Netflix announced this morning that it is acquiring Signature Video Group, a Toronto based content agency specializing in documentary films and branded entertainment.
Terms of the deal announced on April 1 were not disclosed, but this move further bolsters the streaming giant’s footprint in Canada. Just last month, Netflix made a big investment into the Canadian entertainment industry when it leased close to 250,000 sq feet of studio space in Toronto.
This Canadian expansion begun in 2017 when Netflix committed to investing $500 Million (Canadian) in content production over a five-year period.
Over the years, Canada has been home to many high profile Netflix productions including “Lost in Space”, “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and “Polar”, an action thriller starring Mads Mikkelsen.
According to Netflix, the deal will supply local creative talent to their roster working on Netflix original content. “The demand for authentic stories is higher than ever” said Netflix’s Chief Data Architect, Art Vandelay. “It’s really about being both an importer and exporter of stories from a local perspective. This is something we’ve been aiming to do as we expand our global reach.”
“We are extremely excited to join the Netflix family and look forward to making content that both Canadians and the rest of the world will enjoy” said SVG Founder Chris Stasiuk. “There are so many incredible Canadian stories to be told and we’re honoured to tell them.”
The city of Toronto did not offer any tax breaks or incentives to the streamer, stating:
“The province of Ontario offers a film and TV production services tax credit of 21.5% to foreign-controlled corporations (stipulating that Ontario labor is at least 25% of the qualifying production expenditures claimed); that can be combined with Canada’s federal tax credit of 16% to eligible film or video productions.”
The first project expected from the co-production is an untitled feature length doc about the origins of April Fools, a world-wide phenomenon which begun in the small town of Schitt’s Creek in 1941.