The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Canadian Television Fund (CTF) chair Douglas Barrett referred to the industry in his June 15 speech at the Banff World Television Festival as "a famously ungrateful lot" and indeed, broadcasters, producers and others in the industry always seem to be coming forward to the government with hat in hand. "Across the system, we receive about $2 billion a year in different forms of federal government subsidies – and to outsiders, we always seem to be unhappy about it," stated Barrett. "Whether we see improvements in the definition of a genre, the interests of a particular region, or a broadcaster category, changes to various administrative practices, or funding for a specific application, we don’t take kindly to being told no." There was a renewed sense of optimism at this year’s festival, but the Canadian industry doesn’t seem to be able to step above its perpetual preoccupation with soliciting government funding and other favours for the industry. If the Canadian industry is to grow at all in viewership and reputation, it is time that it concentrates more on ideas and self-made solutions. It was disappointing that after an impassioned plea from Romeo Dallaire in his keynote speech for producers and the media to attempt to sway public opinion toward humanitarian answers to world problems that a producer would rise to ask a typically Canadian question. Where can we get the money – which government agency – for these kinds of productions, which can’t possibly garner large enough audiences to finance them? There was no talk of how best to bring these issues to the fore in the powerful TV and film media, or even what topics deserved to make it onto the screen. And after Canadian Heritage minister Frulla announced an extension of government funding to the CTF, the talk seemed to shift once again on how to get the feds to commit long-term to the fund. Perhaps 24 executive producer Jon Cassar got something right when he said in an interview with CCR that Canadian producers spent too much time lobbying for money and filling out forms rather, and far too little on taking risks on unknown talent – something that the Americans excel at. "Take a chance," advised Cassar, who has worked on both sides of the border. "People here are motivated by shows that will make the government happy or funding agencies happy rather than an audience happy. With any American show, we talk about the audience…With the Canadian shows (I’ve worked on) that’s not paramount…Just the few days that I’ve been back, I’m back into it (talk about needing government funding) again; nothing has changed." Yes, a Canadian TV drama has cracked the top 10 programs in this country. But Corner Gas is being funded outside the system that the broadcasting industry so loves to complain about it. The producers aren’t relying on the CTF, but rather on BCE benefits money, which appears to come with a lot less paperwork and strings and far better success on the TV screen. It is time that the Canadian broadcast industry spends more time on actually producing good TV than on lobbying government and filling out forms. It is the better way to grow.