#DigiCanCon For YouTubers

One of the most important conversations about the future of Canadian digital creation is currently happening without you. But don’t worry, it’s not too late to have your voice heard. And thanks to an amazing group of YouTube creators everything you need to know is here. The following was made possible by the hard work of Michelle McIver with contributions from Corey Vidal, Sara Lynn Cauchon and the creators at YouTubeMTL. They proved again why Canada has the best community of YouTubers in the world and now it’s up to you to tell our government that.
— - Dan Speerin Vice President of the Independent Web Creators of Canada


As a YouTube Creator, you’re going to go here and fill this out before Friday, November 25th.

Link to Form: http://www.canadiancontentconsultations.ca/more-ideas/survey_tools/more-ideas

Your work, writing, and efforts should be concentrated on that first page (Page Two is simply a short questionnaire just to understand who you are).


BACKGROUND (What is #Digicancon?)


  • Minister of Canadian Heritage Melanie Joly (federal Minister responsible for the Canadian creative and cultural sectors) launched a comprehensive consultation on Canadian Content in a Digital World

    • Extensive review of regulations and programs supporting the Canadian creative industries

  • Government set-up a consultation website that includes a consultation paper, an online forum for discussion, and a submission form

  1. What does a cultural system that supports creators and respects citizen choice look like to you? (135 ideas/comments)

  2. How can we meet the challenge of promoting Canada’s creativity in the digital world, and how can we use  digital content to promote a strong democracy? (39 ideas/comments)

  3. How do we support Canada’s creators and cultural entrepreneurs and help them reach beyond our borders? (53 ideas/comments)


While we encourage you to participate in the online forum, we recommend focusing on the submission form as it’s more flexible (e.g. no word limit, allows you to enter text, upload a file, or submit a link to a video or blog, etc.).



  1. BE PERSONAL. Cookie-cutter submissions will be discounted or ignored. You should personalize your submission with information about YOUR experiences as a creator and entrepreneur, what content YOU produce and why, how you engage with and grow YOUR audience.

  2. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Remember that the audience for your submission is the Government. In their consultation paper, they highlighted that Canadian cultural policy must evolve from:

  • Protecting Canadian culture -> promoting and supporting Canadian culture

  • Focusing on growing the domestic market -> capturing a greater share of global markets

  • Subsidizing Canadian content -> investing in Canadian talent and incentivizing risk-taking

  • Platform-specific -> platform-agnostic

  • Seeing culture primarily as a social phenomenon -> embracing culture's unrealized potential as a driver of economic growth, both in the creative sector and more broadly

and emphasized that the new support model must:

  • focus on citizens and creators;

  • reflect Canadian identity and promote sound democracy; and

  • catalyze social and economic innovation.


Whenever possible, connect your experiences as a creator and entrepreneur and your recommendations with these policy objectives. Emphasize that you are creating Canadian Content for a global audience. Emphasize the different platforms you use to engage these audiences. Emphasize how you are innovating, learning and experimenting with new and different forms of content. Emphasize how your identity as a Canadian informs the content you create. Emphasize your entrepreneurship and how you are leveraging available tools and platforms to build a sustainable business that contributes to the cultural fabric, the community and the economy.

Also, remember that the valiant public servants who will be reviewing all of these submissions may have minimal familiarity with online platforms, content and business models. If you use any “terms of art” that may not be readily understood outside of the creator community (e.g. watchtime, subscribers, collab, etc.) offer a short explanation of what this means.


  1. BE FOCUSED, CLEAR AND CONCISE. While there’s no limit on length, be clear and concise. Try to avoid unnecessary repetition of the same information. Where possible, be concrete and offer high-level data to support what you’re saying (e.g. roughly what percentage of your audience is from outside of Canada? Where’s the majority of your audience from?). We’ve also included some general YouTube Stats below to reference (but only use them if they’re useful)


  1. WHAT NEXT? Below are three key messages that can be communicated in your submission (see below). Remember that the submission form on the consultation website allows you to enter text, upload a file, or submit a link to a video or blog, etc. So you should feel free to create your submission in whatever medium you are most comfortable.

    The deadline for submissions is
    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25, so please submit THIS WEEK.



  1. YouTubers are legitmate creators producting compelling content. Communicate this by explaining:

Content: What kind of content do you create? Why do you create it? How and why did you start? Are you experimenting with new forms of video, such as 360 Video or Virtual Reality?

  1. Audience: Who is your audience? How big is your audience, and how are you growing it? Where is your audience located (i.e. in Canada or other countries)? How do you engage with your audience (i.e. how you communicate and on what platforms) and how does engagement feed into what you create (i.e. analytics, community feedback, etc.)?

  2. YouTubers are creative entrepreneurs building viable, sustainable businessed. Communicate this by explaining:

    1. Revenue: How do you earn revenue? What are your primary revenue sources (i.e. ads, brands, sponsorships, crowdfunding & patreon, others)? How are you planning on growing your revenue? How do you leverage your audience into revenue opportunities?

    2. Entrepreneurial: Are you a full-time YouTuber or do you aspire to be? Do you work alone or with others (e.g. camera, editors, etc.)? How do you manage the business (e.g. work with business management, MCN, have formal business training, etc.)? What kind of marketing and promotion do you do (e.g. marketing or organic growth, collabs and cross-marketing with others, etc.)? How do you plan on growing your business in the future?


  1. Modest, strategic support of this class of creators would accelerate growth and attract investment. (Communicate these points in your own words)

    1. YouTubers are not eligible for most forms of government support, including public funding (funds or tax credits) available to other creative industries (e.g. music, film/tv, game development)

    2. YouTubers typically diversify revenue to grow their business, but some revenue sources (e.g. large brand deals, sponsorships) available elsewhere are only beginning to develop in Canada. Until this occurs, Canadian creators are under pressure to leave Canada in order to achieve commercial success

    3. A modest level of government support for creators / their companies would reduce pressure to seek opportunities elsewhere while the revenue sources develop. Unlike some forms of “cultural” funding, this would be a strategic investment in creators that will grow the Canadian creative industry and produce positive economic impacts




(These are optional, only use them to highlight your own story and experiences if you feel they can be applicable.)


Global YouTube Stats


  • 1 Billion unique users visit YouTube each month (YouTube Statistics)

    • That's Almost one-third of all people on the Internet

  • Around 6 billion hours of video are watched monthly

    • That's Almost an hour a month for every person on Earth

    • And YouTube is growing 50 percent year over year

      • You are able to navigate in 76 languages (covering 95% of the Internet population)


Canadian YouTube Stats


  • Canada is one of the top exporters of content on YouTube

    • Every year, millions of hours of new Canadian content is uploaded to YouTube

    • Put another way, each month Canadians upload more content to YouTube than all of Canada's major national television networks broadcast in 10 years

  • An average of 60% of a channel’s views come from outside the creator’s home country

    • In Canada it is closer to 90%, higher than any other country on the platform

  • Canadians watch two billion videos on YouTube in Canada each month (comScore Video Metrix)

    • 25 million Canadians watch YouTube every month (total unique viewers) (comScore)

      • Which is amazing since Canada’s population is about 35 million (Stats Canada)

    • Over 6 million Canadians visit YouTube every day (comScore)  

    • Canadians watch an average of 19 hours of online videos weekly (excluding mobile) (comScore)

96% of Canadian Millennials watch YouTube at least monthly

80% of Canadian Gen Xers watch monthly

59% of Canadian Baby Boomers watch monthly

21% of consumers 70 or older watch monthly

Canadian Millennials say they turn to YouTube for more content categories than they do TV (Think with Google)

Congrats on making it to the bottom of the page! Thanks again to Michelle McIver for putting this together and to all of the creators who came together and contributed. Be sure to share this link on social media with the hashtag #DigiCanCon and please let other creators and your viewers know they should contribute .

If you have any questions or need any help navigating through the #DigiCanCon process we here at the IWCC-CIWC are always here to help. Please email us at info@iwcc-ciwc.org with the subject line "DigiCanCon Help". 

The Independent Web Creators of Canada is a non-profit digital creators association that supports and promotes the needs and activities of independent, creator driven and audience focused digital projects. We seek to inform stakeholders and build arelationships to help create better frameworks for people to access a democratized digital media ecosystem. Which is a professional and nerdy way of saying we want to help Canadian Creators stay awesome.
If you like the work we do please consider becoming a member.