Countries interested in negotiating an audiovisual coproduction treaty with Canada

From: Canadian Heritage

An audiovisual treaty coproduction occurs when two or more producers based in different countries combine creative, technical and financial resources to produce an audiovisual project, pursuant to the terms of an audiovisual coproduction treaty.

Countries interested in negotiating with Canada can find information on how to do so below.

Who can apply

Any country interested in partnering with Canada for an audiovisual coproduction.

How to apply

The Minister of Canadian Heritage is responsible for the negotiation of audiovisual coproduction treaties with Canada.

Countries wishing to enter into negotiations with Canada toward the conclusion of such a treaty must express their intentions in writing to:

Minister of Canadian Heritage
15 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
J8X 4B3

Selection criteria

From Canada's perspective, it is important that any new audiovisual coproduction treaty benefits the economic interests and audiovisual industries of each partner in a balanced way, while meeting the objectives of the Government of Canada and of the Canadian audiovisual industry.

In order to prioritize audiovisual coproduction treaty negotiations with new and existing partners, the Government of Canada developed selection criteria, based on comments obtained from Canadian audiovisual industry stakeholders and provincial/territorial government representatives during the consultation process on the implementation of Canada's Policy on Audiovisual Treaty Coproduction. The selection criteria serve as benchmarks to determine Canada's negotiating partners.

New approach for Canada’s Policy on Audiovisual Treaty Coproduction

As part of Canada's Policy on Audiovisual Treaty Coproduction, the Government of Canada moves from its more traditional cultural approach to treaty coproduction towards a more economically-driven and industrial approach. While the broad parameters and intent of both coproducing countries is still outlined in the treaty itself, arrangements related to the contractual relationships between producers is no longer prescribed by the Government of Canada. Thus, the latter measure provides producers with more flexibility to negotiate the terms of their own arrangement.

The new approach also encourages flexibility and administrative simplifications to allow for evolving audiovisual practices and technological changes over time. Consequently, Canadian and foreign governments are able to modify provisions in the Annex without having to amend the treaty itself. These changes also simplify Telefilm Canada's administrative procedures and allow for greater responsiveness to adapt to the rapidly evolving audiovisual environment.

Government of Canada’s priorities

The decision to negotiate any audiovisual coproduction treaty is based on how well the foreign partner is aligned with the Government of Canada's priorities and policies, including Canada's Policy on Audiovisual Treaty Coproduction and those relating to foreign relations and international trade.

Determining factors include whether the foreign partner:

  1. shares Canada's economic and industrial approach;
  2. represents a key coproduction market for Canada's audiovisual industry;
  3. offers a significant potential audience thereby increasing viewership;
  4. whether the treaty coproductions undertaken with this partner will yield economic benefits to Canada; and
  5. whether the partner represents a strong trade partnership for Canada, etc.

From Canada's perspective, every audiovisual coproduction treaty must stimulate investment in Canada, create opportunities for the Canadian audiovisual industry to access new markets, generate employment for Canadians and establish or expand international markets for Canadian talent and audiovisual productions.

Interest of the Canadian audiovisual industry

In selecting and prioritizing coproduction partners for treaty negotiations, Canada considers those identified as key coproduction partners by the Canadian audiovisual industry, such as those with whom they have ongoing, demonstrated and effective relationships; those that have a high level of audiovisual treaty coproduction activity; those that have expertise that can benefit the Canadian audiovisual industry.

Compatibility of foreign partner

When deciding whether to negotiate with a foreign partner, the Government of Canada considers the vitality of the partner's audiovisual industry, the audiovisual fiscal incentives, funding programs and/or policies for that industry, as well as existing infrastructures that could reduce the risk to Canadian investment.

However, Canada still considers negotiating with a partner whose government support to its audiovisual industry is not comparable to Canada's, as long as that partner has a significant potential audience and offers a new market opportunity for Canadian producers.

Canadian ratification procedures

The negotiation process involves substantive and complex discussions between potential partners, as the audiovisual coproduction treaty must address each country's economic and cultural objectives.

Once negotiations with a foreign partner are finalized, Canada must obtain legal authority for the signature and for the ratification of the audiovisual coproduction treaty respectively, in accordance with Canada's Policy on Tabling of Treaties in Parliament.

Contact us

Department of Canadian Heritage
Film and Video Policy and Programs
25 Eddy Street, 8th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
J8X 4B5



1-866-811-0055 (toll free)



Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST).

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