February 17, 2009 10:30 ET

CRTC Must Provide a Place for Canadian Production Online

Performers warn the CRTC that "tomorrow will be too late" on opening day of CRTC New Media hearings

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Feb. 17, 2009) - Canada's professional performers are urging the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to provide shelf space and funding for Canadian content online as ACTRA appears on the opening day of hearings on broadcasting in New Media.

Presenting on behalf of ACTRA's 21,000 members are: Colin Mochrie, star of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and This Hour Has 22 Minutes; Charlotte Arnold of Degrassi: The Next Generation; Bruce Dinsmore, the lead performer on the English-language version of the internet comedy sensation Tetes A Claques; and Richard Hardacre, ACTRA's National President.

"The CRTC must take measures now to ensure a place for Canadian programming online. If the CRTC doesn't create online space for Canadian programming today and provide a way to fund content - our culture and our industry will drown in a sea of foreign content. Tomorrow will be too late," said Mochrie.

ACTRA has four key messages for the CRTC:

- New Media is just another distribution platform for all kinds of program content

- Shelf space for Canadian content in New Media is critical

- Funding for Canadian New Media content must be put in place

- The time to act is today. Tomorrow is too late.

For a detailed backgrounder on ACTRA's proposals, please see

"This is a battle for the future of the Canadian production industry. What we need is a place in online broadcasting for Canadian storytellers and our stories. We want to share our talents with Canadians and with global audiences. And it's also about jobs for creators and producers in the digital world. The CRTC must get it right, and do it now," said Hardacre.

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 21,000 members across Canada - the foundation of Canada's highly acclaimed professional performing community.

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