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Advocating On Behalf Of Millions Of Canadians Creating Content To Be Discovered Online
Statement Of Principles
  1. Digital First Creators do not require government intervention to succeed. They have thrived and led a digital content renaissance without government intervention.  
  2. Digital First Creators aspire for their content to be discovered by a global audience, and do not measure success within Canada’s borders. 
  3. Freedom of expression is a fundamental freedom. Government should not interfere with or limit the ability for lawful content to be freely discovered by users. 
  4. Canadian Content designations are incompatible with user generated content, and do not benefit the interests of Digital First Creators.
  5. Any mandatory contributions derived from user-generated content platforms must be for the benefit of Digital First Creators who make content for those platforms. 


Have questions about Digital First Canada or want to get in touch? info@digitalfirstcanada.ca



Proudly worked with over 200 Indigenous students and counting.

Road to Freedom is partnered with Digital First Canada and Buffer Festival to bring Creators and experienced education to Indigenous communities across Canada.

Coming back in 2022, the team is partnering with Indigenous communities around southern Ontario to host the upcoming workshop this July in Toronto.


In 2018, and 2019 Road To Freedom and Buffer Festival worked with 200 Indigenous students in Regina and Winnipeg. Bringing in guest speakers and partners, Buffer Festival provided the  communities private education and hands-on workshop lessons and the gear to create media labs.



Education and inspiration meet for a program packed with established Creators and industry  experts working directly with Indigenous youth.



Established Creators working in the field with the  Indigenous youth to film and edit videos together.

Canada  is in need of Indigenous creators to show  case their work, culture and talents to the main stream audience. There is massive opportunities for  Indigenous people to make a statement in the world  of YouTube and story telling. Having Buffer Festival  as a supporter of this is a huge step in the right direction!

Kyle Nobess, Road to Freedom

Bill C-11 Resources

For Digital First Creators

Canada’s revived internet regulation bill still overlooks TikTok and YouTube, critics warn

Reference: thestar.com
Date: March, 8 2022

Proposed legislation that was reintroduced last month to regulate online streaming giants in Canada still largely overlooks online content creators, experts say, and could have a chilling effect on one of the country’s most successful talent pools.

The new bill gives the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the discretion to consider exceptions, including whether content uploaded to social media directly or indirectly generates revenue.

More concerning, Geist said, is how discoverability rules may force Canadian YouTube or TikTok content into Canadians’ feeds, regardless of whether or not they actually want to see it. Canadian content could receive fewer clicks or interactions as a result, meaning algorithms will brand those videos as something people aren’t interested in.

“More people will see it in Canada, but it seems likely that less people will see it everywhere else in the world and ultimately, digital first creators will receive less revenue and less exposure because of it,” he said.

Stop treating the Internet like television: #FreetheFeed!

Reference: openmedia.org
Date: March, 2022

Now known as Bill C-11, the government’s legislation puts the CRTC in charge of deciding what type of content should be at the top of our feed. New loopholes give the CRTC even MORE power to decide that even more content should fall under their regulation – putting the content of many small creators on platforms like Youtube and Spotify under their control, while excluding those creators from CanCon financial support.

Bill C-11’s Foundational Faults, Part Four: Why the Discoverability Rules Will Harm Canadian Creators and Risk Millions in Revenues

Reference: michaelgeist.ca
Date: March 11, 2022

Simply put, the algorithmic choices on services such as Youtube and TikTok are based on numerous data points. For example, for each page featuring a dozen possible videos to click on, Youtube will record not only which video is viewed, but which are not. The more a video is displayed but not watched, the stronger the signal that the content is not interesting to Youtube users. With Bill C-11 discoverability requirements, there will be an increase in the number of Canadian videos that are displayed to Canadian users. Given that these recommendations are based on regulations rather than user interest, they are very likely to achieve much lower click-through rates than most other content. Those videos will continue to be displayed in Canada given the CRTC regulations, but outside Canada they will get less exposure since the algorithm will discern that the content is not of interest to most users.

Bill C-11’s Foundational Faults, Part Three: Why the Discoverability Rules Are a Flawed Solution in Search of a Problem

Reference: michaelgeist.ca
Date: March 10, 2022

The Canadian cultural sector has for years claimed that Canadians want access to Canadian programming. If that is true, that provides Netflix and its competitors with all the incentive they need to ensure that they offer Canadian programming and that it is easy to find. Further, on platforms such as Youtube, the algorithm is already annoyingly responsive to past views, meaning that similar content is constantly being pushed to users. But the issue with services such as Youtube and TikTok is not just that there is no need for CRTC regulation on discoverability. It is that CRTC-mandated discoverability is likely to harm Canadian creators. More on that aspect of the discoverability and the poor understanding of how algorithms work in an upcoming post.

Michael Geist: Law Bytes Podcast

Reference: https://www.michaelgeist.ca
Date: November 15, 2021

The Canadian digital first creator economy isn’t something that politicians or policy makers seem to know much about, but they are quick to propose legislative reforms that directly implicate it, most recently in the form of Bill C-10. Yet the sector is thriving, with Canadian stars earning millions of dollars and attracting global audiences that often exceed Canada’s conventional film and television sector.

How Will Bill C-10 Affect Canadian Creators?

Reference: https://air.io
Date: November 19, 2021

On October 7th, AIR Creators Ecosystem hosted a special Meetup to shed more light on the Bill and to address the most frequently asked questions, as well as how this Bill may affect Canadian creators if passed. The proposed legislation in its current form is very vague which can lead to misuse of the mandate. And interfering with the current platform’s algorithm can lead to a negative impact on the discoverability of the content creators in Canada produce.

Letter from Buffer Festival CEO

Reference: https://365.bufferfestival.com
Date: November 12, 2021

Digital Creators have not been widely consulted. The Minister has repeatedly claimed that “artists” are in support of the bill yet never once accepted an invitation from Digital Creators to engage. It is clear he means “Traditional Artists.” Legislation is being written without any consultation of those being impacted, and being written by people who do not understand the first thing about how money is made, audiences are found, maintained and how discovery online happens (at least not without being propped up by regulation and subsidies). Just because Heritage has heard from YouTube, TikTok, and other social platforms, does not mean they have heard from creators themselves.

The Senate Bill C-10 Debate Concludes: “I Don’t Think This Bill Needs Amendments. It Needs a Stake Through the Heart.”

Reference: https://www.michaelgeist.ca/
Date: June 30, 2021

The Senate Bill C-10 debate wrapped up yesterday with several speeches and a vote to send the bill to committee for further study. Given that the Senate declined to approve summer hearings for the bill, the earliest possible time for the study to begin is the week of September 20th. If there is a late summer/early fall election as most observers expect, Bill C-10 will die. Without an election, Bill C-10 will be back for Senate hearings in the fall with many Senators emphasizing the need for a comprehensive study that features the myriad of perspectives that were excluded from the failed House review.

The Senate Bill C-10 Debate Concludes: “I Don’t Think This Bill Needs Amendments. It Needs a Stake Through the Heart.”

Reference: https://www.michaelgeist.ca/
Date: June 24, 2021

…it was Senator Simons that stole the show with a speech that finally injected some realism into the Bill C-10 debate. The full 12 minute speech is embedded below and well worth your time. Senator Simons raised fundamental questions, such as the broad scope of the bill.

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