The Canadian Association of Stand-up Comedians (CASC) believes the 2019 election is of vital importance to build a thriving and dynamic comedy industry in Canada. The elected government must be committed to help remove barriers that seem to systematically inhibit the success of individual Canadian comedians and to instead support and create opportunities that promote success.
CASC campaigns for rights and recognition for Canadian comedians by the federal government including labour mobility, arts grants, and the perceived immediate threat to Canadian culture.
While there are many issues that are important to CASC and its members across the country, here are specific industry-related issues CASC encourages attention from the Federal Government:
- Improve access to arts funding. The government should ensure that Canadian comedians, who do not currently have access to federal arts grants, are able to apply for such grants that are available to their peers in theatre, music, circus, dance, literature and visual art.
- Improve export activities for artists. Canada’s Creative Export Strategy should account for reciprocity for Canadian comedians who often face massive fees if they wish to perform and work in the United States, unlike American comedians who face no such barriers when performing in Canada. Promoting such channels will help ensure Canadians comedians stay in Canada, and increase their ability to maintain ownership of their intellectual property.
- Strengthen the creation of original Canadian content. Canadian culture appears to be in immediate danger with the evolving digital media landscape. Media originating in Canada from Canadian creators will continue to decrease without sustained tax incentives, increased support for a modernization of the Canada Media Fund (CMF) model, increased funding for CBC, and the enforcement of tax and content regulations on the private broadcasters.
- Promote the talents of Canadian artists. The government should maintain existing increases to arts funding organizations, commit to future increases, and ensure that it is Canadian artists who are the priority in programming from arts presenters that receive funding from Canadian Heritage and other federal funding departments.
The Canadian Association of Stand-up Comedians was formed in 2017 to represent the first-ever unified voice for stand-up comedians in Canada. CASC now works for professional stand-up, sketch and improv comedians and producers in Canada. In addition to getting comedy officially recognized as an art form, CASC’s mission is to build a thriving and dynamic comedy industry through advocacy, career opportunity, as well as professional development, improved labour mobility across international borders and workplace rights.