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Canada’s film and TV production boom continues

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It’s well known that America’s first sweetheart’ – actress Mary Pickford – was actually Canadian. It’s less well known that some of America’s top films are actually Canadian productions. Hollywood North – the catch-all term for Canada’s film industry – has been booming for almost thirty years, and the growth shows no signs of stopping.

The first choice location for many reasons

Canada has long been a favorite filming location for Hollywood’s big production companies, and the reasons are many and varied. Canada is the foreign location that looks like home. Signs, houses, cars, people all look familiar to U.S. audiences, so expensive ‘disguising’ of city locations is unnecessary. And Canada speaks the same language, inhabits the same time zones, and is a short flight away from U.S. power centers like Los Angeles and New York.

However, the reasons for choosing Canada run far deeper. Canada has been investing in tech, talent and studio space for over 25 years, so it is no surprise that Canadian facilities and crews are highly skilled and well respected. And Canada’s facilities are growing in number – and more importantly, size – to accommodate projects of all sizes and scope. What’s more, Canada provides a variety of financing sources to draw productions here, including competitive provincial and federal tax credits.

The industry and governments’ dedication and investment has paid off. From 2018 to 2019, total film and television production in Canada:

  • hit an all-time high in production volume of $9.32 billion1
  • accounted for 180,900 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs1
  • generated $12.8 billion in GDP for the Canadian economy1

Importantly, much of that production is foreign location and service (FLS) – meaning a production from another country that has made Canada its choice production location. From 2019 to 2020:

  • the total volume of FLS production in Canada increased by 8% to $5.25 billion2
  • the number of FLS productions increased from 465 to an all-time high of 5212

While British Columbia still leads the way in FLS production, the segment’s growth was driven by filming in Ontario and Quebec.3

Fueling the boom: streaming and cable

This increase is fueled in part by the growth of U.S. networks and online-streaming services producing original content. The Queen’s Gambit, The Umbrella Academy, Arrow, Titans, Riverdale, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Boys and Star Trek: Discovery were filmed in Canada for global consumption.2

It’s not all about tax credits and talent though. Productions generate massive amounts of data throughout the project lifecycle. From shooting to post-production to distribution, having access to reliable, secure and high-bandwidth connectivity becomes critical to store and transmit data.

Choosing a partner like BCE Global - USA can help content-rich organizations to meet their big data challenges. BCE Global - USA leverages the Bell Canada network, the largest fiber network in Canada, spanning over 176,000 miles and offers additional resiliency via three diverse, low-latency, coast-to-coast fiber routes, speeds of up to 400 Gbps, access to secure, leading-edge data centers across the country and connections across the U.S.

For producers looking for skilled and talented crews, generous financial incentives, and a telecommunications provider that understands the changing challenges of data transmission and storage, look North to Canada.

Connect with us today.


1 https://www.mpa-canada.org/research_docs/profile-2019-economic-report-on-the-screen-based-media-production-industry-in-canada/

2 https://cmpa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/PROFILE-2020_EN.pdf

3 https://www.mpa-canada.org/research_docs/profile-2019-economic-report-on-the-screen-based-media-production-industry-in-canada/

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