Entertainment February 16, 2012
Wendy Crewson On Why We Need More Canadian TV

An advocate for the ALS Society of Alberta ever since she played ALS patient Sue Rodriguez in 1998's At the End of the Day, Canadian actress Wendy Crewson is also an activist in other ways. Namely, she's tireless and vocal supporter of homegrown television industry.

In this clip, Wendy talks about:

Choosing your roles carefully

"One of the benefits of being in that position that you can change minds and open hearts and hopefully create a little compassion. I think that's part of the advocacy that I do for Canadian culture, especially for television."

The importance of Canadian television:

"We need to see our stories, so that these stories, on television, this hugely powerful medium, have the ability to change people's minds. It has the ability to illuminate things that you wouldn't necessarily have thought of, to give us compassion, to help us understand what it must be like to be the other person."

Why Canadian TV can be hard to find:

"In 1999, the CRTC, which is our regulatory board, lifted regulations on private broadcasters on the amount of Canadian programming that they had to show in prime-time hours. So, at the promise that of course they would air Canadian drama -- "don't make us do it, we're going to do it, don't worry, there'll be even more," -- there was none. We went from having 12 one-hour series to having zero. It all fell out, all Canadian content now is cooking and gardening shows that go on in the morning, that don't cost anything to make, and they just pump in simulcast American broadcasting on all our prime-time hours, so what we're looking for here is a little bit of shelf space for those Canadian stories, because I do think they can be popular."

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