Mr. Speaker, 20 years ago a small group of filmmakers had an idea to help foster the development and promotion of the feature film industry in Canada by founding the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and establishing the Genie Awards. On January 30, 2000 the Genies celebrated their 20th anniversary.
In 20 years we have all witnessed the outstanding growth to the Canadian film industry. However, Canadian films command only 2% to 3% of the Canadian national box office. This figure clearly demonstrates the need for increased support to take Canada from a producer of world respected art films to a globally competitive producer and exporter of popular and entertaining films that are undeniably Canadian in content.
I would like to commend the academy, Telefilm Canada, CBC Television and Canadian Heritage for their support of our national film awards, and I congratulate this year's award nominees and recipients for their dedication to the art and craft of Canadian film.