As the Banff World Media Festival gets underway, local film and TV production has received a much-needed shot in the arm from Alberta’s provincial government. Alberta has unveiled another $2.8 million for its Multimedia Development Fund to bankroll local production and keep pace with film tax credits and other financial incentives on offer to indie producers in rival Canadian provinces.And the province has reduced the production fund from three to two streams, with local producers getting up to 30% of all production expenses covered by one of the streams and co-producers from outside provinces receiving 27% of expenses rebated as part of the second co-production or service production fund. The Alberta production fund is capped at $5 million.
Production levels in Alberta have been on a decline in the province over the past three years, but the changes announced… will put Alberta on a level playing field with the rest of Canada and the world”, ACTRA Alberta president Duval Lang said in a statement
The lifeline funding for the Alberta production sector comes as film and TV activity has fallen in recent years, leading production equipment suppliers to consider moving elsewhere for lack of business. Also this week in Banff, provincial culture minister Lindsay Blackett is expected to make an announcement about a long-awaited Calgary film studio. The province and the city of Calgary are expected to unveil funding for the studio facility to be built at the Canada Olympic Park on the city’s outskirts.
By Etan Vlessing – Playback