2016 Another Record-Breaking Year for Ontario Production

On Monday, April 11, at an event at William F. White, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Eleanor McMahon announced that Ontario’s film and television industry contributed almost $1.7 billion to the provincial economy, the third year in a row production levels have broken the previous record, and the sixth consecutive year that production spending has surpassed $1 billion. This production activity supports over 35,000 jobs in Ontario.

Spending was up in almost all formats across the industry, and was split almost equally between domestic and foreign productions. The greatest increase in spending was on television series, which saw an increase of 10.4% in foreign spend and 6.7% in domestic spend over the previous year. A complete breakdown of the spending can be found on the OMDC website.

Minister McMahon also noted the importance of tax credits to the province’s film and television industry, and confirmed that they are “here to stay“.

Provincial Budget 2017

FilmOntario has been participating in the Government’s consultations on the 2017 Provincial Budget, with a continued focus on ensuring the stability of the province’s film and television tax credits. In our written submission, we asked the government to do the following:

1. Maintain its commitment to stable tax credit rates;
2. Maintain budget levels for the OMDC and the NOHFC;
3. Improve tax credit effectiveness through modernization and streamlining; and
4. Enable the industry to invest in infrastructure.

We are working hard, in meetings with politicians from all parties, to convey the message that a stable business environment is a key factor in maintaining strong screen-based sector growth in Ontario. We look forward to seeing the government’s budget sometime this spring.

Another Successful Annual General Meeting

Thank you to all the members who attended our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, November 30 at the Ritz-Carlton. We covered a lot of important business (review our 2016 Accomplishments here) in the first part of the meeting and then were pleased to hear from the Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport in the second part. The Minister’s remarks, which were enthusiastically received, reinforced the message in her mandate letter that she is committed to working with the industry to promote our stable tax credit infrastructure and keep the Ontario industry busy and working hard. Special thanks to Wendy Crewson for joining us to introduce the Minister.

FilmOntario Response to Federal Consultation on Canadian Content in a Digital World

The Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, has committed to making a submission supporting the Ontario industry in response to the Federal Government’s consultation. In support of this submission, the Minister hosted a roundtable of industry stakeholders on September 28th to gather input and information. FilmOntario was pleased to participate in this roundtable to and to provide these comments to the Minister on the consultation. Our comments highlight the importance of the screen-based industries to the provincial economy, ask that Minister McMahon convey the message that a stable business environment is a key factor in our current success, and recommend that any restructuring of industry support mechanisms should build on that success.

New Ministerial Mandate Letter Cites Stable Tax Credit Infrastructure

On September 23rd, the Government of Ontario released its Ministerial mandate letters for the new session of the legislature.

FilmOntario was extremely pleased to see that the following priority was included for the Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport:

“Building on the best year on record for film and TV, market our talented film crews, world-class facilities, and stable tax credit infrastructure to the world.”

FilmOntario has been working very hard to obtain a statement of stability on Tax Credits from the provincial government. We welcome this encouraging signal from the Premier’s Office and will continue to work with Minister McMahon and her team to promote Ontario’s screen-based industries at home and abroad.

You can read the full Ministerial mandate letter here.

Throne Speech – September 12, 2016

The Ontario Legislature re-convened on September 12, 2016, starting with a Speech from the Throne to launch the next session of Parliament.

FilmOntario attended the speech as a guest of the Premier’s Office. As was widely expected, the Speech focused on the economy, with the Government stating that their top priority is job creation and economic growth.

While the Government did not mention film and television (or the wider creative industries) directly, they did highlight the importance of maintaining a competitive business environment in the province. We will continue to work with the Government, both through the Minister of Culture’s Advisory Panel and in all of our government meetings, to ensure that the message that stable film and television tax credits are key to ensuring Ontario remains a competitive jurisdiction for production continues to be heard.

FilmOntario would like to thank the Government of Ontario for its continued support, and we look forward to continuing to work with them on growing the screen-based industry in Ontario.

You can read the entire Throne Speech here.