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Film credit attracts productions worth nearly $1B

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

Provincial Press Release August, 3, 2021 @ 1:48 pm published at 2:00 pm

A key part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, the Film and Television Tax Credit is attracting major productions to the province, diversifying the economy and creating thousands of new jobs.

Since the program’s launch in January 2020, it has attracted 50 productions to Alberta with total production costs of $955 million, creating 9,000 new direct and indirect jobs in the province.

In March 2021, Alberta’s government removed the $10-million per-project cap from the Film and Television Tax Credit to make the province an even more desirable location for larger productions.

Cameras are rolling on film and television productions across Alberta, injecting hundreds of millions of dollars in investment into the economy as these productions hire local crews, actors and extras, and use local businesses.

The Film and Television Tax Credit, combined with Alberta’s competitive tax environment, affordable labour costs and breathtaking scenery, has made the province a prime choice for medium and big-budget television and film projects that have a positive impact on Alberta’s economy.

HBO is currently filming its new television series The Last of Us in Alberta. The project is the single largest television series production in Canadian history and is expected to create thousands of jobs.

“The boom in our film industry is the perfect example of Alberta’s Recovery Plan in action. Thanks to the Film and Television Tax Credit, and our recent improvements to it, we are witnessing a new billion-dollar industry take shape right before our eyes, further diversifying the economy and creating new jobs.” Jason Kenney, Premier

“Alberta is the new Hollywood. With our stunning landscapes, our immense talent and our world-class studios, our province is being showcased on the big screen in a way that it never has before, with thousands of jobs being created in everything from carpentry to catering.”

Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

“Film productions like The Last of Us and Ghostbusters mean thousands of new jobs for rural Albertans both on and off set. With landscapes from the Rocky Mountains to the Prairies, Alberta is becoming a global hub for film. New multimillion-dollar investments in the film industry are getting Albertans back to work and driving Alberta’s economic recovery. I look forward to seeing even more of Alberta on the big screen.” Nate Horner, Associate Minister of Rural Economic Development

“From breathtaking landscapes to a skilled and growing workforce, Alberta has much to offer the global production community. The province’s enhanced film and television production incentive has also made it an especially attractive destination for HBO. We look forward to filming The Last of Us here, and to working with talented Alberta crews.”

Jay Roewe, senior vice-president, Production & Incentives, HBO

“Alberta’s Film and Television Tax Credit is a game-changer in terms of production volumes. It has created thousands of well-paying jobs and numerous business opportunities. High-profile projects such as The Last of Us are a major driver of jobs, Alberta businesses and training. Projects like this benefit numerous industries ranging from fabric suppliers to companies in the hospitality industry. Alberta’s spectacular landscapes are being shared globally, elevating our economic standing in the global marketplace.” Damian Petti, president, IATSE Local 212

“We are pleased to see the Alberta government is supporting Alberta’s creative industries by their recent enhancements of our film and television tax credits and production incentives. From actors to puppeteers to stunt performers, this is fantastic news for ACTRA Alberta performers, our production community and Alberta’s economy.” Tina Alford, branch representative, ACTRA Alberta

“Alberta’s enhanced incentive program and strong commitment to increasing investment from global studios is working to grow the creative economy and provide unparalleled opportunities for Alberta’s creative talent. On behalf of the major studios we represent, we’re thrilled that the Alberta government and industry have worked together to create jobs for thousands of skilled Albertans in front of and behind the camera, and to showcase the beauty and talent of Alberta on the global stage.” Wendy Noss, president, MPA-Canada

“HBO is synonymous with quality and The Last of Us has long been touted as one of the most cinematic video game series ever created – a perfect marriage to Alberta's cinematic landscapes, light and picturesque communities. We are grateful to have this tentpole series in the province developing the industry and creating hundreds of jobs for our hard-working and talented crews, as well as a great economic stimulus in communities of southern Alberta. This project, along with enhancements of the Alberta Film and Television Tax Credit, will be looked back on as cornerstone moments in a booming film production sector for years to come.”

Brock Skretting, head of advocacy, Keep Alberta Rolling

“The changes to Alberta’s Film and Television Tax credit can only be seen as a success story. Not only are we creating good high-paying jobs for Albertans, but it is also an important step in boosting Alberta’s economy at time when we need it. No matter what the business is – gas stations, lumberyard, coffee shop – movie money is being spent in Alberta.”

Mike Dunphy, business agent, Teamsters Local 362

Quick facts

  • Alberta’s Film and Television Tax Credit, launched in January 2020, offers a refundable Alberta tax credit certificate on eligible Alberta production and labour costs to corporations that produce films, television series and other eligible screen-based productions in the province.

  • The Film and Television Tax Credit complements the Alberta Made Production Grant, and is part of the government’s commitment to grow Alberta’s cultural industries by 25 per cent over the next decade.

  • In 2019, combined consumer spend globally for theatrical and home entertainment reached $101 billion, a 34 per cent increase since 2015.

  • The film and television industry is experiencing significant growth nationally and globally.

  • Global spending in the industry is projected to reach about $113 billion by 2022.

  • It is expected more than $50 billion of that spending will be in North America.

  • Last year, the Canadian film and television industry was valued at $3 billion and employed more than 54,000 workers.

  • Every year, Alberta graduates more than 3,000 creative industry professionals from its post-secondary institutions.

  • According to industry estimates, more than 3,200 Albertans are employed in the province’s motion picture and video industry.

  • According to Statistics Canada data:

  • Every $1 million of production activity in the screen-based production sector creates about 13 Alberta jobs.

  • Every $1 million of government investment under the Film and Television Tax Credit program is expected to support about 85 Alberta jobs.

  • The budget for the Film and Television Tax Credit in 2021-22 is $50 million.


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