The British Columbia film industry is doing better than ever, and the province is looking to keep this momentum going.
British Columbia Minister of Jobs Shirley Bond visited North Shore Studios on July 27 to announce that the province will be opening an office in Los Angeles to attract companies and organizations looking to pick B.C. as their filming destination.
“We have a fantastic opportunity in British Columba to continue to grow our motion picture industry, also our visual effects sector as well,” said Bond.
Steps to open the office are already underway. Through a partnership with the Ministry of International Trade, a provincial representative will be there to provide things like familiarization tours for corporations and companies that want to learn about the B.C. film industry.
Peter Leitch, president of North Shore Studios also took the opportunity to express gratitude and happiness on the success of the film industry.
“We look forward to working closely with the government to leverage industries investment in B.C. as a world centre for screen-based entertainment,” he said.
B.C. had an incredible film year in 2014 and reached record levels in terms of production.
“We surpassed the $2-billion mark in our province. Studios and all of the organizations are very busy right now working at capacity,” Bond said.
B.C. production expenditures reached an estimated $2 billion in the 2014-2015 fiscal year compared to $1.45 billion in 2013-14. The film industry is currently booming as a result of a combination of things.
Firstly, it’s important to note that the low Canadian dollar has become an incentive for many filming corporations, but Bond said that the province’s competitive tax regime is also helping out the industry.
Tax credits for digital animation and digital effects have been extended, as well as the tax credit for filming in Victoria — which has prompted a significant increase of production on Vancouver Island.
“We have incredible people, great infrastructure, and we are in the same timeline as Los Angeles and that’s very important in the industry,” said Bond.