While Calgary’s economy might be tanking, one industry is managing to not only survive, but thrive.
Calgary’s movie industry is booming in part thanks to a low Canadian dollar that’s attracting American film makers north of the border.
“I think it makes every location in the country significant,” Calgary Film Commissioner Luke Azevedo told Calgary Buzz.
“You reap some benefits when the dollar is lower and I think we all see that in every jurisdiction.”
Awards season is also helping seal Alberta’s reputation as a filming destination. With Alberta-filmed The Revenant having swept the Golden Globes, the province is likely to get more attention than ever for the beautiful prairie backdrops it’s known for.
“We’ve got a one hundred year history in film in this province and it’s a scenario where we have developed a history of creating amazing projects onto the screen,” Azevado said.
“We’re in a position here where we have obviously started to create more of an impact on the way that we’re being perceived out there and we obviously want to see this momentum continue.”
Despite a dark cloud hanging over Alberta’s economic standing, the film industry could offer a much needed boost.
“It’s a sector that has a variety of different groups that work in it.”
“You’ve got electricians, you’ve got construction workers, you’ve got painters, you’ve got hair and makeup, you’ve got crafts services, you’ve got a spectrum of people that have many skills sets that can be utilized from across different sector,” said Azevado.
And there are a few things people might not know about Alberta’s film industry. There are many critically acclaimed movies that were partially or completely shot in the province such as Inception, Bourne Legacy, and Interstellar.
“We have Heartland, which is the longest running one-hour dramatic series in Canadian history. We have crews here that are considered some of the best in the world.”
“We have an indigenous community that plays a massive part in our television industry as well. We generate hundreds of millions of dollars – these aren’t small numbers,” Azevado said.