Kenney to speak at 1st media availability since Alberta’s COVID-19 changes

Albertans will be getting an update on the province’s film and television industry Tuesday afternoon.

Premier Jason Kenney, a trio of ministers, representatives from industry unions like IATSE, ACTRA and Teamsters, and industry advocates will be on hand to provide the snapshot of the screen industry.

The press conference from the Rocky Mountain Film Studios North Campus in Calgary will be streamed here at 1:20 p.m.

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The premier is also expected to field COVID-19-related questions, with this being his first press conference since his government’s announcement of lifting pandemic measures, including quarantine and isolation requirements, mandatory masking on transit, testing and contact tracing.

In January 2020, Alberta’s Film and Television Tax Credit replaced the previous Screen-based Production Grant, making Alberta more competitive with other provinces like B.C., Manitoba and Ontario to attract productions.

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Productions can apply for a 22 or 30 per cent tax credit rate in this province.

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In March, the Alberta government lifted the $10-million-per-project cap, making the tax credit more appealing to larger productions.

At the time, the province said the tax credit provided a “significant return on investment,” saying $4 came into the province’s economy for every $1 in tax credit handed out.

The provincial government has earmarked $50 million in 2021-22 for the tax credit.

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In June, the City of Calgary announced the sale of the Calgary Film Centre, citing a booming film and television industry and the facility booked solid through 2022.

At the time, Calgary Economic Development said the film and TV sector added $197 million to the city’s economy in 2019. Under COVID-19 restrictions, the industry added $90 million and 2,474 jobs in 2020.

Active productions in Alberta include HBO’s The Last Of Us, season 15 of Heartland, Predator sequel Skull and dramas Billy the Kid and Joe Pickett.

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