B.C. surpasses Ontario as top production locale for films, TV: report

Canadian Media Producers Association says the 2016-2017 fiscal year was strong for Canada overall

British Columbia, the home of blockbuster movie shoots such as “Deadpool 2” and “Star Trek Beyond,” has surpassed Ontario as Canada’s top locale for film and television production for the first time.

A new report by the Canadian Media Producers Association says the 2016-2017 fiscal year was strong for Canada overall, with production volume in the country reaching an all-time high of $8.38 billion.

B.C. has always been in the top three provinces for film and TV shoots, but the report says last year its production volume hit $2.991 billion, just ahead of Ontario with $2.977 billion. Quebec, with its thriving French-language industry, placed third with $1.754 billion.

Robert Wong, vice president of Creative BC, the provincial agency that supports the artistic sector, said increased global demand for content and the recognition that B.C. is a world-class production centre are driving the growth.

He said streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, are the single biggest driver. Netflix’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and “Altered Carbon,” premiering Friday, were shot in the province.

“Blockbuster movies, we do get our fair share of them in British Columbia, that’s for sure, but really what we are known for is television production,” Wong said.

“The amount of television production is really where the growth is and that includes the streaming service-type productions.”

The report says the film and television industries generated 24,120 direct full-time jobs in B.C. — only 40 more than Ontario — while it created 14,540 such jobs in Quebec.

“Star Trek Beyond” alone employed more than 3,900 British Columbians and contributed $69 million to the provincial economy during 78 days of shooting, the report adds.

READ MORE: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson reflects on first time in Vancouver

VIDEO: Riverdale stars step out to meet fans in Langley City

Film and television productions in B.C. receive a 28 per cent tax credit for labour costs. The credit was reduced five points from 33 per cent by the previous provincial Liberal government in 2016.

Wong said a stable and reliable tax policy is key to the success of the industry, but it’s also coupled with an abundance of talent, crews and variety of locations in B.C.

“The one thing that you can’t legislate is basically proximity to Los Angeles,” he added. “Being in the same time zone and two and a half hours away by flight does make a big difference.”

The report does sound a note of caution about the surge in demand for content and the abundance of foreign productions in Canada. Though the country has policies to support local content, capturing more than three per cent of domestic box office for Canadian films remains elusive, it says.

“With record growth across much of Canada’s production sector, there is much to celebrate this year, including the creation of jobs and a significant contribution to the country’s economy,” said Reynolds Mastin, president and CEO of the association in a statement.

“But, among these big numbers are some emerging trends that require attention. As our industry continues to adapt to evolving technologies and changing consumer behaviours, we must ensure that growth benefits our entire sector, including productions that showcase Canadian stories for audiences at home and around the world.”

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vancouver Island homeowners buy more earthquake insurance than the rest of B.C.

Insurance Bureau of Canada says that’s because the perception of risk is greater on the Island

Anxiety amongst voters on amalgamation referendum

Non-binding referendum asks Victoria and Saanich residents to endorse citizens’ assembly

District of Oak Bay issues notice to cease tent city

The notice is effective immediately

Missing 72-year-old man last seen in Langford

Albert Bedard has been missing since Oct. 12

Persons Day celebrates historic achievement of five suffragettes

Landmark case 89 years ago declared women “persons” making them eligible for the Senate

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

San Group announces plans to build new sawmill in Port Alberni

San Group has purchased 25 acres of Catalyst Paper land for expansion

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

Most Read