My intrepid research assistant Jennifer chased down the details on Cancon requirements for co-productions. This sounds boring, but it is important if you're a Canadian writer, because if you have a co-production, you can do exactly what I was arguing for a little while ago, that is, set your Canadian show in European (or other) history. I asked "how exactly did The Tudors and The Borgias qualify for CMF funding, given that the co-production country is Ireland and neither is set there?" Here's the answer:
1. 3.2.TV.1.1 Official Treaty Co-Productions clause concerning Essential Requirements applies when submitting an application to access funding from the CMF.
2. Every co-production project is examined individually and assessed based on story content and the time period, and it's relevance to a Canadian audience, and that of the co-producing country. For example, the time period of "The Tudors" was deemed relevant to both Irish and Canadian history. For the "The Borgias", it was the cultural and historical significance of Catholicism to a Canadian (and the co-producing country) audience.
3. Telefilm has turned down co-production applications based on more modern stories, with no cultural, historical or other relevance for a Canadian audience.
The term "Canada" includes the co-producing country based on the Essential Requirements. If the content and time period are relevant to a Canadian audience, based on Telefilm's examination, then it doesn't have to be "set" in Canada.
I think I'll go polish up my historical ninja series now.