On April 27, Netflix announced the opening of a new office in Toronto.
The streaming giant’s officials delivered the news to Toronto’s mayor, John Tory, in a virtual meeting. The announcement comes weeks after Netflix CEO, Ted Sarandos, revealed that Canada would be home to a new head office.
“As we grow our business and presence all across Canada, we’re excited that Toronto will be our first local office,” Sarandos said in a media release from the City of Toronto. “We’re looking forward to opening our doors and building on the great work we’ve started with our creative partners to bring more Canadian artists and stories to the world.”
Toronto is already home to one of Netflix’s two Canadian production hubs. Some of the productions to come out of the Toronto hub include: Jupiter’s Legacy, The Umbrella Academy and The Queen’s Gambit.
Before the pandemic, Toronto’s film, television and digital media sector contributed some $2 billion to the local economy, and created jobs for more than 30,000 people. The film and television industry has adopted health and safety guidelines amid the coronavirus outbreak, and is expected to be a driver of economic recovery in 2021 and beyond.
A statement attributed to Tory said the news “gives us hope” amid the difficult times brought on by the pandemic.
“This has been a tough year for Toronto and all cities, all businesses, and all residents but today’s news is one more example of our determination to help sectors get through the pandemic, to protect and grow jobs in our city, and to make sure we come back stronger than ever,” Tory said the release.
Foreign TV and film workers eligible for expedited processing
Work permits through the TV and Film Production Workers category are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement, which can be an expensive and lengthy process. In some cases, people seeking entry to Canada to work in the entertainment industry can qualify as business visitors.
Film and television industry workers coming to Canada from foreign countries may also be eligible for priority work permit processing. In the fall of 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada introduced a facilitative measure to allow film and TV workers who need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) can get their work permits in two weeks.
You need to meet the following criteria to be eligible for priority processing:
- Submit an initial work permit application online to work within the TV and film industry.
- Apply from outside Canada or the U.S., unless you are in the the U.S. but require a TRV.
- Self-identify as a television and film industry worker after submitting the work permit application by sending a request via the IRCC web form.
Are Film and Television Workers Affected by Canada’s Current Travel Measures?
Canada has put in place COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements for all international travellers arriving in Canada.
If you work in the film and TV industry, you will be subject to the same public health measures as other travellers:
- You will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to arrival, or a positive test within 14 to 90 days prior to arrival.
- If you arrive in Canada by land, you will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, and take another test near the end of your mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
- Only four international airports (Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver) are now open for cross-border travel. Air travellers will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing for all international arrivals through these airports and wait for test results at a government-approved hotel. This is at the travellers expense and can take up to three days.
- Direct flights between India and Pakistan have been temporarily suspended.
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