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Impact Report 2020/21


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Creative BC Annual Impact Report


Click here to view our Impact Report Summary


Leading through service to B.C.’s creative industries

Panels moderated or participated on

Joint announcements with BC Government

Crew and experts consulted for ED&I initiative Creative Pathways


Traditional media hits and engagement


Indigenous and racialized board members


Women board members

In FY20/21 Creative BC continued to provide collaborative sector leadership, bridging industry and government

Creative BC’s organizational achievements in service of the creative sector during FY2020/21 included:

      • CEO Prem Gill engaged in pandemic-related strategic leadership at the provincial and national levels, participating as a member of the National Production Industry Task Force, and as a member of the Premier’s Economic Recovery Task Force.
      • Creative BC undertook coordination, design and implementation support of the B.C. Motion Picture Industry Health and Safety Guidelines. The organization continues to manage all industry-related issues, coordinating between all levels of government and industry.
      • Creative BC supported 17% more media inquiries and interest than ever before, with most inquiries relevant to production activity and impacts due to COVID-19 being responsible for the increase.
      • Creative BC diversified its board of directors to reflect more fair and balanced participation, including 40% participation by Indigenous and racialized people and 70% participation by women.
      • Creative BC quickly surveyed industry on the impacts of COVID-19 during the first three weeks of the shutdown in March, providing rapid delivery of reporting to government in early April with 636 respondents and 5 industry-specific reports.
      • Creative BC is working with Elevate Inclusion Strategies to do internal work and training at the individual, department, organizational and sector level in support of JEDDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Decolonization and Inclusion) principles applying them internally with the intent to effect change externally. This first year was training staff on basic principles as well as working as departments to review how barriers to access can be removed across every department and touchpoint. Action Plans are being written for a two-year project.
      • Creative BC is working with MPPIA to deliver Creative Pathways, a six-part strategy to transform the motion picture industry through fairer representation of underrepresented groups. This is detailed in the Film Commission section.
      • COVID-19 resource pages were delivered with tailored information by industry on Creative BC program and service supports as well as key information to restart. This information resources is curated and aggregated in a Creative Industries COVID-19 Resource Index, offering categorized and filterable supports by user type to get industry members the resources and information they needed to take advantage of supports.
      • Creative BC designed and developed a measurement tool, CIERA (Creative Industries Economic Results Assessment), in response to government requests for a consistent method of measurement across the five industries served by Creative BC.

Moving through the pandemic together

Billion $ Total GDP

FTE's, up to 92,880 people


10% YOY

Renewed purpose: COVID impacts and beyond

Sector Sustainability: Renewed Purpose

Bringing social change and environmental responsibility into economic development

B.C.’s creative industries continue to weather and adapt to the global pandemic that initially disrupted business activity in March of 2020 across the sector. While recognized as one of the hardest hit segments of the economy, CIERA 2020 discovered the industries’ resilience with only a -10% overall drop in Total GDP contributions to the B.C. economy, but a –14% drop in Total Labour between 2019 actuals and 2020 estimates. A unique set of economic challenges and even some opportunities now face each
of the industries, many of which were already grappling with (or in some cases seizing upon) disruptions due to the rapid expansion of tech and the ongoing digital revolution. But from within this variable and uncertain economic context, there is a strong and unifying theme across the entire sector as the people within it ask: what kind of economy do we want to rebuild? Deepening priorities for social justice are combining with close to home experience of the global climate crisis linked to B.C.’s devastating fires and floods in 2021. Altogether, the sector is adopting a new imperative for developing a “sustainability mindset”
– one that builds its economy with great purpose as an interconnected and that reprioritizes equity and the environment as equal considerations.

Committed to our work for Reconciliation

Indigenous Creative Sovereignty and Partnership

Commitment and accountability

In the role of catalyst for B.C.’s creative industries, Creative BC has an important role to play in uplifting the activities and work of Indigenous creators and companies. Creative BC also prioritizes the leadership of, and partnership with, Indigenous-led organizations pursuing economic, social and cultural development across the creative sector locally and nationally.

The organization provides ongoing education for management and staff, and purposefully observes National Day for Truth and
Reconciliation in order to participate in relevant and supporting community events, to learn and listen, and as a quiet day of reflection. By doing so, Creative BC recognizes and commemorates the tragic and ongoing legacy of residential schools so it is never forgotten. The organization commits to embed Reconciliation and accountability for change as a foundational principle in all
spheres of its influence.

  • Respectful relationships
  • Long term value
  • Equitable access
  • Learn Indigenous history
  • Remember and recognize the legacy of residential schools
Trusted to act by our partners


Opening doors, bridging industry and community

Creative BC works closely with many to inform our work and the progress we support in the sector. The FY2020/21 year brought new meaning to the value of collaboration and partnership – from adapting programs to serve industry needs during the pandemic, to understanding where Creative BC processes and systems could be improved to remove barriers, to facilitating for the motion picture industry to publish high-level Safety Guidelines assisting productions in a safe return to work. Paramount to Creative BC’s ability to deliver, are the relationships and growing network of partners and collaborators focused on mutual success and opportunity B.C.’s creative industries – from clients, creative industry associations, regional film commissions, labour organizations, and equity and sovereignty-focused organizations, to the government’s creative sector team, and many more public bodies and granting organizations from local to national with whom the organization is proud to continue adapting, co-creating and delivering.

FY2020/21 Supports + Services

FY2020/21 Focus

British Columbias creative industries experienced an intense and challenging year in FY2020/21 due to the destabilizing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like all industries globally, the impacts have been nuanced, ranging from disruption to devastation, and in some cases they are still ongoing. It is widely acknowledged that the creative industries are some of the hardest hit by impacts of the economic slowdown and social constraints on gathering.

Creative BC worked to directly advance the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport priorities generally and relevant to the pandemic, by aligning with BC’s COVID-19 Action Plan and monitoring and promoting federal supports for economic recovery to the sector.
Additionally, in FY2020/21 Creative BC sought to address the creative industries challenges by first surveying the sector to understand areas of greatest disruption and need. This assisted the organization to inform its integrated approach to COVID-19 programs and services.

All activities, despite the pandemic, continue to support the organizations four strategic pillars of:
1. maintaining competitiveness for BC’s creative industries;
2. sustaining a growth mindset within the current context;
3. focusing on discoverability for the creative industries products and capacity; as well as
4. development and support of the sectors B.C.-based talent.

Provincial Film Commission

Established in 1978, the Provincial Film Commission at Creative BC delivers and supports the resources that serve B.C.’s thriving motion picture industry. From high-calibre projects, fantastic indies and moving documentaries to beloved series, the entertainment content made in B.C. transports audiences, influences culture and employs thousands of skilled industry professionals from tech, trade, business and the arts. Creative BC’s provincial film commission is crucial to sustaining motion picture activity in B.C. It promotes and facilitates the province’s production capabilities that make B.C. both a global centre of creative excellence and a full-service hub. Policy facilitation, stakeholder relations, production and location services, and community affairs support are all offered by Creative BC. These film commission resources for the industry are provided free of charge to contribute to a responsible economy as well as one in which productions can enjoy smooth and efficient operations, whether shooting on urban streets or in wilderness locations. Serving province-wide, in collaboration with eight regional film commissions beyond the lower mainland, Creative BC collaborates with and between industry and government. The provincial film commission is committed to unite and champion a strong and sustainable industry that brings value at all levels, including to the communities in which it works.

Production Services from Script to Screen

Creative BC markets the provinces diverse settings and technical expertise. Through tailored location packages generated from Creative BC’s proprietary locations library, the location services team provides domestic and international producers with a World of LooksTM that reflect their cinematic stories creative requirements from the rugged landscapes of the Kootenays to the Okanagan’s sunny vineyards or the Lower Mainland’s urban settings. The digital locations library contains over half-a-million images. As the team reads through incoming scripts, they draw on an encyclopedic knowledge of suitable locations to identify and tailor images for the clients needs, turning packages around in 48 hours or less.

Creative BC and the regional film commissions also deliver familiarization (FAM) tours and location surveys for visiting producers. As additional support, Locations Caucus members of the Directors Guild of Canada BC Chapter may apply for direct digital library access, along with support and training through Creative BC.

FY2020/21 Impacts

    • serviced 175 productions (down from 205 the previous year due to pandemic pause to production)
    • delivered 159 location packages, script breakdowns, regional collaborations (down from 222 the previous year)
    • undertook 212 production consultations (up from 151 the previous year)
    • trained 341 professionals on Reel GreenTM through new online courses
    • added 700+ assets to the digital Locations Library
    • answered 437 library-related inquiries
    • updated 100% of business/service web-listings

Industry + Community Affairs Support and Collaboration

Creative BC provides leadership, consultation, service and support to sustain and strengthen the way motion picture works in B.C. As the first point of contact, the industry and community affairs team assists members of the public, industry, and government to respond to stakeholder inquiries, address issues related to policy, and support physical production and B.C.’s film-friendliness. The focus is always on swift, successful resolution and long-term collaborative success.

Ongoing collaboration with partners, specifically those of the Motion Picture Community Initiative Partners is fundamental to the Commission’s and industry’s continued success: ACFC West, Local 2020 Unifor (Association of Canadian Film Craftspeople); CMPA-BC (Canadian Media Producers Association – BC Producers Branch); CPAWC (Commercial Production Association of Western Canada); DGC BC (Directors Guild of Canada, B.C. District Council); IATSE Local 891 (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees); ICG 669 (International Cinematographers Guild of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees); MPA Canada (Motion Picture Association Canada); MPPIA (Motion Picture Production Industry Association of BC); UBCP/ACTRA (Union of BC Performers/Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists); and Teamsters Union Local 155.

FY2020/21 Impacts

    • participated in over 21 task forces and initiatives (up from 19 in previous year)
    • worked on 37 major policy files (up from 20 the previous year)
    • chaired 29 meetings to deliver industry’s Health & Safety Guidelines for motion picture in B.C.
    • resolved 651 concerns to sustain film friendliness in B.C. (down from 780 the previous year)
    • answered 164 COVID-19-related issues
    • supported 8 Regional Film Commissions
    • chaired 13 Municipal Film Advisory Meetings for 35 municipal film offices
Motion Picture Tax Credits

Creative BC’s tax credits team increased tax credit application administration activities in FY2020/21 over the previous years levels. The team also added responsibilities for pre-certification application administration. All projected concerns and issues noted due to COVID-19 in the Business Plan, including those relevant to CRA disruptions and time lags, have been remedied.

Due to the implementation of a new technical system, Creative BC is now able to provide two distinctive datasets for greater insights to actual production activity taking place in British Columbia. The new system delivers higher quality client experience and permits greater agility for reporting. The two distinctive reporting methods are:

  1. CERTIFICATON METHOD: production volume based on tax credit certification data by Creative BC team reflects processing numbers and is based on tax credit applications certified by Creative BC. This historic method has served as a strong proxy for actual volume during the fiscal year.
  2. PPKA METHOD: production volume based on tax credit submission data by productions leveraging BC’s tax credits – reflects submission information from applicants and is based on productions with Principal Photography or Key Animation Start Dates during the Fiscal Year in question. This additional method provides insight to actual production volume during a fiscal year in B.C. and combines a) Pre-Certification insights b) uncertified tax credit application insights and c) certified tax credits insights.

FY2020/21 Impacts

  • completed 348 tax credit certifications
  • supported $3.1B production spending (117/$370M FIBC and 231/$2.7B PSTC)
  • delivered FIBC tax credits seminar live to 59 registered viewers with 489 Facebook livestream views
Funding Programs

In FY2020/21 Creative BC’s funding team focused services around the organization’s Guiding Principles for Response to COVID-19 Impacts:

  1. Flexible funding
  2. Innovative pursuit
  3. Distinctive considerations
  4. Strengthened workforces
  5. Rapid delivery in general, moved to electronic fund transfers
  6. Expert service in general, engaged at all levels of government to inform actions, collaborated with associations, innovated programs
  7. Partnerships and leverage – in general, participated in national committees, and promoted use of federal supports to stakeholders

Key Actions to Support the Sector’s Domestic Activities

  • The finance department supported rapid delivery of funds by transitioning to electronic fund transfers in time for the delivery of immediate relief through Showcase BC to 742 recipients.
  • All in-play programs were pivoted and new programs were redesigned to embody the Business Plans Guiding Principles, offering flexible funding, innovative pursuit support, and expert service in order that the sector could leverage funds to address key impacts of the global pandemic on their businesses, addressing immediate challenges and refocusing on IP development as well as strategic activities to support their business strategies in the new normal.
  • The Domestic Motion Picture Fund of $2M within the Reel Focus BC umbrella was announced and all domestic motion picture industry consultations were facilitated by Creative BC, facilitating focus group sessions with over 100 members of industry with specific consultation design to be inclusive of Indigenous, LGBTQ2S+. Black, People of Color, as well as five unique roundtables for Emerging and Established filmmakers/producers. Those who were unable to attend were able to share thoughts via written submissions, of which there were 10.

FY2020/21 Impacts

  • delivered 15 programs, managed 1,792 applications, delivered 590 Grants, including 185 regional, totaling $11,561,723
    • delivered 3 multi-creative industry programs accessed by all 5 industries served to deliver $1,054,813 in funding to 46 Domestic Industry Initiatives, 25 International Initiatives, and 40 companies attending virtual markets through Passport to Markets
    • delivered $1,752,032 through Reel Focus BC to domestic filmmakers
      • 70 Project Development Fund recipients ($697,032)
      • 27 Rogers Documentary Fund recipients ($245K)
      • 14 Access 2020 recipients ($295K)
      • launched the Domestic Motion Picture Fund’s first program, the Equity +Emerging Program
    • delivered $260K to the 8 Regional Film Commissions
    • committed $10K to Reel Green beyond the organization’s in-kind administrative and service support for the initiative
    • delivered $7,489,527 in targeted funds through Amplify BC
      • 742 Showcase BC recipients ($623K)
      • 113 Career Development recipients ($1,271,500)
      • 20 Innovation recipients ($399,840)
      • XX Live Music ($2.2M)
      • 112 Music Company Development ($900K)
      • 22 Music Industry Initiatives ($395,187)
      • 2 Special Funding Envelopes to Music BC ($1.2M) and First Peoples Cultural Council ($500K)
    • supported the Magazine Publishing Industry with $5,000in grant-writing assistance to help them succeed in leveraging federal funds through the Special Measures for Journalism Fund
    • delivered $651,000 to 12 recipients of the Interactive Fund
    • delivered $101,850 to 18 recipients of the Market Expansion Fund for Book Publishers
  • experienced and serviced 17% more media engagement and 14% more website traffic
Reach + Engagement

In FY2020/21, the leadership team represented the sector by presenting or moderating on 35 panels; collaborating on 8 joint program, initiative, or
recipient announcements with government and industry; and designing CIERA to measure B.C.’s creative industries GDP, output and jobs.

All of Creative BC communications were greatly impacted by responsibilities during the outset of the pandemic to engage and support the industries, disseminating information on B.C.’s restart plan, engaging companies and creators in COVID-19 impacts surveys, staging ShowcaseBC the concert and its associated new website for music streaming events, and supporting government and industry requirements for increased communications including daily, then weekly government reporting and approvals of all media and direct distributions during the early days of the pandemic.

From a statistical perspective, the following datapoints demonstrate the depth and breadth of communications and engagement across three websites, four social channels and four distinct newsletters:

Creative BC Website Users: 281,282

  • Sessions up 13.9% YOY from 398,745 in previous year to 454,161 in FY2020/21
    • 278k from organic searches (up 14% YOY), 100k direct links from other sites, 37k from referring sites, 22,000 from social media referrals (up by 100% YOY) and 17k from emails
  • Users up 19.25% YOY from 235,870 to 281,282 in FY2020/21
    • 39% returning and 61% new visitors, similar to previous year
    • 9,292 users of the COVID-19 resources for all creative industries and 10,600 unique views of the Motion Picture COVID-19 resources
    • 154,252 views of the In Production list, up 33%
  • Referrals increased from a variety of sites, notably:
    • com referrals were up 375%,
    • Government of BC website referrals up 185%
    • com were up 17%

BC Creates Website Users: 31,227

  • 31,227 visitors,108,812 visits slightly down from the previous year likely due to technical issues combined with fewer stories written as resources were diverted to COVID-19 on main website

Showcase BC Website Users: 15,000

Social followers: 27,535

  • Twitter followers: 8,515
  • Instagram followers: 6,656
  • LinkedIn followers: 2,037
  • Facebook followers: 10,327

Newsletter Subscribers: 9,785

  • Domestic Motion Picture Fund: 573
  • Music: 4,326
  • Creative BC: 3,853
  • Reel Green: 1,033

Traditional Media Hits: 2,228

  • Total media hits during Apr 1, 2020 – Mar 22, 2021 were 2,228, an increase over 1,848 during the previous year, representing a 17% increase
Funding Programs and Recipients


Motion Picture Tax Credit Tables


FY2020/21 Collaborations + Initiatives

Reel Green™

Reel Green™ continued its successful evolution and trajectory even during the pandemic, strengthening workforces with exponentially more crew trained on foundational best practices for sustainability on set. More crew (341) were trained during the pandemic than in the previous year (244). This was due in part to the training being more accessible, as it was adapted for increased relevance to an online delivery method, as well as to the fact that crews were off work for five months during the pause in production due to PHO health and safety restrictions.

During FY2020/21, the Reel Green™ initiative did the background work to support investing partners in the initiative to establish a service resource in-house at Creative BC, jointly funded by industry and supported in kind via the organization.

Creative Pathways

Significant investment was made in FY2020/21 by the CEO, B.C. Film Commissioner and Director of Production Services, and Director of Business Operations together with Notio Media’s expertise, both in terms of time and resources, to activate Creative Pathways. An innovative collaboration, this industry-led, Creative BC-supported initiative supports work to diversify the composition of B.C.’s film industry workforce.

The Creative Pathways initiative seeks to transform the industry, with more fair and balanced representation among the workforce for members of equity-seeking groups. In FY 2020/21 the initiative successfully attracted over $45k in investments from industry partners for Creative BC to design and test a strategic action plan, including 39 stakeholder consultations, 12 subject matter expert reviews of the strategy, 10 industry roundtables with 120 participants facilitated by Creative BC, and 7 specific summaries of insights for each of MPPIA, the unions and guilds.

The work has culminated in an additional $100k investment attracted from a major Hollywood studio, WarnerMedia, as an anchor investment that is leveraged and augmented by $400k by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Trainings Sector Labour Market Partnerships office, for a $500k two-year initiative for which the contract was signed in late March.

Visit the Creative Pathways website

CIERA™ 2020 | The Creative Industries Economic Results Assessment

Follow the link to see methodology and tables; read the print report that contextualizes CIERA™ data for 2020 in the FY2020/21 Impact Report.


Creative BC Economic Input Mechanisms

Investment Inputs


We reviewed our data to see how many client companies, creators, projects, initiatives, productions and commissions were supported by Creative BC, and what the estimated economic investment was compared to last year’s numbers.


We surveyed our staffing resources, service departments and funding partnerships to review how many services were delivered by Creative BC to industry and partners leveraging our capacity to run programs that invest in B.C.’s creative industries.


We compared the number and diversity of development programs and initiatives run year-over-year in total, and also the number of programs available to each of the specific industries we serve and those with unique targets such as regional and diversity objectives.


We compared our traditional and non-traditional media, newsletter, website and social media reach, as well as our presence at markets and participation in trade missions. 


We reviewed the number of applications, requests, inquiries and collaborations across the departments, online and via invitations from governing bodies, ministries, associations and industry organization partners who leveraged our expertise.

B.C. Economy Output Results

ROI Outputs | Source: CIERA™ 2020

Billion $ Total GDP

FTE Jobs, up to 92,880 people

FT + Equivalent Direct Jobs

10% YOY

About Creative BC and this report

Creative BC is an independent society created and supported by the Province to sustain and help grow British Columbias creative industries: motion
picture, interactive and digital media, music and sound recording, and magazine and book publishing. The society delivers a wide range of programs and services with a mandate to expand B.C.’s creative economy. These activities include: administration of the provincial governments motion picture tax credit programs; delivery of program funding and export marketing support for the sector; and provincial film commission services. Combined, these activities serve to attract inward investment and market B.C. as a partner and destination of choice for domestic and international content creation. The Society acts as an industry catalyst and ambassador to help B.C.’s creative sector reach its economic, social, environmental and creative potential both at home and globally.

Creative industries have an economic objective and are defined as those generating original creative content for commercial production and global distribution.

  • Book Publishing
  • Interactive + Digital Media
  • Magazine Publishing
  • Motion Picture
  • Music + Sound Recording

The views, opinions, conclusions and/or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the author(s). These materials do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Government of British Columbia. The Government of British Columbia does not endorse, nor has it confirmed the validity of the information contained in these materials.

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