05 February 2018 0 Comments Posted By : LAURA KANE

B.C. passes Ontario as Canada’s top film, TV spot

British Columbia has surpassed Ontario as Canada's top locale for film and television production for the first time, a development that industry experts largely credit to the rise of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

A new report by the Canadian Media Producers Association says the 2016-2017 fiscal year was strong for Canada overall, with production volume in the country reaching an all-time high of $8.38-billion.

B.C. has always been in the top three provinces for film and TV production, but last year its volume hit $2.991-billion, just ahead of Ontario with $2.977-billion. Quebec, with its thriving French-language industry, placed third with $1.754-billion.

Robert Wong, vice-president of Creative BC, the provincial agency that supports the artistic sector, said increased global demand for content and the recognition that B.C. is a world-class production centre are spurring the growth.

He said streaming services are the single biggest driver. Amazon's The Man in the High Castle and Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events and Altered Carbon, premiered on Friday, are shot in the province.

"Blockbuster movies, we do get our fair share of them in British Columbia, that's for sure, but really what we are known for is television production," Mr. Wong said.

There are also a number of network shows shot in Vancouver, including Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Riverdale.

Film and TV productions in B.C. receive a 28-per-cent tax credit for labour costs. The credit was reduced five points from 33 per cent by the previous provincial Liberal government in 2016.

Mr. Wong said a reliable tax policy is key, but it's also coupled with an abundance of talent, crews and variety of locations in B.C.

"The one thing that you can't legislate is basically proximity to Los Angeles," he added. "Being in the same time zone and 2 1/2 hours away by flight does make a big difference."

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