Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos has announced that the U.S. streaming giant will open a new office in Canada and hire a content chief dedicated to commissioning local originals.
In a blog post, Sarandos said Netflix has spent $2.5 billion CAD ($2B) in Canada since 2017 and it’s time to double down on its presence in the country, which has provided members with shows including Anne With An E and Workin’ Moms.
“We want to build on that momentum and make a new home for Netflix in Canada – opening an office and hiring a dedicated content executive to work directly with the Canadian creative community,” Sarandos said. “We could only have dreamed in 2012 when our first original production began filming in Ontario (Hemlock Grove) what an important part of our business Canada would become.”
The office will be in addition to Netflix’s production hub in Toronto, which it created in 2019 by leasing eight sound stages and office space at Cinespace Studios and Pinewood Toronto Studios. The streamer also leased seven soundstages at the Canadian Motion Picture Park studio complex, just outside Vancouver, last year.
Sarandos said Netflix is poised to announce Canadian projects and relationships in the coming weeks, suggesting that a bunch of originals and overall deals are in the pipeline as it opens its local headquarters. He also emphasized the importance of telling the stories of underrepresented communities.
“If we want more people to see their lives reflected on screen, then we need to make sure that people of all backgrounds are getting access to opportunities for training, mentorship and on-set experiences. Through over 20 local partnerships, we have helped support the career development of more than 600 Canadian creators to-date,” he said. “Canada is an amazingly diverse country and growing our presence locally will help us share more authentically Canadian stories with the world.”
The Canadian office builds on Netflix’s growing international presence. The company opened a French base last year, while it is on track to set up in Italy in the second half of 2021. It has other international headquarters in the UK, Netherlands, India, Mexico, and Australia.
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