The Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM) advises, represents and accompanies independent film, television and Web production corporations whose productions, both French and English, are recognized in Quebec and at the international level.
The AQPM was first created in 1966, but was officially incorporated in 1971. Originally known as the Association des producteurs de films du Québec (APFQ), it became the Association des producteurs de films et de vidéo du Québec (APFVQ) in 1986, and the Association des producteurs de films et de télévision du Québec (APFTQ) in 1990.
In 2013, the organization became the Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM) as we know it today, as this title better reflects the multifaceted and ever-evolving nature of the industry.
Serving the Local Industry
In Quebec, the Act Respecting the Professional Status and Conditions of Engagement of Performing, Recording and Film Artists, C.Q.L.R., c. S-32.1 (the “Act”) imposes requirements on producers hiring artists in positions included in any bargaining sector as defined by the Tribunal administrative du travail. The Act entitles artists’ associations to seek recognition as the exclusive bargaining agent for specific sectors. Once recognized, the artists’ association can force a producer or a producers’ association to negotiate a collective agreement setting minimum employment standards for the artists they represent. To this day, no less than 10 artists’ associations and technicians’ unions have been recognized to represent workers occupying positions legally defined as held by “artists”, such as the positions of director, writer, actor, composer, director of photography, editor, art director, decorator, hairdresser, etc.
Producers may fulfil their legal obligations with respect to negotiation by joining a producers’ association that will negotiate, on their behalf, the required collective agreements. This is one of the many roles of the AQPM.
Producers who prefer not to join the AQPM must negotiate directly with each recognized associations or unions in order to conclude a separate agreement setting the employment standards for the represented artists. Some collective agreements entered into by the AQMP also provide that non-member producers are entitled to use some of the collective agreements, subject to authorization and payment of an administration fee.
National and International Representation
One of the primary roles of the AQPM is to defend the interests of its members and to represent them, both in Quebec and abroad.
The AQPM represents and defends the interests of its members before governments and film and television-related organizations, both federal and provincial. It intervenes on their behalf on matters such as financing and taxation, funding programs and laws and regulations relevant to the industry.
The AQPM is also involved in international issues such as coproduction, copyright and cultural diversity. We participate in coproduction mixed commissions and we partner with SODEC, under the banner Québec Créatif, which coordinates the presence of Quebec corporations in the main international television and audiovisual markets. The AQPM is also a member of Canada’s Coalition for Cultural Diversity.
The AQPM, as a producers’ association, negotiates collective agreements with the artists’ associations recognized under the Act Respecting the Professional Status and Conditions of Engagement of Performing, Recording and Film Artists, C.Q.L.R., c. S-32.1 (the “Act”).
Since the Act came into force in 1988, the AQPM has entered into several collective agreements, including the renewals of collective agreements, with nearly all of the artists’ associations in the film, television and Web production sectors. To this date, producers that are members of the AQPM are bound by 15 collective agreements negotiated by the AQPM with performers, composers, art directors and designers, scriptwriters, directors as well as picture and sound technicians.
Two of these agreements, which cover scriptwriters and performers involved in English-language productions, were negotiated at the national level with the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA).
The AQPM is the Quebec producers’ association that has signed the most collective agreements pursuant to the Act.
The AQPM is frequently present in the media. The AQPM jointly publishes a yearly economic profile of the production industry, and organizes an annual convention that brings together the industry’s key players.
Industrial relations management is a key aspect of the AQPM’s role. The AQPM offers members invaluable consulting services in this area.
The AQPM stays up-to-date on all aspects of financing, a primordial issue for the entire independent production industry. We provide a members-only consulting service on the current rules of production financing.
Government funding agencies regularly consult the AQPM when establishing programs or setting access criteria, and the AQPM also maintains ongoing contact with the private-sector funds. It conveys its members’ positions on such matters, and recommends improvements as needed. Information on Coproducing With Quebec.
Policy and Legislation
The AQPM monitors new federal and provincial legislation to ensure that it is compatible with established production practices in Quebec. It also ensures that the various policies adopted by industry partners are in line with the standards of its collective agreements.
As needed, the AQPM lobbies government departments, broadcasters and funding agencies so these agreements are dully taken into account.
The AQPM provides free professional consultation services for members on matters related to the interpretation and application of the collective agreements that it has negotiated. In the event that a filed grievance is considered to be in the common interests of all members, said case may be entrusted to outside counsel, with the AQPM assuming part or all of the legal representation fees to defend the producer involved. In other cases, the AQPM may ask to be heard as an interested party. In addition, the AQPM may, from time to time, file policy grievances or employer grievances in matters of common interest to its members.
Unlike the artists’ associations, under the Act, the AQPM does not have a retainer letter or voluntary assignment mandate from the producer allowing the AQPM to act alone on a filed grievance. In all cases, the producer involved in the grievance must agree to the settlement of the grievance, as the case may be. Indeed, the majority of grievances filed pursuant to the collective agreements negotiated by the AQPM are settled amicably, without the involvement of the AQPM.
As part of its role, the AQPM appears before the Tribunal administratif du travail, the tribunal entrusted with enforcement of labour standards under the Act, in the hearing of requests involving matters deemed to be in the common interest of its members.
Occupational Health and Safety
The AQPM provides its members with an information kit on various topics related to workplace health and safety, and keeps them up to date on any developments in this area.
The AQPM also takes part in the Table de concertation paritaire de l’industrie du cinéma et de la vidéo du Québec. By participating in this joint working group, the AQPM ensures parity. In collaboration with the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), which is the provincial occupational health and safety board, the working group has produced a number of safety sheets for the film and video industry, specifying applicable safety rules and precautions to be taken to ensure the health and safety of workers on production sites. The complete list of safety sheets, known as the Règles de sécurité pour l’industrie du cinéma et de la vidéo du Québec, is available for consultation and downloading from the CNESST website.
The AQPM is also a member of the Centre patronal de santé et sécurité du travail du Québec, the employers’ occupational health and safety centre.
Producing in Quebec
Producers who are actively involved in the film, television or Web production industry in Quebec can become regular members of the AQPM and have access to all collective agreements governing the industry, as well as access to consulting services in industrial relations (collective agreements, occupational health and safety, training, work permits).
Foreign producers can become permittee members and have access, on a per-production basis, to all collective agreements governing the industry as well as to consulting services in industrial relations. By paying an overall per-production fee, these producers are entitled to use all relevant employment contracts.
Non-member producers are entitled to use some of the collective agreements entered into by the AQPM, subject to authorization and payment of administration fees.
Foreign producers shooting in Quebec may find it helpful to hire a production administrator (line producer, production manager or production accountant) who is an AQPM member. These professionals are well versed in the applicable employment rules, in obtaining temporary work permits and shooting authorizations, etc. These services are also available through well-established production corporation that are AQPM members.