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

Meet the 2018 Tour de Rock team

Retired Spectrum principal among team introduced at Spectrum

WATCH: Final thoughts before the 75th Swiftsure Yacht Race

Nautical stories and racing strategies of some of the 200 crews heading out to sea Saturday

Saanich Inlet bridge billion-dollar price tag too expensive says ministry

Malahat alternatives not practical from engineering, budget standpoint

Sooke candidate seeks two positions in civic election

Herb Haldane runs for Sooke councillor and CRD director

Teen Victoria brothers receive award for saving family from house fire

Sam and Finn Parker kept cool when their home started to burn and got three people out

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

B.C.’s devastating 2017 wildfire season revisited in new book

British Columbia Burning written by CBC journalist Bethany Lindsay

Beekeepers offer to pick up unwanted swarms

Capital Region Beekeepers Association sets up swarm line for residents to call

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Catalyst Paper to sell U.S. mills to Chinese company

Sale will allow company to focus on B.C. interests, says president Ned Dwyer

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Most Read