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Canadian content (abbreviated CanCon, cancon or can-con; French: Contenu canadien) refers to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) requirements, derived from the Broadcasting Act of Canada, that radio and television broadcasters (including cable and satellite specialty channels) must produce and/or broadcast a certain percentage of content that was at least partly written, produced, presented, or otherwise contributed to by persons from Canada. It also refers to that content itself, and, more generally, to cultural and creative content that is Canadian in nature.

The loss of the protective Canadian content quota requirements is one of the concerns of those opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.[1] Canada entered into the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral free trade agreement, in October 2012.[2][3][4]

Origins

In enforcing the Broadcasting Act, the CRTC is obligated to ensure that "each element of the Canadian broadcasting system shall contribute in an appropriate manner to the creation and presentation of Canadian programming", and that every broadcast undertaking "[makes] maximum use, and in no case less than predominant use, of Canadian creative and other resources in the creation and presentation of programming".[5]

Radio

For music, the requirements are referred to as the "MAPL system". Following an extensive public hearing process organized by the CRTC, the MAPL system, created by Stan Klees (co-creator of the Juno Award), was adopted in 1971 to define and identify Canadian content in pieces of music for the purposes of increasing exposure of Canadian music on Canadian radio through content regulations governing a percentage (25%) of airplay to be devoted to Canadian music. The percentage was increased to 30% in the 1980s, and to 35% effective January 3, 1999. However, most new commercial radio stations licensed since 1999 have been licensed at 40%.[6]

Before the MAPL system was established in 1971, Canadian music was regarded with indifference by Canadian radio, and during the 1960s, Canadian radio was dominated by British or American acts. This was a major hurdle for Canadian musicians, since they could not gain attention in their home country without having a hit single in the United States or Europe first.[7] Even after MAPL was implemented in the early 1970s, some radio stations were criticized for <

The loss of the protective Canadian content quota requirements is one of the concerns of those opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.[1] Canada entered into the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral free trade agreement, in October 2012.[2][3][4]

In enforcing the Broadcasting Act, the CRTC is obligated to ensure that "each element of the Canadian broadcasting system shall contribute in an appropriate manner to the creation and presentation of Canadian programming", and that every broadcast undertaking "[makes] maximum use, and in no case less than predominant use, of Canadian creative and other resources in the creation and presentation of programming".[5]

Radio

For music, the requirements are referred to as the "MAPL system". Following an extensive public hearing process organized by the CRTC, the MAPL system, created by Stan Klees (co-creator of the Juno Award), was adopted in 1971 to define and identify Canadian content in pieces of music for the purposes of increasing exposure of Canadian music on Canadian radio through content regulations governing a percentage (25%) of airplay to be devoted to Canadian music. The percentage was increased to 30% in the 1980s, and to 35% effective January 3, 1999. However, most new commercial radio stations licensed since 1999 have been licensed at 40%.[6]

Before the MAPL system was established in 1971, Canadian music was regarded with indifference by Canadian radio, and during the 1960s, Canadian radio was dominated by British or American acts. This was a major hurdle for Canadian musicians, since they could not gain attention in their home country without having a hit single in the United States or Europe first.[7] Even after MAPL was implemented in the early 1970s, some radio stations were criticized for ghettoizing their Canadian content to dedicated program blocks, in off-peak listening hours such as early mornings or after midnight, during which the music played would be almost entirely Canadian — thus having the effect of significantly reducing how many Canadian songs would actually have to be played during peak listening times.[8] These program blocks became mockingly known as "beaver hours".[8] This practice is now prevented by CRTC regulations stipulating that CanCon percentages must be met between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., rather than allowing a station to save all their Canadian content for off-peak hours.

Artists who were active in the early CanCon era in the 1970s and 1980s have noted that their music was often dismissed by Canadian audiences as inferior product, propped up by quotas rather than quality, if they were unable to replicate their Canadian success internationally.[7] Yet, at the same time, artists who did break through internationally also ran the risk of becoming dismissed by Canadian audiences as no longer truly Canadian.Juno Award), was adopted in 1971 to define and identify Canadian content in pieces of music for the purposes of increasing exposure of Canadian music on Canadian radio through content regulations governing a percentage (25%) of airplay to be devoted to Canadian music. The percentage was increased to 30% in the 1980s, and to 35% effective January 3, 1999. However, most new commercial radio stations licensed since 1999 have been licensed at 40%.[6]

Before the MAPL system was established in 1971, Canadian music was regarded with indifference by Canadian radio, and during the 1960s, Canadian radio was dominated by BritishBefore the MAPL system was established in 1971, Canadian music was regarded with indifference by Canadian radio, and during the 1960s, Canadian radio was dominated by British or American acts. This was a major hurdle for Canadian musicians, since they could not gain attention in their home country without having a hit single in the United States or Europe first.[7] Even after MAPL was implemented in the early 1970s, some radio stations were criticized for ghettoizing their Canadian content to dedicated program blocks, in off-peak listening hours such as early mornings or after midnight, during which the music played would be almost entirely Canadian — thus having the effect of significantly reducing how many Canadian songs would actually have to be played during peak listening times.[8] These program blocks became mockingly known as "beaver hours".[8] This practice is now prevented by CRTC regulations stipulating that CanCon percentages must be met between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., rather than allowing a station to save all their Canadian content for off-peak hours.

Artists who were active in the early CanCon era in the 1970s and 1980s have noted that their music was often dismissed by Canadian audiences as inferior product, propped up by quotas rather than quality, if they were unable to replicate their Canadian success internationally.[7] Yet, at the same time, artists who did break through internationally also ran the risk of becoming dismissed by Canadian audiences as no longer truly Canadian.[7]

Some stations – especially those playing formats where there may be a limited number of Canadian recordings suitable for airplay, such as classical, jazz or oldies, may be allowed by the CRTC to meet Canadian content targets as low as 20 per cent. Stations in Windsor, Ontario, are also permitted to meet lower Canadian content targets, due to Windsor's proximity to the Metro Detroit media market in the United States. Community radio and campus-based community radio stations often choose to meet higher Canadian content levels than commercial broadcasters, because of their mandate to support independent and underground and provide content not readily available on commercial radio or the CBC; however, this is a voluntary commitment made by these stations rather than a core CRTC requirement, and CanCon requirements may be lower for campus and community stations as they often air large quantities of category 3 music.

On satellite radio services, Canadian content regulation is applied in aggregate over the whole subscription package. Sirius XM Canada produces channels focused on Canadian music and content and offers the CBC's national radio networks, as well as its digital-exclusive networks such as CBC Radio 3, which are incorporated into the overall lineup of U.S.-produced channels shared with its U.S. counterpart.

To qualify as Canadian content a musical selection must generally fulfill at least two of the following conditions: