Media and entertainment in Canada


Dentons boasts a sizeable and experienced team across Canada that has a well-established presence in all segments of the entertainment industry, most notably in the financing and distribution of domestic and international film and television productions. The firm’s international network is a key differentiator, as is its ability to advise clients on emerging areas, including the negotiation of intricate production deals with studios, independent content producers and streaming services. Besides film and TV, the team’s expertise also extends to music, publishing and digital media assets, as well as IP protection and litigation. Sitting in the Toronto office, Ken Dhaliwal has a wealth of experience in big-budget foreign productions and international treaty co-productions, while Jim Russell  specializes in media financing work and other transactional matters. Also in Toronto, David Steinberg  is a key contact for the music industry and Jayme Alter  advises on many high-profile production and licensing issues. Vancouver-based Juliet Smith is the go-to lawyer for multijurisdictional matters, advising US counsel and agents on producing in Canada.

Key clients

Banger Films

Blumhouse Productions

Elevation Pictures

Lionsgate Films

Netflix, Inc.

New Metric Media

Shopify Inc.

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.

Workin’ Moms

WOW! Unlimited Media

Work highlights

  • Advised Shopify Inc. on the launch of a television and film content and production studio called “Shopify Studios” in 2019, and continue to act as ongoing counsel on a number of productions.
  • Advised on all aspects of the television series Workin’ Moms since before its first season, from the structuring and closing of the financing to negotiating and settling the licensing, distribution and production documentation.
  • Advised Sinking Ship Entertainment on all legal aspects of Apple’s flagship children’s series Ghostwriter, including cross-border guild union issues, financing, talent contracts, licensing, merchandising and distribution.

Goodmans LLP

The entertainment group at Goodmans LLP has secured its position in the top echelons on of the Canadian legal market, and is a popular destination among independent producers, Hollywood studios, OTT services, film and TV distributors and private equity investors. Showcasing strong credentials in the film and TV industries and sector-related regulatory issues, the Toronto-based group has notable capabilities in the financing and distribution of content, and in the negotiation of international co-production agreements. Additionally, it is well-positioned to assist with acquisitions and sales of entertainment companies and related corporate, tax and regulatory matters. Entirely devoted to entertainment law, practice head David Zitzerman focuses on the film, television and digital media industries in Canada and the US. Domestic and cross-border transactions within the entertainment, media and technology sectors are core areas of activity for Carolyn Stamegna, who regularly acts for financial institutions and private financiers. Other practitioners to note include Tara Parker– a leading entertainment lawyer whose experience covers film financing, co-productions, media rights acquisitions and copyright law- and Jaclyn Seidman  , the latter of whom is counsel of choice for many film, TV, theatre and publishing clients.

Practice head(s):

David Zitzerman

Key clients

Amazon Studios

Alcon Entertainment

Apple Studios

AMC Networks

Bell Media Inc.

Creative Wealth Media

CBS Corporation

Disney ABC Cable Networks Group

Dreamworks Animation Television LLC

eOne Entertainment

Endeavor Content


The Fred Rogers Company

Google Inc.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Insight Productions

Hermès Canada Inc.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

MGM Studios/EPIX

Motion Picture Association – Canada

9 Story Media


Nelson Education



Rogers Communications

Writers Guild Canada


Gowling WLG

Canadian and international clients, including film and TV producers, distributors and broadcaster, book publishers and video game developers, seek the Gowling WLG‘s assistance with a variety of entertainment and sports law mandates. Drawing on the firm’s notable IP expertise, the team is particularly skilled at acting for music industry clients in relation to commercial transactions, talent agreements, record deals, licensing and merchandising arrangements. Major record labels, artists and songwriters, book publishers and other entertainment companies  routinely turn to Susan Abramovitch  for advice on cutting-edge issues, such as non-fungible tokens. Her practice encompasses both transactional work and dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Susan Abramovitch


‘Susan Abramovitch brings an uncommon depth of experience, coupled with a pragmatic business approach, and more than fair billing practices.’

‘Working with Susan Abramovitch is like working with your best friend, who happens to also be your mentor and the smartest person you know.’

Key clients

Antica Productions Inc.

Azrieli Foundation


Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance

Kobalt Music Publishing

Tanya Tagaq


Jane Goodall Institute Global

Quinlan Road/Loreena McKennitt


Mary Berg

Great Big Sea

National Arts Centre Corporation


Harlequin Enterprises

Eleanor McCain

Secret City Records / Publishing

Six Shooter Records

Brad Roberts/Crash Test Dummies