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Canada, as a nation, is not only the daughter of Britain but also the younger brother of the United States.

We share traits of both nations, with spelling handed down from Britain and occasionally modified by the United States. But while we’re still Momma’s boy, we’ve gotten some habits from older brother.

Case in point: Film in Britain as I understand it has been funded through government agencies, such as the UK Film Council and later the British Film Institute. All money from films have come from those agencies. In the United States, capital is raised by studios and independents where capitalism reigns supreme.

In Canada, we’re a mix of those systems, and it doesn’t seem to be working well for us when it comes to the arts. We have Telefilm Canada to give some funding for films and television, but that doesn’t go all the way and private money still has to be raised. So we’ve got a half and half system, which causes a lot of good producers to go by the wayside.

OnSpec is Canada’s foremost science fiction and fantasy magazine. It’s an Aurora award-winning publication, with the Aurora being Canada’s highest honour for that genre.  A large chunk of its funding came from a grant from the Canada Council. However, that got cut. And the problem is that it’s the government which decides who will get the money, and lately, the rumours of blatant favouritism and condemnation between friends and opponents of the federal government are becoming national news on a daily basis.

Can they go private? Yes, they could try. They already have a number of options to consider, but the main issue in Canada is that we’ve become so dependent on the US producing and distributing for us that we haven’t really made any inroads for ourselves, and at the same time we seem far too reliant on our government to support us.

This sitting on the fence system is kind of a pain.