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I want to tell MY stories

by Tim Burns, over 3 years ago

All I know is that I'm Canadian. I've lived in the US at times, I've travelled, and wherever I go, it just makes me more aware that I am a Canadian at heart -- whatever the heck that means.

But having worked as a writer in TV and film for the last 30 years, I rarely get the chance to tell my own stories for the screen. Good Canadian culture and creativity has that 'Northern Stamp', and that doesn't mean it has to be about hockey or Tim Hortons or Mounties or the Parliament Buildings. You don't have to try to 'act Canadian' or 'write Canadian' any more than you have to make an effort to 'be Canadian'. But from my perspective, the Canadian attitude is generally more Global, less bombastic, and combines a strange 'proud humility' with an easygoing civility and positivity that is rarely seen in TV and film.

And we have a bit of the 'bent' British sense of humour, combined with the American 'pop' sensibility.

All I know is that I've worked along-side some of the most talented and famous writers, directors and actors in the film and television business. And our Canadian talent pool can compete with anyone. But our industry, for financial and political reasons, stacks the deck against us and discourages the expression of homegrown ideas and uniquely Canadian characters and stories. That has to stop. I'm not talking about well-intentioned 'patriotic' programming. I'm just saying that nobody told Seinfeld or Woody Allen or Neil Simon not to write about New York. And yet Canadian writers can't build a show around Ottawa, or Toronto, or Red Deer, or... ?? Let Canadians make the shows that tell their stories, and then Canadian audiences will appreciate the chance to truly see their own experiences reflected on screen.

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