A brief look at Canada’s entertainment industry.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) starts tomorrow – an event long heralded as the oracle of Oscar season. And to honour this long-running and hotly anticipated event, we’ve decided to take a quick look at Canada’s film sector.

Movies and television have been a thriving business in Canada for quite some time. Toronto, Ontario’s 2014 municipal statistics listed that city as the third-largest screen-based production centre in North America (behind Los Angeles and New York City), and a regular stand-in for various large American centres. Entertainment industry activity is almost equally brisk in Vancouver, British Columbia and Montreal, Quebec.

Toronto and Vancouver have regularly shared bragging rights as hubs for Canadian film and television production. Industry data for 2017/2018 had British Columbia as the prime production destination (40 per cent), followed by Ontario (32 per cent), and Quebec (20 per cent). Ontario was slightly ahead the previous year.

All this activity can have a strong impact on the economy. Motion Picture Association – Canada figures for the 2017/2018 season indicate that the sector:

  • Employed 179,000 people, from special effects technicians to makeup artists, writers, and set builders,
  • Had a film and television production volume of $8.9 billion that same year, and
  • Generated a gross domestic product (GDP) of $12.8 billion for the Canadian economy.

Profile 2018, the Economic Report on the Screen-Based Media Production Industry in Canada, states that foreign location and service accounted for more than half of Canada’s screen productions, all contributing to a value chain including production, distribution, festivals, theatrical exhibitions, television broadcasting, and on-demand services.

There’s good reason to celebrate media production in Canada – and a film festival is a good place to do it. So to our friends and colleagues attending TIFF, we say “Grab some popcorn – and enjoy!”

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