Home Entertainment production Saskatchewan. the government commits an additional $7.5 million to film and television production

Saskatchewan. the government commits an additional $7.5 million to film and television production

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The Government of Saskatchewan is further boosting the film and television industry with an additional $7.5 million for Creative Saskatchewan’s production grant.

In the 2022-2023 budget, the grant was increased from $2 million to $10 million. The additional $7.5 million announced Thursday brings the total grant commitment to $17.5 million for this year alone.

Culture Minister Laura Ross made the announcement at the John Hopkins Regina Soundstage.

Ross said 13 projects received part of the initial $10 million grant.

“We know this additional $7.5 million investment will build on that momentum, help grow our workforce, increase tourism, and support our arts and culture sectors alongside so many other industries. important.

In August, Creative Saskatchewan and the government announced tv series king of killers received $8 million of the $10 million available in the grant. It was allowed to exceed the $5 million funding threshold because the project was deemed to have a “significant impact on the local economy”.

“It is estimated that an investment of this caliber will result in approximately $32 million in economic activity for Saskatchewan,” said Erin Dean, CEO of Creative Saskatchewan.

“This includes significant opportunities for Saskatchewan’s hospitality and service sector. Productions need accommodation, catering services, costumes, props, skilled labor, legal and accounting support, and much more.

Ross said the province decided to increase the grant due to high demand.

She said the total was allocated in just four months and Creative Saskatchewan argued that additional funding could build momentum and generate economic activity.

Dean said the process for receiving grants is based on eligibility and “first come, first served.”

She said projects receiving money so far include seven documentary series, one sketch comedy series, two children’s series and two drama series.

Dean said out-of-province-based productions must partner with a local company to receive funding.

Filmmaker and Wavelength Entertainment executive Chris Triffo said the extra cash is “just the start” for the province’s industry.

“There has never been a time in my career where there has been such a hunger for content and any jurisdiction open for business will get some of that content and some of that capital,” Triffo said.

This film and television production soundstage in Regina is set to get busier with increased provincial government investment in Creative Saskatchewan. Its grant grew from $2 million to a total of $17.5 million in one year. (Government of Saskatchewan)

Triffo said the industry needs to bolster its workforce in the province, but continued investment could do that quickly.

“The hope is that there will be 140 to 150 jobs created throughout the year and then every year after that it should start to double and ideally we can get into the thousands,” Triffo said.

“Some of the other jurisdictions have [40,000 to 200,000] that work and we hope that the government will continue to support the industry that we will have more and more labor here. »

“The future looks great,” says the filmmaker

In 2012, the provincial government decided to eliminate the old Film Employment Tax Credit, which covered up to 55% of labor costs in film and video productions.

The ruling forced the majority of industry workers in the province to relocate to other jurisdictions.

A study conducted by SaskFilm and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce found that from 1998 to 2012, the film industry generated over $500 million in economic activity after government spending, or over $36 million in annual economic activity.

A report of 2020 by Statistics Canada showed that the operating revenue generated by film, television and video productions in Saskatchewan in 2007 was $42.2 million. In 2019, revenue had fallen to $17.2 million.

Ross said the benefit of government grants is that “all the money stays here in Saskatchewan, so there’s no wastage.”

Ross said the old program “didn’t serve the film industry as well as the current program. It’s totally different.”

“It’s the best time to be in Saskatchewan in the film industry,” Ross said.

Triffo was asked about the decision to eliminate the tax credit a decade ago and said he preferred to look forward.

“Nothing to gain by thinking about it. Today is a new day and the future looks great.”