Calgary opens $28 million film centre to attract more productions

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      Vancouver may be one of the top filming centres in North America, but Calgary is upping its game to provide stronger competition.

      That became clear with the opening of the Calgary Film Centre today (May 19).

      The $28 million complex includes three soundstages covering 50,000 square feet; warehouse space spanning 20,000 square feet; 15,000 square feet of multipurpose space that accommodates offices, workshop spaces, and production spaces; and anchor tenant William F. White International.

      What's more, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi led an industry delegation to Los Angeles on May 3 and 4 to attract Hollywood filmmakers to the city.

      Recent productions shot in Alberta include The Revenant, the TV series Fargo, and CBC's Heartland.

      Film and TV productions spent approximately $240 million in Alberta in 2015.

      In comparison, film industry spending in B.C. in the 2014-2015 period was about $2 billion.

      Meanwhile, the B.C. Liberal government proposed cuts to B.C. film tax credits that will reduce incentives by five percent to 28 percent.

      Alberta offers a flexible grant equivalent to a labour-based tax credit of 45 to 55 percent (with a $5 million cap).