Netflix and Canada's Culture

by corinnearchambault on November 1, 2017 - 9:09am

Melanie Joly, Heritage Minister of Canada, has come up with a new plan in order to refresh and refashion Canada’s culture. More specifically, she looked at a way of making our culture stronger by concentrating on digital culture to adapt to the constant technological evolution. This is why Canada invested $500 millions with Netflix for Canadian content and committed to $25 million for more French-content on its platform. Because the contract was signed under the Investment Act, Netflix may be subject to fines from the government if they do not honor their part of the deal. Moreover, other companies such as Rogers and Bell Media are joining in and investing a lot for the health of the Canadian economy and culture.

Joly’s main argument for the government investment was their wish to avoid taxing citizens even more in order to support the industry. The new “Creative Canada” policy also wants worldwide countries to exploit and share Canadian culture, to support it and help it survive the forever changing distribution industry of medias. The government aims to create an export business that should bring up to $125 million into the country. Finally, in order to support better the declining industries of novels and periodicals, the federal government is looking at a way to render more actual these economical sectors and their funds. They will review laws and make them more specific to the constantly evolving realities.

 

I believe this topic is important because Canada’s culture is a worldwide topic. We are known to be multiculturalists and it deeply impacts the opinion the world has of us. Because of continual evolution in technology and medias, the broadcasting of TV shows and movies has significantly decreased and not many people still buy hard copies of CDs, books and newspapers anymore. Overall, this has an effect on the people creating and distributing these products and it reduces their income to the profit of industries that adapt easily. I think this article connects to my worldview because of my consumption of cultural products and my values. Because of school and extracurricular activities, I have had less time to watch TV and read in the last few years. I think it is sad because I always liked the feeling of encouraging local authors and watch Canadian shows as I feel I could connect better with the characters’ reality. My step mother also always encouraged me to consume responsibly the artists’ product because it was their way to make money and the right thing to do. For example, I would often receive Itune gift cards to buy music rather than illegally download it from the internet. Overall, this as led me to be conscientious about other people’s work and to develop values such as respect. Now, the only moments I have left to watch TV shows in my lifestyle is before going to sleep. This is why platforms such as Netflix are useful to me, as they allow me to watch TV on my computer in my bed. I really like the idea of having more Canadian content and to have more French content. Finally, it will please my little brothers very much to have shows in their mother tongue and it supports the values of protecting our language, especially in Quebec’s climate of legislation related to this matter. Are you interested in consuming more responsibly Canadian’s culture and products?

 

“Netflix to invest in Canadian programs as part of the feds’ new cultural plan.” CTV News, September 27th, 2017, http://www.ctvnews.ca/test-site/outstream-test/heritage-minister-unveils... ative-canada-initiative-1.3610207. Accessed October 31st, 2017.

Comments

Very unique and interesting topic! I love the way you approached this subject that is indeed quite important.

I understand the fear of losing our culture with big companies like Netflix, who are taking over and who most people watch nowadays, instead of watching Canadian content. I agree with you that is it a little unfair for Netflix to become a popular way of watching television and movies, especially American ones. I personally watch Netflix, and I agree that indeed, there is barely any Canadian content on the website.

Though, I believe that the way of watching content has evolved and, with technology, changed. It is normal that change is slowly put in place and that we all access tv shows and movies from another platform. Yes, I understand that we do not support Canada by using American content, but I am sure that Netflix will adapt with time and add more content from many countries. We need to accept that the way of watching our content has changed and evolved. I believe that we should all have access to content from other countries and not just Canadian content. I value for equality and multiculturalism, I believe there is beauty in mixing cultures and all coming together instead of separating ourselves by wanting to place Canadian content on Netflix as a reaction to Netlix’s American content.

Still, I completely understand your point of view. Canada still has a very beautiful culture and we sure should have more Canadian content on Netflix, though I believe that having access to television shows and movies from other countries is also very important and doesn’t take away our beautiful culture too.

Do you think that in the next few years, Netflix will bring more diversity to the origin of their content?