In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, REEL CANADA has made the unavoidable decision of cancelling all live NCFD events, including RCtv.
However, National Canadian Film Day will still take place on April 22. For everyone's safety, it will be an entirely online experience, supported by streaming and broadcast programming.
Please read through to the end of this message for information on how you can engage remotely with your students (or your family and friends) on NCFD.
But RCtv is an online event — Can't we do it safely?
Given that RCtv already features a built-in online component, we looked at numerous ways to modify and save this year's event.
However, the reality is that the live production would require our special guests to travel to Toronto, and the on-set team would involve over 20 staff members and crew working in close proximity, in a public place. All of these are things our public health experts have strongly discouraged.
Moreover, teachers across Canada are dealing with uncertainty. Policy decisions regarding school closures vary from province to province. Many of these closures currently have undetermined end dates, so some teachers may go back to work teaching their classes online, while others may not see their students until September. With so many uncertain variables, we felt we had no choice but to cancel.
So now what?
If you are working with your students remotely, and would like access to free Canadian films and corresponding lesson plans, please write to email@example.com with your request, and some general ideas about what you're interested in exploring, and we'll be happy to help.
Although RCtv is cancelled, National Canadian Film Day will still proceed on April 22. In the coming weeks, we will be posting a comprehensive list of Canadian films that are available on broadcast TV, or to stream online, for NCFD. We will also be creating a toolkit for how to host an interactive film screening online, whether for your students, or for family and friends that you may be separated from.
Please join us on April 22
One of the many lessons The Grizzlies teaches us is that we are better together. Canadian films are a representation of what we can do when Canadians of diverse talents join together in support of a common goal, and these stories are a reminder of what we can accomplish when we are united. In these times of social distancing, we hope that NCFD can be a way to boost our spirits and make us all feel closer to each other during our difficult but necessary self-isolation.
We want to give ourselves, each other, and all of Canada a warm (virtual) hug, and express our immense gratitude for being here for one another in the face of a global crisis. So on April 22, please join us. Watch a Canadian film, join the conversation online, and let the world know how you feel about this incredible country.
For ongoing updates and announcements about the rapidly-changing plans for NCFD, please visit our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Stay safe and take care of each other,