Canadian Program Certification

Canadian Program Certification helps independent Canadian program producers to obtain Canadian certification for TV productions that use mainly Canadian crews and talents.

Why is certification needed?

Conventional television, pay TV and specialty TV licensees must broadcast a certain percentage of Canadian Content (CanCon). To monitor compliance, the CRTC requires licensees to maintain program logs for the Canadian programming they broadcast; these Canadian programs or productions are identified using a certification number.

This means that an independently produced program requires a certification number if it’s to be broadcast by a licensee. Without a certification number, the broadcaster can’t claim the program against CanCon requirements and the program is not recognized as being Canadian.

Eligible programming

In general, the CRTC certifies a Canadian program or series that meets the following criteria:

  • the producer must be Canadian and is responsible for monitoring and making decisions pertaining to the program
  • the production earns a minimum number of points based on the key creative functions that are performed by Canadians
  • a minimum percentage of program expenses is paid for services provided by Canadians or Canadian companies

Exempt or ineligible programming

Some programs are generally recognized as being Canadian, and don’t require CRTC certification:

  • news and public affairs programs
  • productions that have received certification from the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) of Canadian Heritage
  • music video clips of 5 minutes or less
  • federal and provincial government productions
  • public service announcements of less than 5 minutes

The following productions are not eligible for certification:

  • infomercials and ads
  • promotional and corporate videos or films

Where to apply for certification

The type of production determines where producers should apply for certification:

Canadian award shows

As noted in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-808, the Commission has established a list of qualifying award shows. This is a “living list” in which only the programs included will be considered eligible as award shows that qualify as programs of national interest. These programs consist of award shows of national or regional scope that celebrate Canadian creative talent and/or cultural diversity and achievements in Canadian arts and culture (broadcasting, film, music, video, new media and the arts sector).

List of Canadian Programs certified by the Commission

Access the list of Canadian programs certified by the Commission. The list of all certified productions since 1961 is available by Program, Title, Certification Number, Certification Date, and/or Program Category.

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