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Ontario Film Tax Credits Contribute To 40% Growth

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ontario’s film and television industry contributed CAD946.4m (USD900m) to the provincial economy in 2009 – up by 41% over 2008.

The increase in foreign productions was in part attributed to the Ontario Government’s enhancements to the Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC) announced on June 30, 2009. The OPSTC was expanded from 25% of eligible labor to include all eligible Ontario production costs. The tax credit enhancement added an important incentive to the many other advantages Ontario offers film and television producers.

Ontario held its competitive edge, marking a return to production levels not seen since 2002 – despite the continued strength of the Canadian dollar, aggressive competition from other jurisdictions, and a global economic crisis.

Increases were seen in all genres – foreign and domestic – compared to 2008. Total domestic production spending increased by CAD129.8m, or 23.8%, contributing CAD674.4m. Total foreign production spending increased by CAD145.5m, or 114%. Foreign feature spending increased from CAD79m to CAD161.8m, a 104.5% increase.

Ontario’s strong domestic film and television sector continued to experience growth in 2009. Foreign television series spending spiked in 2009, contributing CAD58m in 2009 compared with CAD16m in 2008 (a 262% increase), with the average foreign television series production budget increasing by 201.6% from 2008.

Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) programs also support the book and magazine publishing, music and interactive digital media industries, all of which experienced growth in 2009. The entire entertainment and creative cluster produces CAD15bn in revenue and over 200,000 jobs, contributing CAD12.7bn to the province’s GDP.

“We are delighted that Ontario’s film and television industry has come back so strongly in such a globally-competitive environment," said Karen Thorne-Stone, President & CEO of OMDC. "Despite economic challenges and a strong Canadian dollar, Ontario has consistently demonstrated that it has the right mix of government support, financial incentives, world-class infrastructure, superb talent and skills and diverse locations to attract outstanding foreign and domestic productions. Early indications point to 2010 being another strong year.”