be presumed to indicate that such party retains a degree of responsibility and control.

  1. The producer must demonstrate control over the development of the project. If development of the project has been materially completed by or with the involvement of non-Canadians, the producer will have the onus of establishing, to the satisfaction of the CRTC, that the situation did not interfere with the producer’s responsibilities and control.
  2. Non-Canadian prior right holders may have ongoing involvement in the production in terms of consultation rights only. The producer will have the onus of establishing, to the satisfaction of the CRTC, that such ongoing involvement does not interfere with the producer’s responsibilities and control.

GUIDELINE 2: PRODUCTION

The Canadian producer must have and maintain full responsibility and control over all aspects (creative and financial) of the production of the project.

Indicator 2:

Documentation must demonstrate that, with the exception of standard approval rights from broadcasters, distributors, financiers and completion-bonders, the producer has exercised full control (direct or indirect) and holds final decision-making authority over creative and financial aspects of the production, including:

  • the project budget;
  • the production schedule;
  • the selection and hiring of above- and below-the-line cast and production personnel and the negotiation of the terms thereof;
  • the selection and contracting for production services (camera package, sound package, post-production facilities, etc.) and the negotiation of terms thereof;
  • the negotiation of agreements with unions and guilds;
  • the post-production elements.
  1. Where a non-Canadian has the right to overrule any decision by the producer, the producer will have the onus of establishing, to the satisfaction of the CRTC, that the situation does not interfere with the producer’s responsibilities and control.

GUIDELINE 3: FINANCING

The Canadian producer must have and maintain full responsibility and control over all aspects of production financing.

Indicator 3(a):

Documentation must demonstrate that the producer has exercised full control (direct or indirect) and holds final decision-making authority over:

  • the financing plan of the project;
  • the securing of all third-party financing, including, without limitation, domestic and foreign equity, domestic and foreign subsidies, domestic and foreign pre-sales and the negotiation of the terms thereof;
  • the securing of interim financing (i.e. production financing) and the negotiation of the terms thereof;
  • the cash-flow schedule of the project;
  • the management of the banking of the project and sole and unfettered control over the bank account(s) of the project and cheque signing authority.
  1. Where a non-Canadian has the right to overrule any decision by the producer, the producer will have the onus of establishing, to the satisfaction of the CRTC, that the situation does not interfere with the producer’s responsibilities and control. *
     
  2. Delegation of banking authority by the producer to a person(s) over whom the producer exercises final authority shall not be deemed to constitute a contravention of this indicator.

* Provision to be made for industry-standard third-party approval rights (distributors, broadcasters, financiers, completion bonders, etc.).

Indicator 3(b):

Documentation must demonstrate that the producer has assumed and retained the commercial risks associated with the financing and production of the project.

  1. Where a significant share of production financing is provided by a single non-Canadian party (or multiple parties with common ownership and/or control), the producer will have the onus of establishing, to the satisfaction of the CRTC, that the situation does not interfere with the producer’s responsibilities and control.
     
  2. Where a single non-Canadian party (or multiple parties with common ownership and/or control) has acquired exploitation rights to territories representing most or all of the exploitable value of the production (with the exception of Canada), the producer will have the onus of establishing, to the satisfaction of the CRTC, that the situation does not interfere with the producer’s responsibilities and control.
     
  3. Where a non-Canadian party has agreed to reimburse or indemnify the producer, e.g. with respect to budget overages, the producer will have the onus of establishing, to the satisfaction of the CRTC, that the situation does not interfere with the producer’s responsibilities and control. *

    *Provision to be made for industry-standard completion guarantees.

GUIDELINE 4: PRODUCER REMUNERATION

The Canadian producer’s remuneration (in the aggregate) must exceed the total aggregate remuneration paid to all credited or uncredited foreign producer-related positions.

Particular attention will be paid to the favorable positioning (prominence and time on screen) of foreign courtesy credits in various types of productions, as a further indicator of non-Canadian control.

Where, in the opinion of the Commission, after a review of all material documents, contractual conditions related to areas outlined above limit the Canadian producer, the production will be considered ineligible for certification. The Commission will make its determination on a case by case basis, giving due regard to all contractual obligations, facts and representations.

Production company: a company whose principal business is the production of film, videotape or live programs for distribution on television or in theatrical, industrial or educational markets.

Production costs: it is mandatory to complete the “Breakdown of Costs” (BOC) form if there are foreign services or foreign post-production and laboratory work. It includes accounts for both live action and animated productions. There are minimum Canadian expenditure requirements for (i) Services, and (ii) Post-production and laboratory work. The forms and their respective Guides can be found on the Commission’s Web site under Forms and My CRTC Account; Canadian Program Certification Forms and, when applicable, must be completed and attached as Appendix 5.

Expenditure requirements: The following minimum percentage of the total Services and Post-production and laboratory costs are required to be paid to or on behalf of Canadians and/or incurred in Canada in order for the production to be certified:

  1. Services costs – at least 75% of the services costs must be paid to Canadians.
     
  2. Post-production and laboratory costs – at least 75% of the post-production and laboratory costs must be paid for services provided in Canada by Canadians or Canadian companies.

For co-ventures involving a co-producer from a Commonwealth or French-speaking country, or a country with which Canada has a film or television production treaty, 50% of the services costs must be paid to Canadians, and 50% of post-production and laboratory costs (except for the picture editor) must be paid for services provided in Canada by Canadians or Canadian companies in order to be granted Canadian certification.

Services costs: represent the total cost of the production less remuneration for the producer, co-producer and other key creative personnel eligible for points, post-production and laboratory costs, accounting and legal fees, insurance brokerage and financing costs, indirect expenses, contingency costs, goods purchased, and other costs not directly related to the production.

Post-production and laboratory costs: includes all costs for the post-production, including laboratory work, sound recording, sound and picture editing but does not include costs attributed to the Picture Editor, which are to be included with the key creative personnel.

Travel and living expenditures take on the citizenship (or permanent resident status) of the user or the individual in respect of whom the expenses were incurred:

Canadian expenses: are all expenses (salaries, fringe, travel & living) paid to or in respect of Canadians (or permanent residents with Status Documents issued prior to the commencement of the production) or for services rendered by Canadian companies in Canada. This would include travel and living expenses for Canadians, even if expended outside of Canada, e.g.: if, in the course of production, expenses were incurred for a Canadian to travel on a non-Canadian airline and stay in a non-Canadian hotel, these expenditures are considered as Canadian expenses because they have been incurred in respect of a Canadian individual.

Non-Canadian expenses: are those expenses paid to or in respect of non-Canadians, or paid to non-Canadian companies. This includes any salaries paid to non-Canadians, even if earned in Canada in Canadian dollars. This also includes travel and living expenses for any non-Canadians involved in the production, whether spent inside or outside of Canada, e.g.: if a non-Canadian incurs travel and living expenses, even though all monies may be paid to Canadian airlines, hotels and restaurants in Canada, these expenditures are considered non-Canadian because they were incurred in respect of a non-Canadian individual.

Production designer: for a live action or continuous action animated production, the Art Director will be considered equivalent to the Production Designer. (see also “Key creative positions”)

Production package: two or more co-productions or co-ventures, undertaken by a Canadian production company, together with one or more non-Canadian production companies, where a production with minor foreign involvement that qualifies as a Canadian production, is matched with a foreign production with minor Canadian involvement.

Minor foreign involvement may be any amount up to the maximum foreign involvement that a co-production or co-venture could have and still qualify as Canadian under the Commission’s co-venture criteria.

Minor Canadian involvement must be a minimum of at least 20% financial participation and profit sharing but can be any amount up to the maximum a foreign co-production or co-venture could have before it no longer qualifies as Canadian under the Commission’s co-venture criteria.

The Commission will be prepared to accept production packages as Canadian, under the following conditions:

  • the Canadian copyright for both productions must be held by Canadians;
  • the budgets of both Canadian and foreign productions must be approximately equal, within 15%;
  • co-production agreements/contracts between the Canadian production company and the foreign producers must be submitted to the Commission with the applications;
  • the Canadian production company must have financial participation and profit sharing of at least 20% in the Canadian and foreign productions;
  • a broadcaster may receive credit for a production with fewer Canadian elements, if it broadcasts the production with more Canadian elements at an equitable time;
  • all productions in a production package must fall within the same program category;
  • only production packages in the categories of drama & comedy, variety, documentary and children’s programming are eligible;
  • animated productions are not eligible;
  • the productions in the package must be approximately equal in duration;
  • the productions in the package must receive equitable scheduling on the same Canadian station or network; and
  • 10-point productions in a production package will not qualify for the 150% dramatic program credit.

Screen credits: see “Foreign credits” above.

Scriptwriter and Storyboard supervisor: the scriptwriter(s) provides the written treatment, outlines the continuity of the story, dialogue or action and the parts the various characters will play in it, and elaborates upon the script during the process of visual development at the storyboard stage.

The storyboard supervisor(s), in cooperation with, or in place of, the scriptwriter(s), (depending on the type of production and studio organization) creates a series of pictures to illustrate the development of the story in parallel with the written text; determines the flow of the action from one scene to another; and creates a series of drawings with the associated continuity showing the major action and scene changes.

In productions that employ scriptwriters or storyboard supervisors, but not both, the point will be awarded only if all persons performing the function are Canadian. (see also “Key creative positions”)

Series:  is a program with two or more episodes produced by the same production company or producer. The principle photography for all episodes must be completed within a 12-month period. The program must have a title, theme, and situation or set of characters common to each episode. Each episode must have the same duration.

Stock footage: foreign-produced stock footage must be limited to less than 50% of the running time of all programs except documentaries.

Time credits: refers to the actual running time that a broadcaster can claim as Canadian Content in its logs. This will usually represent 100% of the program duration, with the following exceptions:

  1. there is a special 150% drama time credit available only for drama productions, including animation, having earned 10 points as well as other specific conditions (see also “Dramatic program credit”);
     
  2. Canadian dubbings of Canadian productions may receive a supplementary time credit of 25% of that for the original version (see also “Dubbing”);
     
  3. Canadian dubbings of foreign productions may receive a credits of either 25% or 50% of the program duration (see also “Dubbing”); and
     
  4. 25% of the program time of broadcasts of sports events originating outside Canada, involving non-Canadian teams or athletes, shall be recognized as Canadian if a Canadian producer or production company provides a commentary in a language other than English.

Twinning: involves matching a fully Canadian production with a foreign production, with virtually no Canadian involvement other than a financial one.

The Commission will be prepared to accept twinnings as Canadian under the following conditions:

  • the Canadian copyright for both productions must be held by Canadians;
  • the budgets of both Canadian and foreign productions must be approximately equal, within 15%;
  • co-production agreements/contracts between the Canadian production company and the foreign producers must be submitted to the Commission with the applications;
  • the Canadian production company must have financial participation and profit sharing of at least 20% in  the Canadian and foreign productions;
  • a broadcaster may receive credit for a production with fewer Canadian elements, if it broadcasts the production with more Canadian elements at an equitable time;
  • all productions in the twinning must fall within the same program category;
  • only twinnings in the categories of drama & comedy, variety, documentary and children’s programming are eligible;
  • animated productions are not eligible;
  • the productions in the twinning must be approximately equal in duration;
  • the productions in the twinning must receive equitable scheduling on the Canadian station or network; and
  • 10-point productions in a twinning will not qualify for the 150% dramatic program credit.

Writer: writer is defined to include screenwriter, script writer and, in the case of animation where applicable, storyboard supervisor.

All individuals involved in any stage of developing the screenplay (including outline or treatment, various drafts, dialogue polishing, and final shooting script) must be Canadian, or alternatively, the principal writer must be Canadian, and the screenplay must be based on a work authored by a Canadian and published in Canada.

To assess the qualification for this position, the Commission will examine on-screen credits, including the following:

  • Story Editor (Executive, Senior, Junior)
  • Creative Consultant
  • Story Consultant, Executive Story Consultant
  • Creative Producer

In the case of a Dance production, the Choreographer will be considered to be equivalent to the writer. (see also “Key creative positions”)

10. Completing the Live action and Animation application forms (only those lines requiring additional explanation have entries)

The instructions below apply only to the application forms for the following productions:

  • Live action (live action and continuous action animation) – Form 206
  • Animation (other than continuous action animation) – Form 205

1.0 Conditions for certification

1.1 As stated in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905, the following three requirements must be met for the Commission to issue final certification: the production is underway, all key creative personnel is under contract and committed budgets are in place. Do not submit your application until your production meets all three of these conditions otherwise it will be returned to you.

2.0 Applicant Information

2.1 The applicant should be a key officer of the Production Company, the Licensee or Rights Holder responsible for the production who has sufficient knowledge of all aspects of the production to be qualified to sign the applicant’s declaration on line 14.0 of the application form.

3.0 Corporate Information

3.1 Production Company: indicate the name of the company that is producing the program.

3.5 Parent Company: indicate the ultimate parent company of the Production Company.

4.0 Production Information

4.1 Indicate the final title as you would like it to appear on the Commission’s Web site list. For a series that uses a different title for each episode, indicate the title of the program as it would appear in the TV listings and attach a list of episode titles as Appendix 8.

4.2 Identify the title and language of all other versions to be broadcast in Canada, e.g. a French version.

When the dubbed version is dubbed in Canada in either official language of Canada or in a native Canadian language, the application will receive a separate “C” or “SR” number that differs from the one of the original version. Refer to the definition “Dubbing” under Definitions and Requirements in section 9 of this Guide for the criteria pertaining to dubbings.

4.3 Enter the total running length of the program excluding commercial time.

In Public Notice CRTC 1999-205, the Commission announced that productions of less than five minutes in duration that meet the criteria for Canadian certification applicable to longer programs will be considered as Canadian programs without individual certification. As a result, applications for certification of such productions are no longer required, unless specifically requested by the Commission or unless the production is eligible for the 150% drama credit.

4.4 Series - Refer to the definition “Series” under Definitions and Requirements in section 9 of this Guide for the criteria that a production must meet to be certified as a Series.

a: Cycle/Season - Indicate clearly which cycle (or season) this application applies to as this will be used to identify which season the assigned “C” or “SR” number applies to.

b & c: Episodes - Indicate the total number of episodes in the cycle, (e.g. 26 episodes), and the specific episodes involved, (e.g. episodes 27 to 52). This will be used to identify episodes for on-going Series.

d: Duration - Indicate the true running length of the program, excluding commercial time.

4.7 Identify the Canadian and non-Canadian broadcaster(s) with whom you have an agreement/proposal to broadcast your program. Include the broadcast date(s), if known.

4.8 “C” number – applies to a program that qualifies under Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905 and Public Notice CRTC 2000-42 other than a co-venture/co-production with a foreign production partner or a foreign program dubbed in Canada. Upon certification, the production will be given a 5‑digit number preceded by the letter “C”, indicating Canadian.

Programs produced solely by a broadcast licensee that meet the Canadian program certification criteria set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905 and Public Notice CRTC 2000-42 will be recognized as Canadian without formal certification. In these cases, licensees need not apply for certification unless the licensee is seeking the 150% drama credit or the Commission requests the filing of an application.

“SR” number – applies to: (a) a co-venture/co-production between a Canadian producer and a producer(s) from a foreign country that does not have a co-production treaty with Canada (b) a co-venture/co-production between a Canadian producer and a producer(s) from a foreign country that has a co‑production treaty with Canada but the production is not specifically covered by the treaty; and, (c) a co-production between a Canadian producer and a producer(s) from a foreign country that has a co‑production treaty with Canada. Upon certification, the production will be given a 5-digit number preceded by the letters “SR”, indicating special recognition.

Appendix 1, which is available on the Commission’s Web site under Broadcasting Sector; Television; Canadian Program Certification; Canadian Program Certification forms, and a copy of the signed co-venture/co-production agreement must be submitted with the application and appended as Appendices 1 and 6 respectively. (See also “Co-production” and “Co-venture” under Definitions and Requirements in section 9 of this Guide)

4.9 The International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN) is an International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) approved worldwide voluntary numbering system for the identification of audiovisual works. It provides a unique, internationally recognized and permanent reference number for each audiovisual work registered in the ISAN system. ISAN is designed to be read by humans and processed in information systems, as a 24-bit hexadecimal number or as a 96-bit binary number, for easier systems integration.

Please visit http://www.isan.ca for more information.

5.0 Rights Holders

5.2 Indicate the name and whether the person(s)/company holding the Canadian and non-Canadian broadcasting and distribution rights for the production is Canadian or non-Canadian. (See “Canadian” under Definitions and Requirements in section 9 of this Guide)

6.0 Synopsis and Program Category

6.1 Synopsis: describe the theme, subject matter and setting of the program or series in sufficient detail to clearly support the category that you have chosen. Include such details as the outline for a drama, or the subject or theme of a documentary. Describe the format (e.g. a round-table discussion featuring a host and 4 guests debating....., a lifestyle magazine format including travel, or an educational show featuring live action puppets or how-to tips, product reviews, interviews, etc.). Indicate the approximate mix of features, (e.g. % music, % interviews, % how-to, etc.).

The information provided in 6.1 and 6.2 will be used by the Commission to confirm the category chosen. The Commission may request a copy of the program DVD or tape to confirm the category. If any information is subsequently found to be incomplete or misleading or the production evolves in such a way that the designated category is no longer appropriate, the category and/or certification status may be subject to review and change.

6.2 Program category: the categories listed are the television program categories that are defined in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-905, which is available on the Commission’s Web site. Choose the category that best describes your production.

Note that news (category 1) produced solely by a licensee are automatically recognized as Canadian programs, and do not need to be certified. Note also that, interstitials (category 12) and public service announcements (category 13) not produced solely by a licensee, but that meet the criteria are recognized as Canadian programs and do not need to be certified.

Infomercials, promotional & corporate videos (category 14) are not eligible for certification as Canadian programs.

If your program is less than 30 minutes and is to be used as a filler program (category 15) by the broadcaster, please choose the category (from 2a) to 11b)) that applies to your program based on its genre.

7.0 Producer Personnel and Control

7.1 to 7.8: Indicate the given name and surname, the citizenship (or date of permanent residency) and the remuneration of each person occupying each position. If more than one person occupies/shares a particular position, identify each person, his or her citizenship (or date of permanent residency) and remuneration. (for complete guidelines, see “Producer” in section 9, Definitions and Requirements)

8.0 Key and Non Key Creative Production Personnel

  • Key Creative Positions – these are the "key" creative functions for which points are awarded when the positions are performed by Canadians.

    Where the duties of a particular position are shared, indicate the name and citizenship (or date of permanent residency) of each individual involved. Where a position is shared, the point(s) will only be awarded if all of the persons sharing the duties are Canadian. (for complete guidelines see “Canadian” and “Key creative positions” in section 9, Definitions and Requirements)
     
  • Non-Key Creative Positions – no points are awarded for these positions. Incumbents of these positions are not required to be Canadian. Remuneration for these positions will be included, as applicable, in the Canadian or non-Canadian expense columns under either Services or Post-production and laboratory costs on the Breakdown of Cost form (BOC). Refer to “Production costs” in section 9, Definitions and Requirements of this guide for the rules governing Canadian versus non-Canadian expenditures.
     
  • Remuneration – indicate all forms of remuneration under payments for all key and non-key creative production personnel. (salary, fringe, deferrals, etc.)
     
  • Citizenship – indicate the citizenship (or date of permanent residency) of each person filling a key creative position. (see also “Canadian” in section 9, Definitions and Requirements). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide, if requested, proof of citizenship or permanent resident status for all personnel occupying a producer - related function or a key creative position. Proof of citizenship or permanent resident status will be required as Schedule 4 for productions eligible for the 150% drama credit. Note that as the information is not accessible to the CRTC, the CAVCO Personnel Number will not be considered an acceptable proof of citizenship or permanent residency. (for complete guidelines see “Dramatic program credit” in section 9, Definitions and Requirements.)
     
  • Date of Permanent Residency Status – indicate the date of the certificate of permanent residency or Status Document. (see also “Canadian” in section 9, Definitions and Requirements)
     
  • Series – if the producer or the incumbents of any of the key creative positions are not the same throughout the series, attach a separate chart as Schedule 9, setting out the key creative personnel for each episode.

9.0 Financing Information

Identify each source of financing available, e.g. licence fee, debt, equity, grant, fund, deferrals, etc., that is available to make the production. Where a service(s) will be provided to the production in lieu of financing, indicate what service(s) will be provided and the fair market value of that service(s).

All financing is to be stated in Canadian dollars.

The total on line 9.1 must be sufficient to cover the total cost of the production on line 10.1. The coverage of any short-fall must be fully explained.

For co-ventures/co-productions, enter both Canadian and foreign financing covering the total cost of the production indicated on line 10.1. The coverage of any short-fall must be fully explained.

10.0 Production Costs

10.1 Indicate the total cost of the production. Refers to line 11.0 column (7) of the BOC form. See also the Breakdown of Costs guidelines on the Commission’s Web site. For a co-venture/co-production this would include both the Canadian and foreign elements.

10.2 Indicate the amount spent on Canadian services. Refers to line 11.0 column (2) of the BOC form. See also the Breakdown of Costs guidelines on the Commission’s Web site.

10.3 Indicate the amount spent on non-Canadian services. Refers to line 11.0 column (3) of the BOC form. See also the Breakdown of Costs guidelines on the Commission’s Web site.

10.4 Indicate the amount spent on Canadian post-production and laboratory costs. Refers to line 11.0 column (4) of the BOC form. See also the Breakdown of Costs guidelines on the Commission’s Web site.

10.5 Indicate the amount spent on non-Canadian post-production and laboratory costs. Refers to line 11.0 column (5) of the BOC form. See also the Breakdown of Costs guidelines on the Commission’s Web site.

10.7 For a co-production or co-venture with a foreign country, indicate the Canadian portion of the total co-production cost. The total of lines 10.7 and 10.8 must equal the total on line 10.1.

10.8 Indicate the foreign portion of the total co-production or co-venture cost. The total of lines 10.7 and 10.8 must equal the total on line 10.1.

11.0 Post Production and Laboratory

11.2 If any of the post-production was done outside of Canada or any non-Canadian was employed in the post-production process, provide the details, including how much was done and where.

11.3 Indicate the use of any pre-existing or pre-recorded music or other sounds not specifically created for the production in question. This includes stock, archival or library music. Indicate overall duration in minutes, sources, acquisition rights and payments involved.

11.4 Indicate the use of any pre-existing (non-original) footage not specifically created for the production in question. This includes stock, library or archival footage. Indicate overall duration in minutes, sources, and payments involved. For Canadian certification, foreign-produced stock footage must be limited to less than 50% of the running time of all programs except documentaries.

11.5 Indicate the use of any pre-existing (non-original) program segment not specifically created for the production in question. This includes original segments or versions of previously produced programs. Indicate overall duration in minutes, sources, and payments involved.

Existing foreign productions or program segments will not be certified as Canadian or as Canadian documentaries by repackaging or adapting them using some or all of the following:

  • Excerpts from an original foreign production;
  • The use of a significant portion of the original production in essentially unedited chunks;
  • The mention of the original foreign production in the credits.

Note that foreign programs may only be recognized as Canadian and qualify for a “dubbing” credit if they are converted into an official language of Canada or a native Canadian language by a process of lip synchronization done in Canada, using Canadian resources. The form entitled Dubbing of a foreign production is to be completed for these productions.

13.0 Advertising Declaration

For more information on what constitutes “advertising material” and “commercial messages” please refer to section 9 Definitions and Requirements of this Guide. Also refer to CRTC Circular No. 350 and Public Notice CRTC 1994-139 for the definition and broadcast guidelines for “Infomercials”. These documents are available on the Commission Web site.