Creative BC News

B.C.’s Motion Picture Industry Contributes $3.4B to the Provincial Economy

Jul 16, 2018 | Motion Picture, Motion Picture Tax Credits

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VANCOUVER, B.C. (July 16, 2018) – Today Creative BC reports that budgeted motion picture production expenditures of 452 productions qualifying for tax credit certifications during the 2017 – 18 fiscal year contributed $3.4 billion to B.C.’s economy. Within this total budgeted production spend, direct industry jobs and labour income accounted for approximately $1.78 billion. B.C.-based creators accounted for 163 productions, with non-B.C. and foreign companies bringing 289 productions to the province.

British Columbia possesses a reputation for excellence and innovation in screen-based media production globally, and motion picture contributes to a strong and sustainable economy for the province. Spanning physical production, animation, visual effects and post-production, B.C’s full-service industry is a major private sector employer supporting an estimated 60,000 skilled workers across technology, trades, business and the arts with higher than average incomes.

Additionally, the province is home to well over 200 B.C.-based producers and more than 250 local businesses that service motion picture production including 65 film studios, 30 post-production companies and 100 animation and visual effects companies, making B.C. the world’s largest visual effects cluster. Additional highlights, facts and impacts of B.C.’s motion picture industry during fiscal year 2017-18 included:

  • Eagle Creek Studios of Burnaby expanded to Kelowna, building a new purpose-built sound stage for production in the Okanagan;
  • Vancouver Island Film Studio opened in Parksville with five purpose built sound stages servicing production on the Island;
  • The most-watched, most-successful series in Hallmark Channel’s history, Chesapeake Shores renewed for a third season of filming on Vancouver Island and employed graduates of the North Island College Regional Film Crew Training pilot program, which was created in partnership with the North Island Film Commission;
  • B.C. independent filmmaker Mina Shum’s Meditation Park opened the Vancouver Film Festival and has been acquired by Netflix in the U.S., U.K. and Australia;
  • Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation was released this weekend earning the top spot at the box office and receiving much critical acclaim. Sony Pictures Imageworks created the film using the talents of B.C.’s exceptional artists.
  • 20th Century Fox’s War for the Planet of the Apes filmed in Vancouver and Tofino, earned Special Effects Supervisor Joel Whist of Kamloops an Oscar nomination, and contributed $81 million to the B.C. economy in just 180 days of production, including $45 million on cast and crew, $3.6 million on construction supplies, $1.6 million to municipalities on location fees and $1.2 million on local hotels;
  • 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool 2, starring Ryan Reynolds, filmed in B.C. in several communities including Vancouver, Coquitlam and at Victoria’s Royal Roads University and contributed over $100 million to the economy in just 80 days of filming, creating 3,000 local jobs and leveraging Method Studios’ VFX expertise.
  • The Reel Thanksgiving Challenge, a collaboration between B.C.’s industry partners and spearheaded by the Director’s Guild of Canada, BC Chapter, raised $205,831 for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, including more than $30,000 raised by the cast and crew of The Man in the High Castle, a TV series filming since 2015 at Eagle Creek Studios and various Metro Vancouver locations. Over four years the initiative has raised $565,000 for this charity alone.

A breakdown by program of the 452 tax credit certifications approved by Creative BC during fiscal year 2017-18 include:

  • 163 issued under the Film Incentive BC Tax Credit Program (FIBC) for Canadian owned and controlled productions, with estimated budgeted expenditures in B.C. of close to $404 million;
  • 289 issued under the Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC) program for international productions, with estimated budgeted expenditures in B.C. of $3 billion; and
  • The Digital Animation, Visual Effects and Post Production Tax Credit (DAVE), was leveraged by 144 of the total 163 FIBC claims and 276 of 289 the PSTC claims respectively.
  • 187 productions of the 452, or 41%, leveraged regional tax credits (outside the designated Vancouver area); 86 of the 452, or 19%, leveraged distant location regional tax credits (beyond the regional tax credit zone).

A breakdown by format of the 452 tax credit certifications includes:

  • Direct to DVD – 6
  • Feature Films – 110
  • Mini Series – 6
  • Movies of the Week – 112
  • Pilots – 21
  • TV Programs – 22
  • Series – 164
  • Web-based/other – 11

Creative BC is the independent agency responsible for promotion and growth of the creative industries in British Columbia, providing a single point of access for industry programming, provincial film commission production support services and tax credit administration, international marketing and policy development. For more information and detailed expenditures by production type, please visit


Prem Gill, Chief Executive Officer, Creative BC

“The people working in B.C.’s motion picture industry have earned this province a global reputation for innovation and full-service excellence in the highly competitive screen-based industries. From physical production to VFX, animation and post-production, the positive economic and labour income footprints of motion picture in B.C. are expanding due to industry and government collaboration, incredible talent, world-leading industry expertise and robust infrastructure. Together we are delivering the world’s highest quality content.”

Peter Leitch, President, North Shore Studios and Chair of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of B.C.

“Together, British Columbia’s motion picture industry continues its leadership position as North America’s third largest motion picture hub. We are proud of our industry’s global reputation for expertise and innovation, and of the contribution we are making to this province’s economy.”

Liz Shorten, Senior Vice-President, Operations & Member Services, Canadian Media Producers Association, Vancouver Branch

“B.C.’s thriving motion picture production industry presents excellent strategic opportunity for our province’s own producers and creators. British Columbia’s industry is in the global spotlight, and as demand for screen-based content grows, we can leverage our international reputation to increase our domestic creators’ presence at home, nationally and around the globe.”

Joan Miller, Film Commissioner, Vancouver Island North Film Commission and President, Association of Regional Film Commissioners of BC

“The regions of B.C. are much more than a destination for unique locations, thanks to Governments strategic investments focused on growing the creative industries throughout B.C. The current successes can be credited to labour-based tax credits and grass roots rural training programs. Combined with years of hard work and dedication by B.C.’s regional film commissions, job opportunities and private infrastructure investment in motion picture, game and animation is on the rise.”

David Shepheard, Director, Vancouver Film Commission and Board Member of Association of Film Commissioners International

“Vancouver is proud to be the anchor of the region’s film & TV industry. Thousands of professionals form the bedrock of Vancouver’s world-leading VFX and animation sector, and thousands more comprise the celebrated crews and talent that built global confidence in our city’s capacity to deliver world-class productions. These numbers show that Vancouver and the region remains firmly established as North America’s third largest film & TV production centre, and the largest and busiest production hub in Canada. This success is set to continue playing a fundamental role in Vancouver’s economic future.”


About Creative BC Creative BC is an independent agency created and supported by the Province of B.C. to sustain and help grow B.C.’s creative sector (film and television, digital and interactive media, music, and magazine and book publishing industries). The agency delivers a wide range of programs and services to expand B.C.’s creative economy. These include the administration of the provincial government’s tax credit programs for film and television; development funding and export marketing support; and motion picture production services to attract inward investment and market B.C. as a destination for domestic and international production. The agency acts as an industry catalyst and ambassador to help B.C.’s creative sector reach its economic and creative potential both at home and globally.

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Kyla Humphreys, Content + Communications Specialist | 604-730-2240