HALIFAX – Nova Scotia is investing $8 million to help build a soundstage to further boost the province’s film and television production scene, which has grown significantly during the pandemic, the premier said Tuesday. Tim Houston.
Houston also announced an additional $15 million over five years to increase Nova Scotia film and television content.
“We have the momentum of the past two years,” Houston told reporters. “This (announcement) is about using the opportunity to keep that momentum going.”
Nova Scotia’s film industry contributed nearly $181 million to the province’s economy in fiscal year 2021-22, compared to approximately $91.6 million in 2020-21 and $78 million dollars in 2019-2020, according to the government.
Laura Mackenzie, executive director of Screen Nova Scotia, said the new funding program is critical at a time when the national and US film and television industries are seriously considering the province as a production hub.
Mackenzie, whose nonprofit local production advocates, said the Nova Scotia industry has benefited from the province’s “gentle handling” of the pandemic, which allowed film and TV crews to continue to work with strict security protocols. The pandemic, she said, increased the demand for locally produced content because people were stuck at home during the shutdowns.
“A lot of studios were really struggling to get into production in other jurisdictions that weren’t as reliable,” Mackenzie said. “When we’ve been reliably and consistently open all this time…we’ve had a lot of interest in Nova Scotia. »
A soundstage – the first in the province for major productions – would allow Nova Scotian and international productions to work year-round in the province instead of shutting down during the unreliable weather months of November through March, he said. she stated.
“We estimate that a soundstage could bring in an additional $100 million in production volume per year if we had two productions going at any given time,” Mackenzie said.
The facility, to be built in Halifax, is expected to cost $20 million, with the rest of the funding coming from the private sector. Mackenzie said talks are underway with potential investors. “We haven’t determined who we’ll be working with yet,” she said.
Mike Volpe, chairman of the board of directors of Screen Nova Scotia, said the $15 million in the new Content Creators Fund will be used to support filmmakers, writers and actors while helping to diversify participation in the ‘industry.
Houston said he would travel to Los Angeles with industry representatives from the province March 12-16 to meet with executives from Disney, Netflix, NBC Universal and other studios to promote the province as a destination for the productions.
“I think investments in the film industry are good and powerful investments that pay off in our province,” said the premier.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on March 8, 2022.