The corporate video industry has always been a part-time job for Canadians, but the days of being paid for your time and attention are over.
In 2017, Canada will start paying its workers more than a third of their salaries, a move that will change the way Canadians see and work within the video industry.
In Canada, we have traditionally paid our workers for their hard work, which makes for a more fulfilling and productive work experience.
The idea of being able to see and experience your work for free has been a long-held dream of Canadians.
That dream was the impetus for the government to provide a modest wage increase to all video producers, up from the current $10.10 per hour to $13.10.
Now, all video production companies will be paid $13 an hour.
It will also include a modest raise for all employees, which will include full-time, paid staff.
It’s a small but important step toward a future where video production jobs are seen as part of our lives rather than simply an occasional expense to make movies.
With a small number of Canadian studios still struggling to make ends meet, the wage increase is a significant step forward.
The move is also a reminder that there is a growing gap between the top-end of the Canadian video industry and the rest of the country.
In 2018, there were more than 50,000 full- and part-timers working in the video production sector, with an average hourly wage of $26.20.
That number has since risen to over $29 an hour, according to a recent report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).
The average full-timer in Canada earned less than $30 an hour in 2018, according the NFIB.
And there’s been a lot of growth in the number of video producers and distributors in Canada over the past decade.
In the year 2018, the industry employed nearly 2.3 million Canadians, representing more than 40 per cent of all video creators.
According to the CBC, in the same period, Canada’s film production industry employed 1.9 million people, with a median wage of just $14.20 an hour for full- or part-timer workers.
“The reality is that there’s a gap in the industry that’s going to be really significant for a long time to come,” says Chris Bate, the CEO of Canadian Video Productions, which is based in Edmonton.
He sees the wage hike as part and parcel of a broader shift towards more digital services and the Internet of Things.
The current economy is not sustainable and it’s not working for Canadians right now, he says.
“I think there’s going be a lot more pressure in the next two years and a lot longer to get the video experience to the next level.”
The new wage increase will also have a ripple effect across Canada, as well.
There are currently about 20,000 independent video producers operating across the country, according in the NFB report.
The pay is going to change the nature of the job, says Bate.
The new pay will allow some workers to continue to make more money, which means more of their time is going into their families.
That’s the right thing to do, he adds.
“When we’ve got to be doing this work, we’ve just got to make sure we get paid fairly.”
While the $13 per hour wage increase may seem small, it’s already having a big impact on many of Canada’s most well-known independent video production studios.
Bate is the CEO and co-founder of Batch Video, a company that has produced some of the most popular and award-winning films in Canada, including the upcoming feature film The Impossible.
Batch’s video productions include such films as The Wedding, The Perfect Mate, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and The Wedding Singer.
“This is a great time for us to start the transition to being part of a bigger and better industry,” says Batch CEO Rob Bock, who also co-owns a video production company called Black Mountain Pictures.
“It’s going in the right direction and we’re not just talking about one small company anymore.”
This change in the culture and economics of video production will be an important step forward in the long-term, Bock says.
Bock estimates that the company has seen a 50 per cent increase in revenues and a 70 per cent decrease in expenses over the last 10 years.
“Now we can make films on our own terms and in our own way and we can be a part in making the industry a better place,” he says, adding that the transition from film to video will be a big boon for the industry.
“We’re very excited to be able to take on the challenges of the next generation and to continue the growth of the industry,” he adds, noting that the new wage increases will be beneficial for Batch.
“That’s what we’re all about.”
Batch has already made