There are a number of content creators based in Toronto, Canada that are doing their thing nationally and on the global scene. A few names I’ve run across lately are the gentlemen over at Conquering Lion Pictures, Clemente Virgo and Damon D’Oliveira, who released their hit 6-part mini-series, The Book of Negros on CBC and Netflix. Or Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier, co-executive chairs of Boat Rocker Media, the parent company responsible for, Orphan Black. Both are binge-worthy series’ doing their part to eliminate Canadian cinema stigmas.
Carrying the torch forward are the newest additions to CBC’s television line up: Shoot the Messenger by Jennifer Holness & Suds Sutherland and Kim’s Convenience, a show written by Ins Choi and picked up by the broadcaster after premiering as a Fringe stage production in 2011.
Keeping in mind Polonius’ famous line in Hamlet, “brevity is the soul of wit”, I won’t talk about STM or Kim’s being on the air. If you are anywhere near a TTC stop, station, bus, or train, you already know they are. And I won’t discuss if they are good. First, because to each their own, and secondly, because years ago a major network thought the stories strong enough to develop and see the process through. That fact brings me to the point I will articulate: it got done. Creators of Canadian programs, all of the ones I’ve listed here and more, but especially the ones behind Shoot the Messenger and Kim’s Convenience, were given budgets, support, and resources to put together quality entertainment. And I for one, am damn proud that greenlighting projects made by, for, and featuring Canadians of colour is picking up steam in executive’s offices. It’s about damn time. Yes, sure, we’ve seen it done from time to time – thank you Global and CTV – but now, now maybe because it’s 2016 as our Prime Minister so flippantly pointed out it’s a thing. It’s expected. It’s not a sideline feature or special occasion anymore – we are in the game.