SMPIA Announces Business Strategy Fund  

SMPIA is pleased to announce a new two-year program designed to provide linear and interactive digital media production companies, from emerging to established, with support to increase their capacity, accelerate their growth and strengthen their business models in an increasingly competitive marketplace.  

The Western Canada Business Strategy Fund will enable participating companies to access professional consultants of their choice and will provide assistance to corporate-strategic business development and marketing projects that are outside normal business activities. 

The Western Canada Business Strategy Fund (BSF) is open to linear and interactive production companies based in Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta and producing for English or French language markets. Companies based in British Colombia producing for French language markets may also apply. The BSF is made possible through a contribution by Western Economic Diversification and is administered by On Screen Manitoba. 

Eligible projects include business and strategic planning, advertising and promotional activities, and the creation of corporate marketing materials such as websites and demo reels. All proposed projects must be undertaken and completed by March 31, 2017. 

Successful applicants pay a program fee representing 50% of the total of the actual eligible costs approved by the jury. On Screen Manitoba will then pay invoices totaling 100% of the maximum total of the actual eligible costs approved by the jury to a lifetime maximum of $30,000 per company. There is a non-refundable processing fee of 50$ due upon application. Contribution funds are non-transferable and jury decisions are final. 

The deadline is three weeks prior to the start of the approved activity. Applications are accepted on the 1st and the 15th of every month and will be reviewed by an interprovincial jury of industry support organization representatives.


The BSF forms can be found here: 

Guidelines: guidelines  

Application form:  application 

Budget form:  budget 


Completed forms must be submitted to

For more information on the BSF or for assistance completing your form please contact: or

SMPIA Reacts to Changes at Creative Saskatchewan 

Effective today, Creative Saskatchewan has announced that the threshold for approval for grants has increased from $250,000 to $600,000. This change follows the announcement in April of changes to the copyright limitations for the Screen-Based Media Production Grant.  

SMPIA appreciates that the Saskatchewan government has made improvements to the granting system at Creative Saskatchewan and is pleased that a number of film projects are expected to be approved in the near future thanks to this change.  

"This change is a positive step towards rebuilding our screen-based media production industry and will now allow projects that are spending around $2M locally each year to be made in the province without delay," commented Vanessa Bonk, Executive Director.  

These announcements follow several months of respectful dialogue between SMPIA and representatives of the Government of Saskatchewan, including Premier Brad Wall.  SMPIA appreciates the process used and the work of Minister Docherty and his staff and looks forward to further discussions regarding the refinement of the current granting system in Saskatchewan. 

"Our goal is to be on an equal playing field with our neighbouring provinces and ensure that our home-grown success stories can be made here at home", said Nova Alberts, President, "Productions that are the size of Corner Gas The Movie and WolfCop II will still face challenges filming here, and so our work is not yet done."

You can read the origional Creative Saskatchewan statement here.


SMPIA represents members of the screen-based media production industry of Saskatchewan through communication, education and advocacy. Their vision is to champion a world-class, production-friendly environment where members of the Saskatchewan media and screen-based media production industry flourish.


Vanessa Bonk

Executive Director, SMPIA

(p) 306.529-1832 (e)



SMPIA 's 2015 Annual General Meeting took place in Regina on June 23, 2015. At that time, the organization welcomed two new faces to it's board or directors, Mark Montague and Nadia Williamson

SMPIA is proud to present it's 2015-2016 Board of Directors: 

  • Nova Alberts – President
  • Lioz Bouganin
  • Mike Burns
  • Layton Burton
  • Kevin DeWalt
  • Phil Doerksen
  • Hannah Hermanson
  • Peter LaRocque
  • Amy Mantyka
  • Dwayne Melcher
  • Mark Montague
  • Brian Self
  • Tim Tyler
  • Nadia Williamson

SMPIA appreciates its AGM sponsors:  McKercher LLP


The Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) is excited to announce it is partnering with the successful MoSo conference to develop and present panels for the media production community at their upcoming conference June 18-21st, 2015 in Saskatoon.

The following media production professionals and panels will be part of MoSo 2015:

  • Annelise Larson, Veria Search Media Marketing 
    • Presentation:Data, Audience & Money: Why Metrics Matter

  • Megan Halkett, Patio Social & Bernie Hernando, Echolands Creative Group
    • Social Media Case Study: “WolfCop"

  • Jeff Peeler, Frantic Films & Ren Oliveri
    • Panel Discussion: “The Business of Branded Content

  • Steve Peters, No Mimes Media
    • Transmedia Keynote: “ARGs are not Dead”

SMPIA members will also receive a discount to attend the conference. Members can contact the office at to receive their discount code.

Entering its fifth year, MoSo is a combined interactive media conference and music festival. The conference brings together developers, designers, marketing gurus, and music lovers alike to present a broad mix of media, music, and interactive technologies panels and workshops. More information on MoSo is available here:

This partnership was made possible thanks to support from Creative Saskatchewan’s Business Capacity Grant Program.

SMPIA represents members of the film, television and digital media industry of Saskatchewan through communication, education and advocacy. Their vision is to champion a world-class, production-friendly environment where members of the Saskatchewan media and screen-based media production industry flourish. 

About MoSo
MoSo is Canada’s best tech conference and music festival. Taking place June 18-21, 2015, MoSo celebrates great ideas, innovation, collaboration and musical talent from across North America.

With support from


The Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) is pleased to announce the 11 successful applicants for the upcoming Market Readiness Project.  These producers will work with the renowned Mickey Rogers: 

  • Dawn Bird
  • Adrian Dean
  • Jeremy Drummond
  • Bernie Hernando
  • Amy Mantyka
  • Riley Moynes
  • Raj Padamanbh
  • Brian Self
  • Adrian Traquar
  • Chris Atkinson
  • Stephan Fuchs

The Market Readiness Project involves coaching, business affairs workshops and market preparation workshops as well as on-site assistance at the Banff World Media Festival for selected participants.  The project is made possible with support from Creative Saskatchewan’s Business Capacity Grant.


SMPIA represents members of the media and screen-based production industry of Saskatchewan through communication, education and advocacy. Their vision is to champion a world-class, production-friendly environment where members of the Saskatchewan media production industry flourish. 

SMPIA responds to Saskatchewan's 2015 Budget

SMPIA is encouraged that despite being faced with the difficult task of balancing the provincial coffers, the Saskatchewan government has decided to avoid cuts to Creative Saskatchewan's 2015/2016 budget.

"The programs at Creative Saskatchewan are starting to have an affect on smaller budget productions in the province and it would be unfortunate if the agency's ability to support these projects was dimished just when they are starting to gain momentum," commented SMPIA's Executive Director Vanessa Bonk.

"The reality is that the industry does require further investment in order to grow," said SMPIA President Nova Alberts, "however getting the right mechanism for growth in place is equally important and our efforts are now focused on that."

Over the past year SMPIA has been working closely with Creative Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport to encourage changes that will better support dramatic production and increase the economic impact of the media production industry in Saskatchewan.

SMPIA also welcomes the inclusion of the creative industries in the new Manufacturing and Exporting Processor Tax Incentive. The incentive will apply to corporations involved in the commercial development of new economy products - including interactive digital media and creative industry products.   SMPIA advocated for this inclusion when the incentive was first announced in the fall.

For more information: 
Vanessa Bonk 306-529-1832

SMPIA Partners In VoiceOver Workshops

SMPIA and ACTRA have partnered to provide several of their members with Intensive Training focusing on VoiceOver Acting. Spread over the weekend of Feb. 21-22 and continued on Feb. 28, the participants learned about character, auditioning, script analysis, buisness planning and much more. SMPIA and ACTRA brought in instructors  Voice performer Paul Boucher and Award-winning Dan Willmott to guide those involved into becoming the best Voice Performers they can be.


SMPIA and SIMA Host Dissusions On MEP

SMPIA has partnered with SIMA to invite producers to discuss and learn about the Media Exchange Project in both Sasktoon and Regina.

The Media Exchange Project is a multi-year trade and investment initiative for the linear and interactive media production industries which can facilitate access to industry intelligence; market-preparedness training; market consultants; missions;  business skills training and potentially a Business Strategy Fund for production companies.  It is led by On Screen Manitoba through a collaborative process with New Media Manitoba and will include some joint initiatives with partner associations in other Western provinces. 

The Future of Film is Now for These Digital Storypreneurs

An innovative online course is teaching filmmakers and other storytellers how to embrace new digital business models and entrepreneurial thinking…all from the heart of the Canadian Prairies.

Saskatoon, SK, Feb 11, 2015: Every day there seems to be another news story making headlines about how the old business models for film and television are breaking down. However, the reality is the online landscape is incredibly crowded and getting more so every day, hour and minute. How do storytellers break through the noise? “You need to be strategic,” says Annelise Larson, who has created the online course Becoming a Storypreneur: Digital Marketing for Screen Media.

Larson has been teaching digital marketing skills to filmmakers and other storytellers since the Internet got fast enough to carry an effective video signal. Besides a second Canadian cohort, she is also launching a sold out version of her course in Europe. “These skills and knowledge are needed no matter where you are based. Universally, storytellers need to move beyond the ‘my job is just to tell a good story’ mentality where they hand over the promotional reins to someone else, to a place where they deeply understand their audience and have a solid plan for reaching and engaging them online.”

While she lived and worked almost 20 years on the west coast, Larson returned to Saskatchewan just before the cancellation of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit in 2012. “It has been a challenge,” she acknowledges, “but there are exciting things happening here. People are open to new ways of approaching their storytelling businesses, because they have to be.”

“We’re very proud this course is hailing from Saskatchewan,” says Vanessa Bonk, Executive Director of SMPIA, which along with Telefilm Canada and Creative BC has provided bursaries for participants. “We are in the process of rebuilding our industry and recognize digital is an important part of the future. To have someone of Annelise’s calibre based here and able to reach a national and international market like this proves the power of digital platforms.”

“Annelise turned my thinking completely on its head,” says Dawn Bird, a Saskatchewan producer of the award-winning feature Bread Thieves who participated in the first cohort. Marc Almon, Nova Scotian producer of the indie hit Blackbird further noted, “I know digital is the future for these kinds of projects. My team feels much more confident in the plans we are making for our projects.” While Alyson Richards, Ontario producer of the TIFF success story Guidance says, “I learned a lot from Annelise, but also from all the other participants. You don’t often get that kind of access. It multiplied what I learned many times over.”

Becoming a Storypreneur is currently taking applications for Cohort 2 from now until March 16, 2015:

About Annelise Larson: This year Annelise celebrates her 20th anniversary as a digital marketer.  She originally comes from an independent filmmaking background and has taught for organizations like Telefilm, the Independent Production Fund and others across North America. She is currently working on a variety of screen media projects across Canada and is developing a course in digital story extensions for TV series with the National Screen Institute of Canada.

For more information or interviews, you can reach Annelise at: 306-653-6714 or

Industry Mixer Announced!

Join SMPIA at Talking Dog Studios for February's Industry get together. Take a step into the future and play around with Talking Dog Studios Augmented Reality projects. Or, keep your feet firmly planted in the present and enjoy a drink, grab a bite to eat, and meet with other industry professionals.
Don't miss out on this chance to reconnect. Looking forward to seeing you there!

When: 5:00-8:00 pm, February 19, 2015

Where: Talking Dog Studios, 1212A Winnipeg St, Regina

Head on over to our facebook event page here, and let us know you're coming!

SMPIA Members Discount! Banff World Media Festival

SMPIA has partnered with the Banff World Media Festival for this year's event. As a result, SMPIA members who wish to attend the festival will recieve a special rate when applying!

For 35 years, the Banff World Media Festival has attracted a wide-ranging cross-section of television and digital media professionals from around the world, making it ideal place to make new contacts, find production partners and green-light new projects. This year's festival takes place from June 7-10, 2015. Members who wish to register for the discount simply email our communications department at for more information.

Learn more about the Banff World Media Festival here.


SMPIA @ Merging Media Talks & Market #MM5MT

In November, SMPIA board member Annelise Larson went to Vancouver to attend the Merging Media Talks & Market. Attended by experts from across North America it was the perfect opportunity for traditional linear media (TV and film) content creators to learn about how to pivot their companies to a more digital business model. Speakers included David Browne (YouTube), Esther Lim (The Estuary), Elan Lee (Xbox), Vanessa Case (Blue Ant) and the always inspiring Ted Hope (Fandor). Here are some of the key themes and takeaways from the conference:

1.       Digital cannot be an afterthought

The future (and present) is digital. Linear, appointment based content experiences (TV & theatrical feature films) are making up less and less of the entertainment landscape. In fact, this kind of static experience is a pretty big “ask” when there are so many content options available that are much more convenient, accessible and affordable.

Content creators need to think about all the digital options that are relevant to their project right from the start. This goes beyond platforms and distribution channels like YouTube and Netflix. The digital world provides all the tools you need to find, engage and build audience. Use them. And do so from the very beginning of developing a project.


 2.       Mobile & interactivity are the keys to the digital future

Digitally savvy audiences are demanding digital friendly content experiences, with no limits as to device, time of day or platform.

ny also want the deeper, richer engagement that digital interactivity provides. They are active, insatiable consumers of content. Which is great news for content creators and distributors. But more has never been asked of you. And you must provide or risk becoming obsolete. Technology can empower storytelling like never before and if well and authentically executed can reward you like never before.


 3.       The audience are the new gatekeepers

This is an age of abundance in terms of content and access. Where the scarcity happens is the limited time and attention people have and the power of choice they have been given. 

This new empowered audience is the true gatekeeper in the digital world. Broadcasters, distributors, movie theatre chains and even the multiverse of digital content apps and platforms are simply part of the range of choices they have. To truly crack the code on the digital space content creators need to work on building relationships with relevant audiences and respecting the power THEY have. In fact, broadcasters and distributors are expecting you to not just come with a great story, but with an audience.



4.       Tap into the power of the niche

Because this is a time of great content abundance, the digital world can be a very noisy place, one it is easy to get lost in. One of the best things a content creator/storyteller can do is to find underserved niche audiences and help tell their story.

To some extent, this has always been true for indie filmmakers/storytellers, but never before have you had access like you have today. More can be done with a limited budget than ever before. However to reach these niches you need to have a strong understanding of your audience and the ability to participate authentically in their communities. If you can do this, then you have a much better chance to find digital success.



5.       Data holds great power, use it!

One of the best ways to understand audience and the niches they are a part of is through the online data. In the past content creators had very limited access to the audience data. Broadcasters didn’t share television audience panel data easily and box office numbers only told part of the story for feature films in theatres. Today, this has completely changed. The online world empowers storytellers like never before through the data about who audience is and how they engage with your content. Data can help content creators and distributors make better business decisions and invest time and money in smarter ways.  Netflix is an extreme example of this but anyone can exploit this power in the digital world.

However, not enough data is being shared (new digital gatekeepers like Netflix refuse and content creators seem loathe to be seen as failures). This is a shame, because more data transparency, more case studies can only help storytellers as a whole make smarter decisions. The data can empower you to understand and build the audience that the digital world demands.



 So what does this all mean for Saskatchewan content creators?

The good news is that the digital world offers Saskatchewan opportunities like never before. The key to success will not just be finding a story you want to tell, but also finding and defining its audience. The digital world allows you to be strategic and informed in this regard like never before. It empowers you to make smart, creative business decisions which in turn opens the door to new models of distribution and monetization. This can also attract investment outside of the old model. Learn, experiment, succeed or fail, but most importantly share. This could position Saskatchewan as a leader in the industry and provide a path forward to the future.


Celebrate The Holidays With SMPIA!

To RSVP to the Saskatoon event click here.

To RSVP to the Regina event, click here.



A Unique Collaboration to Celebrate Saskatchewan Film

Together Creative Saskatchewan, Telefilm Canada, the Canadian Media Fund and the Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association will be hosting red carpet screening events to celebrate Saskatchewan’s screen-based media production industry.

For two days the Canada Saskatchewan Production Studios will be converted into a large digital theatre providing a unique environment to view some of Saskatchewan’s recent productions.

Monday November 24 will host a special afternoon viewing of Saskatchewan produced preschool shows followed by evening screenings of Wolfcop and Big Muddy.

Tuesday November 25 will see an evening screening of Corner Gas The Movie.

Trailers highlighting other local projects will also be shown throughout the two-day celebration.  Events will include a special welcome from Minister Mark Docherty and appearances by cast members.  

These events will be an opportunity for industry, business, media and politicians to network and celebrate our local industry.

“SMPIA is pleased to be working closely with the Ministry and Creative Saskatchewan on this wonderful opportunity to highlight some of the work being done in our province," says Vanessa Bonk, Executive Director of SMPIA.

“We are excited about this opportunity to showcase a few of the recent successes in Saskatchewan’s screen-based production industry,” says JP Ellson, CEO of Creative Saskatchewan.


JP Ellson, CEO   

Creative Saskatchewan     

(office) 306-798-3457

(cell) 306-535-6753 

Vanessa Bonk, Executive Director


Phone: (306) 529-1832


Message from the President

Dear Members,

I have heard from many of you regarding the provincial government’s Throne Speech yesterday and the announcement of business tax incentives that seems to model the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit.  Reports indicate that there will be incentives tied to the creation of new jobs by exporters and the relocation of head office jobs to Saskatchewan.  I, like you, was very surprised by this announcement. I share all of your questions, and your confusion.

I will say that nationally we have many examples where incentives to relocate head offices have been used successfully to foster growth in the visual fx, animation and video game industries. And in addition, our media companies have a strong history of taking Saskatchewan products to the world-wide market.  Our productions have been sold and screened in over 175 countries around the world.  Factual production company, Partners in Motion was recognized multiple times with Abex Awards (Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce) and Paragon Awards (Regina Chamber of Commerce) for their Export Achievements – they were recognized above other non-film industry competitors as excelling in the export sector.  We are an exporter. 

The provincial government and the Chamber of Commerce are applauding the announcement and recognizing that tax incentives are an effective business tool.  This is the message we have long been sending.  If this new opportunity is open to all businesses that create product and export, including the media industry, perhaps it can be a new tool for our industry as we look to move forward.

SMPIA will seek answers to the questions we have.  We will work to ensure that our industry’s exports continue to be recognized and included amongst the achievements of the Saskatchewan business community.  And we will share more details and answers as they become available to us.


Nova Alberts
President – SMPIA

Becoming a Storypreneur: Digital Marketing Course for Screen Media Creatives

Becoming a Storypreneuer is a 10 week digital marketing program designed specifically for screen media creators (writers, producers, directors of film, television, web series, transmedia experiences and other interactive screen based storytelling). Delivered online, it is available to anyone anywhere in Canada.

The course will be taught by Annelise Larson, internationally recognized digital media and marketing strategist who has taught and worked with screen media storytellers across North America, including the team behind the Lizzie Bennet Diaries web series, transmedia superstars from Starlight Runner in New York and many Canadian organizations including Telefilm, Creative BC, Women in Film & the Independent Production Fund.  

SMPIA has partnered with Become a Storypreneuer to provide candidates with possible finacncing opportunities and bursaries.

 For more information about the course, bursaries and how to apply, visit here

Deadline to apply for the first cohort is September 24, 2014.


Regina, May 20th, 2014 

The Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) welcomes the news
that a Corner Gas movie will be filmed in Saskatchewan with the financial support of the
Saskatchewan provincial government. A comedic favourite amongst Canadians and the
world over, Saskatchewan people can be proud of its depiction of landscapes,
personalities and true Saskatchewan humour.

SMPIA is saddened though that what was once a great Saskatchewan production is now being done with the assistance of Ontario's refundable tax credit and will therefore hire many Ontario crew members rather than Saskatchewan residents during the month-long film shoot.

In addition, SMPIA has learned that the production will receive funding beyond the
usual limitations of Creative Saskatchewan, which is the agency assigned to support film
production in the province.

“Any films taking place in Saskatchewan are good for the province, and any work the
members of the media production industry in Saskatchewan can get on these projects is
good news,” remarked Nova Alberts, President of SMPIA, “But if the government had
more money to invest in film production, we would have encouraged it to be invested in
a way that could have had a greater long term impact on the industry.”

“This further highlights the challenges with the current support system for film
production in Saskatchewan,” said Vanessa Bonk, Executive Director of SMPIA. “No
matter how much they may have wanted to see this movie made, Creative
Saskatchewan could not fund this production at the level required within its current
guidelines and budget. Another Ministry needed to step in to make it happen. It’s great
to see this project happen in Saskatchewan; we wish there were many more projects
like this happening in Saskatchewan. But if we want to see more movies like this film
here, permanent changes need to be made. ”

Following an extensive process of consultation with the industry this spring, SMPIA
delivered a set of recommendations for changes to the Creative Saskatchewan
guidelines that will better support the industry in its re-growth and recovery. SMPIA and
Creative Saskatchewan have been working closely over the past few months, and
recently announced a partnership to help stabilize the industry through an Economic
Development Initiative.

For more information:
Vanessa Bonk 306-529-1832

SMPIA and Creative Saskatchewan Announce Economic Development Initiative 

SMPIA Media Release, Saskatoon, May 8, 2013 

The Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) is pleased to

announce that a proposal to Creative Saskatchewan’s Business Capacity

Research Grant has been approved in the amount of $111,000.

In January 2014 SMPIA undertook a consultation with the film and television

industry and from that developed a plan for economic development for the

remaining companies and individuals that will work to address their highest

needs – more work for companies and more work for individuals. 

Full press release here

Dear Members,

In January of 2014 the Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Assocation undertook a process of consultation in order to understand the production community remaining in Saskatchewan. This process revealed overwhelming consensus on the top needs of the community - "Regular Work" and "Funding Changes". I'm pleased to let you know that in response to this research, SMPIA is now actively developing and seeking funding to launch a program to support the needs of the media production industry in Saskatchewan.

As SMPIA seeks to assist in stabilizing the industry and retain as many remaining industry personnel as possible, given that the top need of the media production industry has been identified as "Regular work", and that the vision of SMPIA is to respond to industry, SMPIA’s proposed program will work to increase the amount of work available and support business being generated for the industry within the limitations of the current policy environment in Saskatchewan. This will require a number of strategies, some of which have been identified in the consultation process, such as looking to other industries, looking out of province, exploring new funding models and encouraging productions that are traditionally funded without government support. These ideas require further examination and exploration beyond the scope of the recent consultation.

To this end, SMPIA's proposed program will:

  • Explore and leverage opportunities to increase jobs and economic growth in the media production industry in Saskatchewan 
  • Investigate and act as a catalyst for new strategies to increase work for the industry 
  • Develop industry initiatives that support local businesses and encourage job creation 
  • Seek funding to support industry development and entrepreneurial growth 
  • Support relevant industry renewal projects undertaken by other organizations 
  • Build partnerships with communities, business networks and local government that can benefit the media production industry 
  • Investigate strategies for a sustainable media production industry such as those being explored in Australia, New Zealand and Sweden 
  • Work to remove barriers to media production in Saskatchewan 
  • Promote the local area, personnel and infrastructure to attract new employers, clients and external investment in the province 
  • Explore training solutions for local businesses and underemployed people who want to remain in Saskatchewan 
  • Better utilize communications channels such as social media, blog posts, and SMPIA’s website to share news and tools that may assist the industry 
  • Foster a feeling of a local connected industry through networking, celebration and communication

Some examples of projects that would be explored and undertaken by SMPIA if funding is secured are:

  • Creating opportunities to pitch investors and meet with decision makers such as SaskFilm’s Breakfast with a Broadcaster 
  • Coordinating networking opportunities with potential clients, employers, partners, and colleagues 
  • Organizing corporate marketing missions to encourage advertisers to consider Saskatchewan locations and talent as part of their corporate productions 
  • Connecting job seekers and employers within the industry 
  • Facilitating industry learning opportunities such as mentorship for emerging producers or the Alberta Voice Initiative - which encourages actors to diversify and promote their skills and assets to other industries and other markets 
  • Researching and providing market intelligence regarding new sources and models of business such as online distribution and exploration of new niche markets 
  • Developing materials to promote Saskatchewan industry services and assets to clients in other industries 
  • Marketing activities to address negative perceptions and concerns about investing in the Saskatchewan media production industry 
  • Celebrating local achievements to raise the profile and highlight the investability of the Saskatchewan industry

As the second biggest obstacle to success and need identified by all sectors of the media production community was "Funding Changes", SMPIA will also constructively work towards securing more favourable funding terms for Industry.

Many suggestions for improvements to the current funding systems have been captured within the consultation process. At the request of Creative Saskatchewan, SMPIA is currently using the suggestions made in this report as a catalyst to stimulate discussions with producers and formulate recommendations for change.

On behalf of SMPIA's Board of Directors, I would like to thank the community for their participation in this process. We are hopeful that the data gathered will lead to positive changes for the remaining industry and will keep you informed on our efforts to secure funding and funding changes.


Holly Baird
President, SMPIA

Industry Consultation Report

In January of 2014, the Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) undertook a process of consultation to help understand and identify the needs of the remaining media production industry professionals in Saskatchewan. The association received 218 responses from individuals, businesses and support organizations and compiled a comprehensive report on the information that was collected.

The consultation revealed that over 40% of industry members still in Saskatchewan are currently unemployed or working in another industry with 34% of those who remain anticipating that they may have to move out of province within the year. The big picture challenges for the industry as a whole can be summarized as workforce retention and infrastructure preservation. To address these, the industry has overwhelmingly identified regular work and funding changes as their immediate needs.

The full report is available here: Industry Consultation Report

Industry Assessment Survey 2014

The Saskatchewan industry has faced a number of challenges in the past few years that have changed our community. In order to best inform plans for growth, it is necessary for SMPIA to gain an understanding of the remaining industry and what would be of most help in reaching their goals.

We hope you will participate by letting us know what you are doing now and what you need.

If you have moved away from Saskatchewan or are no longer working in the industry, please let us know that as well.

The survey is available at:

Survey closes February 1st.

May 1st Membership Update

SMPIA Members,

Mark your calendars:  SMPIA will be holding its AGM on June 6th at 5pm in the Saskatchewan Suite of the Hotel Sask.  The business meeting and board elections will be followed by a member gathering and I hope you will be able to join us.

As an industry update (and as you are probably aware) the Saskatchewan government recently announced a new agency for the creative industries in the province called Creative Saskatchewan along with a $5M investment pool.  Legislation has gone through readings and committee and the expected commencement date for this organization is September 1, 2013.

A working group has been assembled by the Ministry of Parks, Culture & Sport to sort through the details of what Creative Saskatchewan will do and how the investment pool will be distributed.  SMPIA is a part of that working group and attends the weekly meetings to help ensure that some of the investment pool benefits the media production industry along with the needs of the other creative industries.

While the discussions take place we have been asked to refrain from distributing any information prior to finalization, but as soon as there are details available we will share them with you.

See you at the AGM,

Vanessa Bonk,

SMPIA Executive Director

A Message from SMPIA:

This Thursday November 1, 2012 SMPIA will be heading into a day-long plenary meeting where the future of the creative industries sector will be discussed including the responses the ministry has received on this somewhat controversial subject.  Meanwhile there is much speculation about the government’s intent and what SMPIA has been requesting for the film industry as we move forward. 

Earlier this month SMPIA provided a copy of its submission to the Ministry of Parks Culture and Sport (Ministry of PCS).  The proposal can be viewed here.

We feel it is an incentive that can both support our industry but also the other creative industries.  We also feel that it is a good fit for the government who have repeatedly indicated that they will not reconsider a refundable tax credit such as the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit (SFETC).

Earlier today the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with SaskFim, released a report on a study that was conducted regarding the impacts of the previous refundable tax credit.  It estimates that the SFETC had a net cost of $1.3M. The program we have presented to the Ministry of PCS has an estimated net cost of less than $755,000.  It speaks to an emphasis on indigenous production and expenditures that encourage the film industry to resume its valuable contribution to the province.

SMPIA supports strengthening and sustaining all creative industries and will be working on our members’ behalf to ensure that film is included in that pursuit.

SMPIA Announces New President

We are pleased to announce Holly Baird as the new SMPIA President.  Holly has served on the SMPIA Board for 3 years now and has been intimately involved more recently in the decision-making process and is eager to get the industry moving in a positive direction. 

In her role of Acting President she and other SMPIA representatives met with the Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport along with the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce and SaskFilm on October 1st.   SMPIA was invited to the meeting for the purpose of re-opening dialogue regarding the media production industry and to discuss moving the industry forward.

“This first meeting was a positive step in the right direction and I hope the industry will be behind SMPIA as we move on and look to the future with a positive outlook” remarked Holly.

At the meeting the Minister said that he was interested in finding a model that could work for both industry and government as a part of the upcoming Creative Industry consultations.  He spoke positively about future production and growing local companies. The minister stressed the importance of the ongoing consultation process and communicated his commitment to ensuring that all creative industries move forward and benefit from the process.

SMPIA will be fully engaged in the upcoming Cultural Industry consultation process meetings and will be preparing a submission that includes an incentive model.  As a part of this process many of our producing community will be invited to participate in focus groups and it is SMPIA’s hope that the industry will engage in a positive, constructive and open-minded way.  The government has signalled to us that there is an interest in pursuing a new model and further talks are welcomed as a part of the Cultural Industry consultation process.

SMPIA's Submission for the Creative Industries Consultation

To view SMPIA's submission for the Creative Industry Consultation in its entirety click here  


SMPIA Office is Moving            

We are moving out of our current location in the CBC building at 2440 Broad Street, Regina, as of August 31, 2012

Our new contact information is:
Phone: (306) 529-1832  
Mail: PO Box 31088, Regina SK, S4R 8R6

Film Industry Workers Are Leaving Saskatchewan

 A recent survey was undertaken by Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) board member Annelise Larson of those working and studying in the film, television and digital media industries in the province. The survey indicates the majority plan to leave Saskatchewan as a result of the government’s decision to eliminate the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit (SFETC).

Of the 198 people who responded to the survey, 45 per cent said they plan to leave Saskatchewan entirely while another 10 per cent are leaving, but will retain some kind of (smaller) presence in the province. Seven per cent are undecided. The primary reason for leaving was the cancellation of the SFETC and the resulting loss of work and income to support their families. Others also listed a loss of faith in the government, and feeling insulted by comments made about the industry over the last few months as reasons for their decision to move.

Of those who are planning to leave, 50 per cent plan to move within the next six months, followed by another 25 per cent within the year. Seventy-two per cent are planning to sell their homes. The majority are looking to B.C. and Ontario as alternative locations, followed by Manitoba, Alberta and the United States.

Of the 38 per cent who are planning to stay in the province, 85 per cent anticipate a career change or a significant change to their current business model, such as downsizing their companies (63 per cent).

Survey respondents were invited to share their personal thoughts and stories. Here are a few of their comments:

“Because of the SFETC and the Canada-Saskatchewan Soundstage, I’ve been able to remain in the province I love, in the community I love, with the family and friends that I love, as well as work with Academy (and Golden Globe, AFI, Sundance, BAFTA, Golden Bear, Palm d’Or, Gemini and Genie) Award winning actors and technicians from all over the world. When professionals from Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin, Toronto, Vancouver, Rome, London and New York recognize and compliment my skills and encourage me to seek things ‘bigger and better’ than our Saskatchewan industry, I feel a tremendous sense of pride...I am proud of being able to say, ‘Thanks, but I’m fine right here in Saskatchewan – I don’t need to move.’ I have worked in seven Canadian provinces and 24 countries around the world – and from this perspective, I really don’t feel there are things ‘bigger and better’ than living and working here in Saskatchewan... Eliminating the SFETC is a decision that I do not understand, because as working families in Saskatchewan, WE ARE the ‘Saskatchewan Advantage’. Just like oil, potash, forests, crops, uranium, and diamonds – WE THE PEOPLE are valuable. And by canceling this program, you will be throwing away these precious resources.”

“We purchased a home here, made new friends, [and] enrolled my son in preschool. The sadness that we will not be able to continue here to work with people who are, in fact, the hardworking pioneers of film on the prairies – including many of whom I have known personally since childhood – is particularly painful. I wish all that remain the very best in their endeavours, and hope that there will be a change [that] all members of the local film and television industry may benefit by – that is, of course, assuming any are left here, in this, my dear birthplace of Saskatchewan.”

“With heavy hearts, I move my wife and two kids from a place we thought we’d be achieving our dreams for the rest of our lives. As the saying goes, ‘If you wanna sell hats, you gotta go where the heads are’. In our case, those heads are in Vancouver. This is still the most ridiculous, ill-sighted, completely insane decision our government has made with regard to arts and culture. At least my kids are excited to get out of here and go to a place where their daddy can follow his dreams. I’m scared as hell...and I sold my house, which just celebrated its 100 year anniversary. very sad...”

“I planned on growing old in this province and likewise raising my children here, near their cousins and extended family. That dream has been shattered. My 93 year old Grandmother, who currently sees my children every week to two weeks and hears from me a few times a week, will likely only see my kids a couple more times in her entire [life] because of the elimination of the tax credit.”

“I have lived and worked hard in Saskatchewan most of my life and I am sad to say that this is the first time in my life [that] I am ashamed to be a Saskatchewan resident. My Saskatchewan government stood up in front of their people and blatantly lied about The Refundable Tax Credit and accused the Film industry of being trouble makers. I have been a hard working taxpayer and created a small money making business that supported a family of four for the last 22 year and now with one incredible stupid slash, I have been put out of business.”

“I voted for the Sask Party. I believed in them because I have a business degree and I am pro-business; the film industry IS a HUGE and viable business. I didn’t think the Sask Party would kill a BUSINESS industry, but they did. I’m unimpressed they cut $8M in the budget, and yet they give boatloads more to industries MUCH larger than what the film industry is. Really?...”

“I feel so betrayed by our government. They want young people to stay in the province, especially young, educated people. In two years I will have completed my degree in Film Production from the U of R, and I will most likely have to sell my condo and move away from the city that I have grown to love, and that I [had] decided to make my home long after I finish university. I will not get the income tax rebate promised to all university grads that stay in Saskatchewan even though I WANT to stay in Saskatchewan. I don’t want to leave, but I have to.”

“After being awarded a century family award just a few short years ago for my family maintaining the same land for over a century, I still can’t believe I am being forced out of province by the government.”

To view the complete survey, click here  

Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit Ends

June 27, 2012

This Saturday marks the deadline for the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit and the end of the vibrant and successful Saskatchewan film industry as we know it.

The Government of Saskatchewan had announced the elimination of funding to the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit effective June 30, 2012, at its last provincial budget. A new non-refundable program was later announced, despite the Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) argument that this type of model has not worked in any other jurisdiction and will not work here.

“Our industry has worked very hard to reach a workable agreement with government leaders, but despite our best efforts, the government has continued to proceed with a non-refundable program that has proven to be ineffective in the few jurisdictions that have actually pursued such a model,” said Ron Goetz, SMPIA president.

“The limited time constraints that were placed on our industry made it impossible to complete the necessary research needed to develop an alternative solution that could both satisfy the government and meet the needs of the industry,” he continued. “As it stands, the loss of the tax credit has effectively put an end to Saskatchewan’s role as a major market for film and television production.”

In the coming days, film industry workers will be faced with difficult choices as they decide whether to relocate their businesses and families outside of the province, or stay. “Many, myself included, have already decided that the only way to secure a viable future in the industry is to leave the province. Others will remain. We wish them the best, and hope that the government will one-day reverse its decision,” he said. “To us, being a ‘have’ province means making Saskatchewan a place where we all ‘have’ an opportunity to work toward and realize our dreams. This has been, unfortunately, very much a step in the wrong direction.”

SMPIA extends a heartfelt thank you to the numerous national, provincial and local sources that supported, and continue to support, the association and the Saskatchewan film community at large during these trying times. The association plans to host a public celebration to commemorate the Saskatchewan film and television industry’s numerous past achievements, the details of which will be released in the near future.

SMPIA Highlights Saskatchewan Media Companies at the Banff World Media Festival

Regina, SK – On June 11th, the Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) will turn the spotlight on Saskatchewan interactive and traditional media partnerships at the Banff World Media Festival. Thanks to a Culture on the Go: Market Access Grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SMPIA is leading an industry delegation of Saskatchewan cross-media professionals to showcase their works as well as meet with creators and investors as part of the official Banff Festival program.

The goal of this delegation is to highlight Saskatchewan cross-platform media products at the Banff World Media Festival in order to gain investment and exposure for Saskatchewan talent.

“The Banff World Media Festival is a key media production and development marketplace for international media professionals”, said Executive Director Vanessa Bonk, “and with hundreds of executives in attendance, SMPIA will be able to demonstrate Saskatchewan's skills and connect our companies to media industry experts from around the world".

Members of the delegation were determined through a competition held at SMPIA's digital content conference, Multi-PlatFORUM 2012 on March 28th in Regina. Two project teams, each comprised of one Film/TV company representative and one Interactive company representative, were selected to be part of the official delegation as follows:

  • CollegeMobile Inc. & Wapos Bay Productions - “Wapos Bay: Self Improvement”
  • T3 Digital Productions & Karma Film - "Your Lupine Life"

The competition was judged by Canadian Media Production Association President and former content executive Norm Bolen, Shaw Media digital production executive, Zach Feldberg, and convergent content business analyst, Sasha Boersma.

Jennifer Egroff, Account and Marketing Director with CollegeMobile expressed her thoughts about attending the festival. "CollegeMobile is excited about the opportunity to be part of this delegation and the Banff World Media Festival. We are looking forward to the opportunity to meet with content producers from around the world who are interested in collaborating with us to develop interactive smartphone and tablet apps."

Members of the official delegation will join SMPIA to represent their projects as examples of innovative cross-media as part of a panel on June 11th at the Banff World Media Festival. They will also participate in a reception arranged for the delegation at the event.

For more information, contact:

Vanessa Bonk
Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA)

About the Saskatchewan Arts Board
The Saskatchewan Arts Board serves the people of Saskatchewan through programs, services and partnerships designed to build a strong and vibrant arts sector. Culture on the Go: Market Access is an opportunity for organizations (Creative Industry Sector Organizations, presenting theatres, companies and producers) in support of new strategic marketplace development projects.

About the Banff World Media Festival
For over three decades, the Banff World Media Festival has brought top leaders from across the evolving media landscape to the heart of the Canadian Rockies for a totally unique experience. Attracting over 150 Development Executives and a wide-ranging cross-section of TV and digital media professionals from around the world, BANFF is the ideal place to make new contacts, find production partners and green-light new projects.

SMPIA’s Cross-Media Delegation to Banff is thanks to the receipt of a Culture on the Go: Market Access Grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board. Culture on the Go is made possible through funding provided to the Saskatchewan Arts Board by the Government of Saskatchewan through the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport

SMPIA also appreciates the support of the Banff World Media Festival and Achilles Media

Ron Goetz & Shawn McGrath on NewsTalk Radio 

You've heard many stories about Saskatchewan film financing, its a complicated thing to understand in a 10 second sound bite.  This Saturday morning get the straight goods about why the film industry makes sense in Saskatchewan.  Ron Goetz from the Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association will explain in detail the truth about how the film industry works and why the industry can't compete anywhere in North America without a refundable tax credit. Join Ron Goetz on Talk to the Experts, this Saturday afternoon to hear the facts.

Saturday June 2nd

11:30 am in Saskatoon on 650 CKOM 
12:30 pm in Regina on 980 CJME

SMPIA Congratulates Saskatchewan Filmmaker on Prestigious Golden Sheaf Award

For the second time in its 65 year history, a Saskatchewan film was awarded the top prize at the Golden Sheaf Awards, held on May 27, 2012 in conjunction with the Yorkton Film Festival. In addition to being named Best of Festival, the winning film, To Make a Farm, was also awarded the Ruth Shaw Best of Saskatchewan honours and best Documentary Nature/Environment. 

“We are excited to congratulate the team behind ‘To Make a Farm’ on their win,” said Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) President Ron Goetz. “This proves that Saskatchewan creators can compete with anyone when they are given the support they need to see their vision through.”

The film follows five young people with no agricultural backgrounds as they venture into small-scale farming. It was directed by Steven Suderman and produced by Suderman and Robin Schlaht, through Regina-based production company Orangeville Road Pictures Ltd.

Suderman said the Saskatchewan film tax credit was an important part of the financing structure for the small budget film, which drew on talented local professionals such as film editor Jackie Dzuba and post-production companies Java Post and Twisted Pair, to complete.

“I think it becomes more and more difficult to win awards if you don’t have the resources you need to finish films professionally and to make sure that the quality is as high as it can be,” he said. “Without the refundable tax credit, those companies are going to find it more and more difficult to continue to operate in the province. That’s a huge factor.”

For more information contact Ron Goetz at (306) 525-6361

SMPIA Welcomes Cabinet Shuffle

The Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) is hopeful that the addition of the Honourable Kevin Doherty as the new Minister of Parks, Culture & Sport will result in a more positive and engaged relationship between the film, television and digital media industry and the provincial government.

“SMPIA and its members remain optimistic that today’s cabinet shuffle will provide us with an opportunity to work with a new Cabinet Minister to develop a refundable tax program for Saskatchewan’s film, television and digital media industry,” said Ron Goetz, President of SMPIA. “I would like to congratulate Minister Doherty on his appointment, and I look forward to meeting with him in the near future to discuss this important issue.”

The establishment of a refundable tax initiative is necessary to ensure that the film, television and digital media industry remains viable within Saskatchewan. Without such a program, which is utilized in every other province in Canada, many of Saskatchewan’s production companies and the workers employed by the industry will be forced to move out of province to find work.

“We hope that we can move forward and work with Minister Doherty to keep our talented young workers and their families here in Saskatchewan working in the film, television and digital media industry,” said Goetz. “Our industry’s future in this province is in jeopardy, and we hope that Minister Doherty is up to the challenge of creating a solution that will meet both the government’s and the industry’s needs. Our industry’s future is now in Minister Doherty’s hands.”

For more information contact:

SMPIA (Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association)
W211 - 2440 Broad Street
Regina, SK S4P 4A1
p: (306) 525-9899
f: (306) 569-1818

A Message from the SMPIA Board

On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to all of our members and supporters who have worked so diligently during these past few weeks on our cause. I realize these are trying times but your dedication and perseverance are making a difference, as public pressure is vital if the government is going to provide us with a new incentive program. Thanks to all those who helped organize and participate in the rally, culture cruise, money card campaigns, petitions, letters and so much more. Public pressure remains our biggest asset with the government. We are now asking the government to come back to the table and develop a program that will work for our industry. We remain hopeful that we can reach an agreement that will allow our industry to continue to grow and flourish in this province. At this time, we encourage our supporters to continue to demonstrate their support for our industry, but not to take actions that might allow the government to portray us as unreasonable and irresponsible.

As you know last week we asked that Minister Hutchison be removed from this file. Such action is a serious matter and we felt that it was an appropriate request to ensure that the process of working on a new plan would work for all and be handled in a professional manner. However, we also need to appreciate that those who serve in government work for the people of the province and are duly elected to do so. Many of these elected officials work hard on our behalf. There are times when we don’t agree on a particular file and changes need to be made. This was our basic request. There is little room for disrespectful comments towards elected officials and I would hope that we would act in a responsible manner on that front.

It is fair to say that industry and government are at an impasse at the moment. We are currently meeting everyday as a board and committee chairs to find ways to keep this process moving forward. I appreciate that many of you are still trying to deal with the “what’s next” issue in your own lives. We also know this is a stressful time for many within the industry. Rest assured that your board has not given up and indeed are ready and willing to keep the pressure on until we have a suitable funding plan for our industry. We ask that you allow the process to continue and trust in those who are working on your behalf.

We have had a really good couple of weeks let’s keep it up by talking to MLA’s and the public in person and online. Next week we will continue to evolve a strategy to carry our message forward.  Thanks for your continued support!

May 17, 2012

You can help SMPIA's efforts by:

  1. Sharing the latest SMPIA video  available here
  2. Taking the time to write a letter to your hometown newspaper. 

And continuing to spread the truth about the Saskatchewan Film industry.  Facts, stories and more information can be found at

Saskatchewan media production industry to present petitions during rally

The Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association is rolling out the red carpet on the steps of the Legislature on Monday to premiere its petitions with thousands of names in support of the industry.

Industry members and their supporters will be gathering at the Canada Saskatchewan Production Studios in Regina at 11:30 a.m. before walking and driving to the Legislature. The petitions have been signed by people from all walks of life and every corner of the province.

"We're asking the Premier whether or not he supports our industry and if does, then provide us with a refundable tax credit program," said SMPIA President Ron Goetz.

Supporters in Saskatoon will gather at Kinsmen Park and then drive to Regina on their motorcycles, classic cars, and industry vehicles. Kim Coates, star of Sons of Anarchy, will be participating in the Culture Cruise.

For more information contact Pat Rediger at (306) 522-9326 or email

SMPIA calls for cabinet minister to be removed

The Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association today called upon Premier Brad Wall to remove Bill Hutchinson as the Minister of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport and replace him with someone who has a better understanding of the film, TV and digital industry.

“The actions of this Minister have brought a $50 million annual industry to the brink of disaster. He has consistently ignored our concerns and brought forward a program that will not work. We respectfully ask the Premier of Saskatchewan to remove this Minister and replace him with an individual that understands the issues and will help us develop a program that will work for the industry,” said Ron Goetz.

During the recent provincial budget, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the elimination of funding to the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit, which has supported the growth and development of the film and digital media industry in the province. Since that announcement the industry has been working to develop a new incentive program that will enable the industry to remain competitive. 

The industry presented a draft plan to the Minister with the intention of working with the government to develop a new incentive program. The following day the Minister announced a program that was not endorsed by the industry and has a significant flaw that makes it unworkable. The program contains a non-refundable tax credit and the industry requires a refundable tax credit. 

“This program will simply not work and the manner in which it was released makes it very difficult for our industry to work with the current Minister. It would best serve the people of Saskatchewan if a new Minister with a better understanding of our industry were named to help us create a program that will keep our industry in Saskatchewan,” said Goetz.

He added there is still time for the government to develop a program that will keep the industry alive in Saskatchewan, but the longer this process takes, the more difficult it becomes for the industry to attract outside investment.

For more information contact Ron Goetz at (306) 525-6361. 

SMPIA responds to quotes from the Honorable BillHutchinson, Minister of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport.

Financial Model Examples of FDTC 

Ernst & Young Study: Evaluating the effectiveness of state film tax credit programs

The Majority of the Saskatchewan Public Supports the Film, Video and Digital Media Industry

SMPIA releases poll showing almost 75% of Saskatchewan residents believe that film and television is important to Saskatchewan and a similar number expressed support for implementing an incentive program close in size to the one that was eliminated.

Read the Leaderpost story on the poll here:

See the actual poll here.

Show your support for the film, video and digital media industry

The Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) is inviting you to attend the "Made in Saskatchewan" Film Night and the Culture Cruise and Rally of Support for the industry. 

The event begins on Sunday, May 13 at 7 p.m. in the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon with a “Made in Saskatchewan” Film Night. Join Saskatchewan's Kim Coates (star of Sons of Anarchy) and SMPIA President Ron Goetz as they celebrate Saskatchewan productions such as Neighbors Dog, Bannock Boys, Interpersonalities, Rabbit Fall, Wapos Bay, The Side Show Christmas, and Rescurrection SK. Admission is free or by donation.

The Culture Cruise will take place at Kinsmen Park in Saskatoon starting on Monday, May 14 at 7 a.m. Kim Coates will be on site and there will be a free pancake breakfast and yoga before participants drive to Regina. The Culture Cruise will drive through downtown Saskatoon at around 8 a.m. and then pass through Dundurn and arrive in Regina at the Canada Saskatchewan Production Studio around 11:30 a.m. People are encouraged to drive, motorbike or bring their classic cars all the way to Regina or as far as Dundurn.

The film and video industry needs your support! This is your opportunity make a difference.

For more information, contact Teresa Mead at (306) 241-5018.

Saskatchewan media production industry reacts to Government’s Plan

The Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) is expressing its concern about how the Provincial Government’s new Film/TV and Digital Tax Credit (FTDC) will be funded.

“In our proposal to the government, we recommended that the government consider a refundable tax credit on all production expenses, including labour costs. This new plan is based upon a non-refundable tax credit program, which has not been successful in other jurisdictions. In fact, Saskatchewan’s program would be the only one in Canada that is not based on refundable tax credits,” said Ron Goetz, SMPIA President.

Goetz said he appreciated the government’s interest in SMPIA’s proposal, and he is looking forward to hearing from the government about the details of how a non-refundable tax credit program will be administered. It is a key aspect of the government’s plan and the details must be clear before the industry provides its support.

SMPIA approached the government earlier this week with a proposal to develop a new film, television and creative interactive media production program in the province. This proposal was developed after significant research and development by industry professionals, who consulted with national leaders in the interactive media and film and television industry to create an innovative model to make Saskatchewan an industry leader.

“There are several unanswered questions about the government’s new plan, but we look forward to continue working with the government to ensure it will meet the needs of our industry,” said Goetz.

He also thanked the public for their support of the media production industry in Saskatchewan and its efforts to create a new incentive program.

For more information contact Ron Goetz at (306) 525-6361. 

Social Media Campaign

The Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) is kicking its social media campaign into high gear to celebrate Saskatchewan’s film and digital media industry.

Throughout the month of May, SMPIA’s Facebook page, Twitter account and website will promote the successes and achievements of Saskatchewan’s film and digital media productions, crews, actors, writers and filmmakers. This celebration of Saskatchewan’s film and digital media industry is part of SMPIA’s efforts to work with the provincial government to establish a new incentive program for the province’s film and digital media industry.

“Saskatchewan needs a new incentive program,” says Ron Goetz, SMPIA’s President. “Our province is home to a wealth of talent, and we do not want to see that talent leaving Saskatchewan in search of work in other provinces. We want our people to stay here and continue to share their incredible stories and talents with Saskatchewan and the world.”

The social media sites will also keep viewers up-to-date on all of the latest campaign information, events and activities that are designed to show support for the industry and the development of a new incentive program in Saskatchewan.

To learn more about the campaign and how you can help celebrate Saskatchewan’s film, television and digital media industry:

- join in the discussion via Twitter at!/SMPIAOffice

- share our boards on Pinterest at

- visit our Facebook page,

- check out SMPIA’s new campaign website,

Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon Screens Sequel to a Canadian Cult Classic 

The Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon will be screening Hard Core Logo II, a sequel to the 90’s cult classic film Hard Core Logo, this week. The film was shot primarily in Watrous and Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan and is directed by iconic Canadian indie filmmaker, Bruce McDonald. The documentary-style film follows the recording process of Die Mannequin and Care Failure, the band’s edgy lead singer who claims to be possessed by the spirit of Joe Dick, a punk rock singer who took his own life in the original film.

Prior to the screening events, volunteers will be asking members of the audience to sign a petition in favour of the Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA) working with the provincial government to develop a new incentive program to support the Saskatchewan film and digital media industry. 

“The loss of an incentive program will have a negative impact on the province’s film and digital media industry,” says Holly Baird, with Trilight Entertainment and Producer of Hard Core Logo II. “Producers and directors will be forced to relocate to other provinces and Saskatchewan will lose out on the revenue that is generated through movie productions, such as Hard Core Logo II. I encourage people to come out to sign the petition and show their support for our industry.”

Tickets to the show are $7 for Broadway Theatre members, $10 for non-members, and $5 for children 12 and under.

The media and public are invited to attend the screening events, which will take place at:

9:00 p.m.

Monday, April 30 and Wednesday, May 2, 2012


7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Broadway Theatre

715 Broadway Avenue, Saskatoon

For more information, contact Holly Baird at (306) 529-7880.

Celebrating Saskatchewan Film Students

Fourth year students from the University of Regina’s Media Production and Studies Department are celebrating their pending convocations with the release of their student film projects this Friday and Saturday at the Artesian on 13th Theatre.  A reception will take place following the Saturday evening screenings.

Unfortunately, although this is a time of celebration, it is also a time of concern as students worry about how the elimination of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit will impact their future employment opportunities in the province’s film and digital media industry.

“Without a new incentive program, there will be no employment opportunities for film and media graduates in Saskatchewan, and we will be forced to leave the province to find work,” said Allan Roecher, University of Regina film student.

The media and the public are invited to attend the screenings and a reception to help honour and support our future filmmakers of Saskatchewan. The admission fee is a donation to Saskfilm Camp 2012, an annual summer camp that teaches filmmaking skills to youth between the ages of 13 and 17.

The events will take place on:

Film Screenings: Friday, April 27, 2012 
Film Screenings and Reception:Saturday, April 28, 2012

Location and Times:
Artesian on 13th Theatre13th Avenue, Regina
Doors open at 7:00 p.m.Screenings start at 7:30 p.m

"Money Card” Campaign Launched by Workers in the Saskatchewan Film and Digital Media Industry

April 24, 2012 - Individuals employed by Saskatchewan’s film and digital media industry will be taking part in a “Money Card” Campaign from April 24 to May 1 in Regina and Saskatoon to raise awareness about the industry’s importance to Saskatchewan’s booming economy. Workers will distribute cards that say “I earned this money working in the film industry” to companies they conduct business with throughout the course of the week long campaign.

“We think that it is important for the business community in Saskatchewan to understand the impact the film and digital media industry has on the province’s economy and their bottom line,” says Ron Goetz, President of the Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA). “Our industry generates significant economic returns for the province, and our members are proud supporters of local communities and businesses in Saskatchewan.”

The “Money Card” Campaign is part of the SMPIA’s work to raise awareness about the film and digital media industry in Saskatchewan and to gain support for a new provincial incentive program for the industry to ensure that it remains a strong and viable competitor on the world stage.

For more information, contact Pat Rediger at (306) 522-9326 or email

Saskatchewan Film & Digital Media Supporters Launch Petition Campaign in Regina & Saskatoon

Supporters of Saskatchewan’s film and digital media industry will be travelling door to door this weekend in Regina and Saskatoon to collect signatures for a petition asking the provincial government to introduce a new incentive program for the industry. This new incentive program will help ensure that movie and television productions continue to take place in the province, rather than in other parts of Canada or around the world where incentive programs are still available.

“For every dollar spent on Saskatchewan’s film and digital media industry, six dollars are returned to the province’s economy through expenditures such as accommodations, meals, taxes, set and costume building materials, vehicle and equipment rentals, the hiring of local crews and actors, and other production costs,” says Ron Goetz, President of the Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA). “Our film and digital media industry is vital to Saskatchewan’s continued growth, and we hope to work with the provincial government to establish a new incentive program that will benefit both the industry and the province for years to come.”

Volunteers will be going door to door in Regina from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, April 20; from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 21; and from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Monday, April 23. In Saskatoon, the campaign will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 21.

Individuals are also encouraged to sign the petition, which is available at these supporting business locations – Unreal City, Turning the Tide and Collective Coffee in Saskatoon and O’Hanlon’s and the 13th Avenue Coffeehouse in Regina.

For more information contact Pat Rediger at (306) 522-9326 or email 

SMPIA's 2012-2013 Board of Directors Announced! 

SMPIA would like to thank everyone who joined us for our 2012 Annual General Meeting and Dinner. 

We are pleased to announce our 2012-2013 Board of Directors:

Ron Goetz – Executive Producer/Executive Vice-President, Partners in Motion 

Holly Baird - Producer, Trilight Entertainment 
Rhonda Baker - Producer, RGB Productions
Jeff Beesley – Director
Mike Burns – Saskatchewan Branch Representative, ACTRA
Kevin DeWalt - CEO/Producer, Minds Eye Entertainment
Annelise Larson –  Digital Media Marketer, Veria Search Media Marketing
Terry Mialkowsky – Producer, Prairie Threat Entertainment
Dwayne Melcher – President & Partner, Melcher Media & Design
Ell McEachern – Director, Finance and Production, Angel Entertainment
Shawn McGrath – Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, Verite Films
Shayne Putzlocher - Producer, Trilight Entertainment
Debra Sawarin - Business Representative, IATSE 295
Bruce Willis - Partner, KPMG LLP

Special thanks to our AGM sponsors

Dinner Sponsors


Coffee Sponsor

SMPIA's Multi-PlatFORUM - Another successful event!

SMPIA's Multi-PlatFORUM was a two-day networking and professional development event focusing on Digital Content creation from both creative and business perspectives. Multi-PlatFORUM 2012 was held March 27th-28th in Regina, and featured an impressive list of Digital Media leaders from across the country who can to connect with Saskatchewan creators for an inspirational 2 days.

Participants included:

The afternoon of March 28th, Multi-PlatFORUM played host to The Banff Cross-Media Pitch Competition where local cross-media creators competed for a chance to present their projects at the Banff World Media Festival in June.   The competition was moderated by local actress Amy Matysio and the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Arts Board, David Kyle was on hand to announce the winners.  In a tight race,  the team comprised of CollegeMobile & Wapos Bay Productions as well as the team of  T3 Digital & Karma Film were selected by the judges to accompany SMPIA as part of the delegation to Banff.  Other Local companies presenting included: Partners in Motion, NoodleCake Studios Inc, Alvil Tayco, KAR Media,  The conference Funding for the Banff Cross-Media Delegation is provided by a Culture on the Go: Market Access Grant through the Saskatchewan Arts Board.

The evening of March 27th included a sit-down Dinner followed by a Reception that showcased Transmedia production prototypes resulting from the work of SMPIA’s Digital Media Initiative program.  Participants included members of IATSE, DGC, ACTRA, SaskInteractive, SPMA, Paved Arts, Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative and more! The lab was undertaken by SMPIA with the financial participation of SaskCulture and SaskFilm.

Multi-PlatFORUM programming ran in conjunction with SMPIA's Annual General Meeting where in reflection of the fact that 1/3  of our membership is now comprised of interactive programmers, developers, social media professionals etc, the membership voted to change our name to the "Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association" and secure two dedicated interactive positions on the board.  Members Annelise Larson (Veria Tweet) and Dwayne Melcher (Melcher Media) will fill these positions.  It was also announced that for the first time, SMPIA's Showcase Awards and SaskInteractive's SIMA awards would be held in partnership.  The event will occur on November 22nd in Regina.

Big thanks to our Multi-PlatFORUM and AGM sponsors and supporters!

March 29, 2012- A Message from SMPIA’s President:

Last Wednesday was a defining moment in the history of the film industry in Saskatchewan. The message from the budget was the winding up of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit. Countless productions over the last 14 years have used this tax credit to finance their projects. Without a tax credit it would be impossible to be competitive in the production world.

We all felt a sense of betrayal and shock at this announcement which was followed by the question "what do we do now". The board of SMPIA was immediately consumed by trying to find answers to the questions "why now" and "what can we do about it". The public support was swift and the media support was amazing. Our issue became a public issue and we benefited from that public support.  

Last Friday morning I requested a meeting with the Premier and was told that we could expect a meeting early this week. On Monday of this week a meeting was arranged between the President of SMPIA and the Premier of Saskatchewan as well as other national industry leaders. The meeting, while productive, was tense and frank but it was clear that this Government will not return to the tax credit that was eliminated in the budget. We explained that the decision would create significant hardship for this industry and at minimum that an extension needed to be granted to save the current season and give us time to find a new funding strategy. The Premier also responded that while he did support the industry he wanted something that was sustainable. 

Yesterday, I received notice that the tax credit application deadline would be extended until June 30 and that there was a desire to find a new funding program for the industry. There was a desire to look beyond just another tax credit model but a more comprehensive plan that would include industry control of the sound stage, non-refundable tax credits, SaskFilm and other issues. This extension helped two fold.  First to give us breathing room to work on a new plan for our industry and second to ensure that as much of this year’s production season could be realized. 

The opportunity is now ours. We can be wise and work with the government to work towards a plan that will build a long standing Saskatchewan Industry. The alternative is to be angry and to fight for the return of a tax credit that no longer is available to us. It is my hope that each member of our community will support the Board of SMPIA as they strategically move forward to find a new model of success for the growth and sustainability of this industry.

I would also ask that you give the board the time to organize a structure to work through the concepts.  It is our promise that any funding models that will be presented to the Ministry will first be presented to the general membership of SMPIA. I would also ask that you allow the organization to lead on this issue and that all other activities be coordinated through the board and eventually to the committees that will be structured with your help. One should consider the value of any individual action and whether it brings us closer to the successful conclusion of our goal or draws negative attention creating unwanted setbacks. It is vital that we do not work at cross purposes. 

The board of SMPIA understands your frustration and the need to take action now. If our industry ever needed to show discipline and unity, that time is now. I would please ask you to respect the work that's been done to this point and the future work of the board. If you have concerns or you feel things are not going the way they should, I ask that you call me or a board member to discuss this with you. 

Thanks you all for your support,

Ron Goetz
President, SMPIA 

For more information on how you can help, visit:

SMPIA Gets New Name

Regina, SK – SMPIA is pleased to announce that their membership ratified a change of the organization’s name to Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association at their annual general meeting today.  This change comes about to properly reflect the organization’s membership and to match the name to the content it values.  “SMPIA always intended for “motion picture” to mean all media that is in motion, however the new name really reflects that now.” said Ron Goetz, President.

“SMPIA has led the charge in promoting digital media creative content in Saskatchewan by offering professional development events such as the Multi-PlatFORUM 2012 that is taking place at the Ramada this week and we will continue to do so.” Offered Vanessa Bonk, Executive Director of SMPIA

Saskatchewan has a rich and diverse interactive community with a history of international excellence. Video games, mobile applications and innovative software created by programmers, designers and developers right here at home grab the attention of international audiences and customers on and offline every day. Saskatchewan interactive media sector revenues in 2009 totaled $66.8 million, and the sector employed 700 people.

For more information contact:

Vanessa Bonk, Executive Director
Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association (SMPIA)
Phone: 306-525-4583

SMPIA represents members of the film, television and digital media industry of Saskatchewan through communication, education and advocacy. Their vision is to champion a world-class, production-friendly environment where members of the Saskatchewan media production industry flourish.


Regina, SK – SMPIA is encouraged by yesterday’s announcement by government that the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit (SFETC) will been extended until June 30, 2012.   “This should help producers begin the financing cycle for the 2012 production year.  It means that Saskatchewan producers will be able to produce in their province in the upcoming season.” commented Ron Goetz, President of SMPIA.

In a recent meeting with Premier Brad Wall, industry representatives were offered the opportunity to work with the government to look at alternative ways to support the film industry.  “This first step by the government to work with us is positive and we are pleased that they are willing to put the time and energy into looking into options that support the film and television models that are used Canada-wide.” remarked Mr. Goetz.  “The industry is aware that the solutions we are both seeking are not easy ones, and much hard work remains. The Premier’s commitment to work with us to achieve a viable media production industry in Saskatchewan is appreciated.” he added.

Last week the film industry was surprised to learn that a crucial piece to the way film and television is produced in Canada would no longer be available to Saskatchewan residents.  The industry is responsible for $685 million in revenues since the inception of the SFETC with an average of 74% of that money being invested from outside the province.

For more information contact:

Vanessa Bonk, Executive Director
Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association (SMPIA)
Phone: 306-525-4583

SMPIA represents members of the film, television and digital media industry of Saskatchewan through communication, education and advocacy. Their vision is to champion a world-class, production-friendly environment where members of the Saskatchewan media production industry flourish.


Regina, SK – SMPIA is disappointed to announce that in a meeting between Premier Brad Wall and Ron Goetz (President of SMPIA), Val Creighton (President & CEO, Canada Media Fund), Norm Bolen (President & CEO, Canadian Media Producers Association) and Vanessa Bonk (Executive Director, SMPIA) we have learned that the government is not prepared to back down on the announcement regarding the SFETC (Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit).  “The meeting was a long and good discussion, and we have been told that government is open to discussing new alternatives for the film industry at a later date, but that they will not reverse their decision.” said Ron Goetz, President of SMPIA and Executive Producer of Partners in Motion production company.

The government also indicated that they would try to extend the application deadline to apply for the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit beyond the original March 31st, 2012 end date.

 “By retracting themselves, the Saskatchewan government will not change the production tax credit ecosystem in Canada,” said Norm Bolen, President & CEO, Canadian Media Production Association, “rather they will suffer the consequences of not being part of it.”

“This government has always made good decisions in the past.  I cannot understand why they would do this when obviously the public is supportive of the industry and the SFETC.” added Mr. Goetz.

The SFETC has been in effect since 1998 and has helped the Film Industry produce $685 Million worth of production since its inception according to national reports.  The industry is responsible for job creation, retention of Saskatchewan youth and inward investment to the province.

For more information contact:
Vanessa Bonk, Executive Director
Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association (SMPIA)
Phone: 306-525-4583.

SMPIA represents members of the film, television and digital media industry of Saskatchewan through communication, education and advocacy. Their vision is to champion a world-class, production-friendly environment where members of the Saskatchewan media production industry flourish.

A message from SMPIA's President

Things were starting to turn around.  SCN had rallied somewhat and had resumed licensing.  SaskFilm had received an extra $100k for marketing.  Production volumes hadn’t returned to their previous heights, but things were starting to pick up.  Behind the scenes SMPIA worked to advocate for the industry.  Just a few weeks ago, I sat in the minister’s office with fellow board member Holly Baird to yet again speak on behalf of us all.  His response was to have his staff immediately contact SaskFilm for statistics for the final cabinet meeting on the budget which was to take place the next day.  We left believing our message would be passed on.

This morning I woke to the realization that the budget news we got yesterday is an opportunity for the people of Saskatchewan to express how important the film industry is to them.  An opportunity for the government to receive heartfelt messages of how the film industry has positively affected the lives of Saskatchewan people from the student getting a film degree at the University of Regina to the many, many everyday Saskatchewan people who understand the importance of jobs, investment, promotion, culture and creative expression.

SMPIA is busy working with an Action Committee but there are some things that you can do right now:

Option #1:  Volunteer to be a Team Captain who will give some hours to organize letter deliveries, make phone calls, update social media, organise other advocacy efforts.  Contact the SMPIA office:

Option #2:  Tweet, tweet and tweet some more.  To reach the Premier:  @PremierBradWall

Option #3:  Below is a template for a letter to the Premier – SMPIA will get it to the legislative for you, just add a personal sentence and your name and email it back.  We are looking to have as many physical letters of support delivered as possible before next Thursday when the budget is voted on.

Option #4:  Get your personal story to media.  If you want to add your comments to the many that have made the media – write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper telling them why the film industry is important to you.

We will get our message to the Premier!

Ron Goetz,
President of SMPIA

More information and facts are available here

What can you do to help? Get loud and get your friends and family to get loud.  Please tell the Premier directly how you feel.

Here is a sample letter that you can personalize. Letter template 

Please send physical letters (as they are tracked) to:

The Honourable Brad Wall
Premier of Saskatchewan
226 Legislative Building
Regina, Saskatchewan

Telephone: (306) 787-9433
Facsimile: (306) 787-0885


233 Central Ave. N., Swift Current, S9H 0L3. 

You can also send a copy by email to: and/or tweet him @PremierBradWall

And c.c. the opposition - Danielle Chartier Saskatoon Riversdale, Constituency Office, 1030 Avenue L South, Saskatoon, SK S7M 2J5 Email: 


March 21, 2012 – Regina, Saskatchewan  As part of the provincial budget address, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the termination of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit program.  This decision leaves Saskatchewan as the only province in Canada without the tools in which to effectively compete nationally and internationally for film and television production.  The Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association (SMPIA) believes this decision was based on poor information provided to the government.

“Governments generally make good decisions,” says Ron Goetz, President - Partners In Motion and President of SMPIA, “but their decisions are only as good as the information they receive and we feel they were misinformed about the strength of the tax credit system prior to making this cut.”

Created in 1989 by the Devine government, SaskFilm was a response to a need identified by SMPIA and its industry members to ensure that the province was represented as a region in which to undertake production of both cultural and economically driven production.    Following extensive consultation and comparative analysis, in 1992, the provincial government announced the creation of the Film Employment Tax Credit which provided an incentive for employment of Saskatchewan residents and a tool to attract inward investment.

Long seen as a catalyst for the creation of cultural employment and inward investment, the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit was integral in the development and production of series such as Corner Gas and Little Mosque on the Prairies.  Stars such as Charlize Theron (Monster), Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern) and Corbin Bernsen (LA Law) and Saskatchewan’s own Kim Coats (Resident Evil, Sons of Anarchy) praised the province of Saskatchewan on late night television as a place to be and to film.

“Quite frankly, without the tax incentive program the province will be seen as an irrelevant location and production will not take place,” says Vanessa Bonk, Executive Director of SMPIA.  “The production volumes of over $623 million since inception resulted in an immense amount of inward investment of, on average 74%, and considerable employment, which will all cease to exist.  Should the government proceed with this decision, rebuilding to provide both cultural and economic impacts is unimaginable.”

Included in the many benefits the industry communicates itself as providing, is the impact that film and television brings to related cultural industries including theatre, music and publishing.  Without a strong and vibrant film and television industry, impacts will be surely be felt within the other creative industries.

Despite overcoming geographic obstacles, the industry presented itself as a business partner to a global audience and undertook international co-productions with countries such as, but not limited to, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and China and provided an environment in which the Canadian broadcasters could provide programming to a national audience.   The announcement today by the Wall government will ensure that Saskatchewan is no longer provided this opportunity.

“This announcement will trigger a complete out-migration of talent from the province of Saskatchewan,” says Goetz.  “As the Chair of the Film Task Force, I grieve the decision made today and need to emphasis the grave impact that this decision will have on the industry and on the provinces ability to deliver on the cultural policy that it implemented only a short two years ago.  I hope we are able to work with this government to correct this error”


SMPIA represents members of the film, television and digital media industry of Saskatchewan through communication, education and advocacy. Their vision is to champion a world-class, production-friendly environment where members of the Saskatchewan media production industry flourish.

About SaskFilm

SaskFilm and Video Development Corporation (SaskFilm) leads the success of the Saskatchewan Film and television industry through promotion and the provision of specialized services to help the industry flourish and contribute to pride of place.  SaskFilm was established to stimulate and foster the development of an indigenous film and television industry through the administration of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit Program: management of the state of the art Canada Saskatchewan Production Studios; and by developing, producing and distributing film and television productions

-30 -


Vanessa Bonk
Executive Director
Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association (SMPIA)

CMF's Valerie Creighton in town to discuss the Canadian Content Expansion Project

Join us on March 28th at 2:45pm for an important presentation on the findings of the Canadian Content Expansion Project - a joint partnership between Telefilm and the Canada Media Fund.

The Canadian Content Expansion Project is an exploration and discussion of ways and means by which the CMF and Telefilm can work with the film, television and digital media industry to more aggressively position Canadian content at home and in the world.

Valerie Creighton, President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund, has been leading this project for the last year on behalf of both agencies. She will provide a presentation on the findings from the year and the opportunities to work with provincial agencies and governments.

This presentation will be held as part of SMPIA’s Multi-PlatFORUM, Ramada Hotel and Convention Centre, 1818 Victoria Avenue in Regina.

Multi-PlatFORUM is a two-day networking and professional development event focusing on Digital Content creation from both creative and business perspectives.  Multi-PlatFORUM 2012 is held in conjunction with SMPIA’s AGM and will once again feature an impressive list of Digital Media leaders from across the country.  Join us March 27-28th for the event where Saskatchewan's content creators for all screens converge!

For more information visit:



Regina, SK – The Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association (SMPIA) is excited to announce that the following teams and their projects have been selected to compete in the Banff Cross-Media Pitch Competition at Multi-PlatFORUM 2012.

These projects will be presented on March 28th at the Multi-PlatFORUM conference in Regina.  Judging the competition will be Canadian Media Production Association President and former content executive Norm Bolen, Shaw Media digital production executive, Zach Feldberg, and convergent content business analyst, Sasha Boersma. 

Two project teams, each comprised of one Film/TV company representative and one Interactive company representative, will be selected by the jury to be part of SMPIA-led delegation to the Banff World Media Festival in June.

SMPIA will be shining a spotlight on Saskatchewan interactive and traditional media partnerships at the Banff World Media Festival June 10-13th, 2012 thanks to a Culture on Go: Market Access Grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board.  Members of the official delegation will join SMPIA to showcase their works as well as meet with creators and investors as part of the official Banff Festival program.

Serving as the stage for the pitch competition, SMPIA's Multi-PlatFORUM is a two-day networking and professional development event focusing on Digital Content creation from both creative and business perspectives. Multi-PlatFORUM 2012 will be held March 27th-28th in Regina, and will feature an impressive list of Digital Media leaders from across the country.  More information on Multi-PlatFORUM is available here:

For more information, contact:

Nova Alberts
Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association (SMPIA)
Ph: 306-565-2002

SMPIA represents members of the film, television and digital media industry of Saskatchewan through communication, education and advocacy. Their vision is to champion a world-class, production-friendly environment where members of the Saskatchewan media production industry flourish. 

About the Saskatchewan Arts Board
The Saskatchewan Arts Board serves the people of Saskatchewan through programs, services and partnerships designed to build a strong and vibrant arts sector.  Culture on the Go: Market Access is an opportunity for organizations (Creative Industry Sector Organizations, presenting theatres, companies and producers) in support of new strategic marketplace development projects. Culture on the Go is made possible through funding provided to the Saskatchewan Arts Board by the Government of Saskatchewan through the Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport. 

About the Banff World Media Festival
For over three decades, the Banff World Media Festival has brought top leaders from across the evolving media landscape to the heart of the Canadian Rockies for a totally unique experience. Attracting over 150 Development Executives and a wide-ranging cross-section of TV and digital media professionals from around the world, BANFF is the ideal place to make new contacts, find production partners and green-light new projects.

SMPIA Announces New President

SMPIA is pleased to announce that board member Ron Goetz will be assuming the position of SMPIA Board President.

Ron joined the SMPIA Board most recently in January of this year, but has been active on the SMPIA Issues & Advocacy committee for a number of years.  Ron has also served SMPIA and the community as a representative in the CMF National Focus Meetings where he advocated for regional support.  During the eight months that SMPIA met with government and stakeholders as partner in the Film Industry Task Force, Ron led the group as Chair.  Ron has also been involved in discussions with our ministry and others, speaking to ministers and MLAs about the needs of the industry.

Congratulations Ron on your new role!


Executive Producer/Executive Vice-President

Ron Goetz began his career in television over 30 years ago, starting as Production Supervisor for CFTK-TV in Terrace, British Columbia. During the mid 1980s, Goetz was Senior Producer for CKCK-TV in Regina, Saskatchewan, and was a member of the executive staff for eight years as Director of Creative Services, Promotions and Community Affairs.

For the past fifteen years, Goetz has produced and executive produced factual television programming. Goetz was the Producer of Emmy® Award-winning 13 Seconds: The Kent State Shootings (1x 60 documentary, TLC, History Television) and Executive Producer of multi award-winning documentary, Dad (1 x 60 documentary, HBO, Vision, CBC, SCN). His recent work includes Legend Hunters (8 x 60 documentary series, CTV Travel, Travel Channel USA, ZDF, Discovery Canada, History UK), Trading Places (23 x 60 lifestyle/reality series, Life Network), Vietnam: Canada's Unknown War (1 x 60 and 1 x 90 documentary, TLC, Wisdom Channel, Discovery Latin America) and Disasters of the Century (47 x 60 documentary series, History Television, Zone Vision, HBO Europe). Currently, Goetz is the Executive Producer for award-winning Crime Stories (48 x 60 documentary series, History Television, A & E Biography, Canal D, History UK, Discovery International) and The Re-Inventors (35 x 30 documentary series (HD), History Television, Historia, Discovery HD International, Treasure HD).

Goetz was one of the founders of the MIP-COM National Fellowship that sends Canadian producers to Cannes, France every year. Elected in 1990, Goetz served on the Board of Directors for the Saskatchewan Motion Picture Association, and as President for two years. In 2005, Goetz was the Executive Producer for the Saskatchewan Centennial Gala, seen live on CBC and attended by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

Goetz was presented with the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal by the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, Lynda Haverstock.

Goetz graduated from the Advanced Management Centre at the University of Dalhousie with a certificate in Business Management. He also graduated from the Newport Business Management course.

SMPIA is taking Saskatchewan Cross-Media Companies 
on the Road!

Regina, SK – The Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association (SMPIA) is excited to announce that we will be shining a spotlight on Saskatchewan interactive and traditional media partnerships at the Banff World Media Festival June 10-13th, 2012.   Thanks to a Culture on Go: Market Access Grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SMPIA will lead an industry delegation of Saskatchewan cross-media professionals to showcase their works as well as meet with creators and investors as part of the official Banff Festival program. 

The goal of this delegation is to highlight Saskatchewan cross-platform media products at the Banff World Media Festival (BWMF) in order to gain investment and exposure for Saskatchewan talent.  SMPIA wants to show off the brightest and best cross-media projects and companies from Saskatchewan to industry experts from around the world!

Read the full release and guidelines here.

Application form available here.

Call for Advertisements for SMPIA's Website, e-Buzzzz and Online Membership Directory

Did you know that SMPIA now offers a variety of options to meet your online advertising budget and needs, including placements in SMPIA's websitee-Buzzzz and Online Membership Directory? There are a limited number of spots available so contact SMPIAnow to book your ad!

An advertising rate sheet is available here.

Should you have any questions, please contact us directly at or 525-9899.

Tonight and Tomorrow: Attend Free Film and Writing Events at Talking Fresh 10!

A reminder to join the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild and SMPIA, along with Sask Filmpool Cooperative and the MacKenzie Art Gallery for Talking Fresh 10: Projecting the Novel: Books & Film.

SMPIA is very pleased to have partnered with the Saskatchewan Writers Guild to help bring Karen Walton, writer of the Canadian filmGinger Snaps to Saskatchewan!  Don't miss this free opportunity to talk Books and Film with the writing community at Talking Fresh 10!

Tonight at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina - a panel presentation and A Red Carpet Reception (with prizes for the best attire!) begins the evening of socializing and readings.

March 3 workshops begin at 9:00 a.m.

Please RSVP for the Red Carpet Reception to

All events are Free.

Message from the Executive Director

SMPIA Members,

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy new year and to mention how nice it was to see so many of you at the SMPIA hosted industry parties in both Regina and Saskatoon (thanks sponsors!)

2012 promises to be a busy year for the SMPIA board and staff – here are some of the highlights you can expect:

  • We have collaborated with SaskFilm to renew our advocacy strategy and have meetings planned with stakeholders to discuss our industry and how it can grow along with the province
  • We are partnering with the Saskatchewan Writers Guild at their annual Talking Fresh conference which will take place March 2 and 3
  • We have another Multi-PlatFORUM planned for March 27 and 28 – mark your calendars!
  • SMPIA’s Showcase Gala Awards will return November 22 - watch for further details!

I hope this year will turn out to be one of the Industry’s busiest as well.  We always welcome your feedback, comments, suggestions or offers to volunteer!

Vanessa Bonk
Executive Director

SMPIA Announces Transmedia Production Lab Participants

Regina, SK, October 20th, 2011 – SMPIA is pleased to announce the successful applicants to the upcoming Transmedia Production Lab training exercises in Saskatoon and Regina.

Micheal Bantjes, Artist/Performer/Designer – IATSE 300
Adam Barrett, Front End Developer - zu
Trevor Cameron, Writer
Jordan Epp, Instructional Designer - University of Saskatchewan
Carrie Gates, Web Designer/New Media Artist
Aaron Hursh, Actor - ACTRA
Stephen Hunt, Editor
Lee Kolenick, Development Coordinator - Angel Entertainment
Stephen Rutherford, Graphic Designer
Shayne Metcalfe, Director - ISEE Movies
Craig Stewart, Online Marketing Consultant - Palooza Marketing
Matt Wojnarowicz, Co-Creator - Ideas Club Interactive

Dawn Bird, Actor - ACTRA
Dean Evans, Picture Editor - DGC
Jason D. Fedorchuk, Actor – ACTRA
Jack Hilkewich, Animation Director - Wikid Games
Ryan Hill, Developer - Talking Dog Studios
Tasha Hubbard, Filmmaker
Kyle Lamont, Sound Design/Computer Technician
Lance Liski, IATSE 295
Kelly-Anne Riess, Writer
Leanne Schinkel, Producer/Director - Creative Cat Bird Media
Alvil Tayco, Social Media Director

The Transmedia Production Lab is a fun and collaborative training exercise that will bring Film, TV and other traditional media production personnel together with interactive media creators to explore the challenges of producing and developing content for multiple forms of media.

SMPIA's Digital Media Initiative Manager Nova Alberts was thrilled with the response. "We received many solid applications from a very diverse group and selecting the participants was a difficult process. We would like to congratulate all of the successful applicants. We know they will be taking away some very valuable knowledge and skills through this experience."

The Transmedia Production Lab is undertaken by SMPIA's Digital Media Initiative with the financial participation of SaskCulture Inc. & SaskFilm, in partnership with the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative & PAVED Arts and supported by Thread Media, the Creative City Centre, ACTRA, DGC, IATSE, SPMA, and SaskInteractive

"We are pleased to support such a great development opportunity for Saskatchewan craftspeople, technicians and actors," said Susanne Bell, SaskFilm CEO and Film Commissioner. "They are the backbone of the film, television and digital media industry so by enhancing their knowledge and skills in this area, the entire industry benefits, as well."

The Transmedia Production Labs will be held November 6-8th in Saskatoon and November 9-11th in Regina with facilitator Ryan FitzGerald.

For more information contact:
Nova Alberts, Digital Media Initiative Manager
Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association (SMPIA)
Phone: 306-565-2002.

SMPIA represents members of the film, television and digital media industry of Saskatchewan through communication, education and advocacy. Their vision is to champion a world-class, production-friendly environment where members of the Saskatchewan media production industry flourish.

About Ryan FitzGerald
Ryan FitzGerald has taught transmedia courses nationally, including Melting Silos for the National Film Board, at the Banff New Media Institute for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and the Transmedia Production Lab for Film Training Manitoba & New Media Manitoba. He is an alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre Media Lab's Interactive Art & Entertainment Program, the National Screen Institute's Features First Program and playWRITE Program for video game writing. Ryan served as the President & CEO of Rogue Nation Studios and as the Executive Director of the video game business development incubator Fortune Cat Games Studio and is currently the in-house transmedia specialist for Greyfirst Corp.

Summer 2011 Saskatchewan Production Guide Released!

The Summer 2011 version of the Saskatchewan Production Guide is ready for viewing here

The Production Guide is a publication of member productions that are at various stages of completion. The guide is distributed through the website, E-Buzzz and as part of a stakeholder newsletter called It's a Wrap that highlights the industry's successes.

Thanks to everyone who sent in their information! This electronic publication is distributed to the following:

• SMPIA members
• Reelwest magazine
• Playback magazine
• MLAs/MPsStakeholders

SMPIA shines the spotlight on Saskatchewan's media production industry in Hollywood

The Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association (SMPIA) is in Los Angeles this week to market Saskatchewan's Media Production Industry thanks to a Government of Saskatchewan funded program at the Saskatchewan Arts Board. The SMPIA lead Saskatchewan delegation also includes representatives from the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) and the province's film commission, SaskFilm.

Armed with a personal endorsement from the Premier of Saskatchewan, the group will visit over 20 production companies highlighting the talent of Saskatchewan crews in the hopes of attracting work for the province's media production industry.

"Saskatchewan's media production industry has always thrived on a blend of service and indigenous production," says SMPIA's Executive Director Vanessa Bonk, "and by showcasing the work that Saskatchewan has done in the past and demonstrating that we are interested in their business, we are encouraging investment in service production in our province."

Saskatchewan's film & television industry has been hard hit in recent years, experiencing significant decreases in production volumes and the loss of many industry jobs. In 2008, with production volumes exceeding $64 Million, the industry created over 1200 equivalent jobs and stimulated $75 Million in economic activity. At this time, more than 70 per cent of financing originated outside the province. Since 2008, production volumes have dropped significantly with 2009/2010 figures showing only $24 Million in stimulated activity.

SMPIA's latest mission seeks to attract major Hollywood productions to film in the province, with a goal of returning out of province investment and production volumes to their previous heights.

As the provincial election nears, SMPIA is also reminding candidates of the importance of supporting indigenous production through the implementation of the Film Industry Task Force recommendations. In September 2010, the Film Industry Task Force, a joint undertaking between SMPIA and the Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport, issued a report detailing 11 recommendations to stabilize and strengthen the Film industry. This report can be found on SMPIA's website (

SMPIA represents members of the film, television and digital media industry of Saskatchewan through communication, education, and advocacy. Their vision is to champion a world-class, production-friendly environment where members of the Saskatchewan media production industry flourish.

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