Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy New Year - and to Ukrainian Content

Well I seem to have survived the Eve of the New Year as well as the first day of 2007. All in all it was pretty uneventful, with the exception of a discussion on the need for Ukrainian content laws, much on the model of what was done in Canada back in the early 1970s. This discussion took place not in Ukraine but in a small Irish Pub in the core of Montreal, that I used to frequent called Hurley's.

The own by the way, Bill Hurley, is married to a Ukrainian from our Montreal Ukrainian community. A little digression, prior to the fact that Bill opened his pub, I used to frequent the Old Dublin... for some reason unknown to me there were people there who thought I was Bill Hurley. When I told him this about 4 years ago on a visit to Montreal he just laughed, well at least we have something in common he said to me, I'm Irish your Mother is Irish! My wife is Ukrainian and so are you... Unfortunately our paths don't cross to often, maybe someday I will convince him to come to Kyiv for a visit with his wife.

The idea of Ukrainian content laws is not new. Back in 2000 there were some people in the Ukrainian Radio industry along with members of the Verkhovna Rada, and musicians who approached me on this topic, regarding learning from the Canadian experience. For about three months there was a flurry of activity, including me getting in touch with Andrew Carter an old classmate who had written on the topic of Canadian content laws and its effect on the industry. Unfortunately even back in 2000 there was no true political will in this area, and unfortunately I don't think the political will exists today, but who knows maybe the musicians, actors and players in this field will surprise me this year... Or maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part!

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