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Record-breaking year for Ontario's film and TV industry

'It saw 343 productions bringing in $2.16 billion in production spending for the economy and supporting 44,540 full-time equivalent direct and spin-off jobs'
Cardinal ctv series 2017
CTV series Cardinal is partially shot in North Bay. (Supplied)

Ontario's film and television industry had a record-breaking year in 2019, with 343 productions bringing in $2.16 billion in production spending for the economy and supporting 44,540 full-time equivalent direct and spin-off jobs.

That news according to a government press release Friday.

This represents an increase in production by almost 15 per cent from 2018 and more than 7,500 new jobs. 

Back in December the local film industry got another financial boost as Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli handed out $1.4 million in funding through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation to support three film and TV productions.  

“Film and television production in North Bay and Nipissing has become a success story that is continuing to grow,” said Fedeli  at the time. 

"These results show that we're building a business-friendly climate where production companies and production service companies can grow," said Minister of Heritage Lisa MacLeod.

"In 2020, we are continuing to work with Ontario Creates and the industry to ensure producers at home and around the globe know that there's no better place to create content than right here in Ontario," added MacLeod.

Ontario is a leader in domestic film and television production, and is home to a booming foreign production sector. according to a government news release.

"The economic and employment benefits of Ontario's vibrant film and television industry are felt across the province, with popular and critically acclaimed productions like Cardinal and Letterkenny produced in Northern Ontario; Hilda in Ottawa; and Workin' Moms, Kim's Convenience and Star Trek: Discovery in the Greater Toronto Area. The Umbrella Academy, Schitt's Creek and many others are filmed across Central and Southwestern Ontario.

"Our suite of financial incentives, over 10,000 locations, world-class crews, diverse talent, award-winning post-production facilities, and expanding studio space are a huge draw for producers from Canada, the U.S. and around the world," says Karen Thorne-Stone, President of Ontario Creates.

There was a balance between domestic and foreign production in 2019, with $1.1 billion in foreign production and $1 billion in domestic production.

Jobs created by film and TV production in the province include: technicians (such as lighting, make-up, carpenters, set designers, set dressers and wardrobe experts), production managers and coordinators, location managers, craft services, post-production experts, accountants, performers and drivers.

Ontario offers tax credits to support film and television production.

Earlier this month, the government announced a Ministers’ Film and Television Advisory Panel which will provide evidence and advice to the government on industry trends, challenges and opportunities to grow high‐value film and television production in Ontario and maximize benefits for the province.


Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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