Ontario plans filming incentive reduction as Canadian dollar falls
Ontario has proposed a reduction in the province’s formal filming incentive programme in response to the falling Canadian dollar. Toronto is Canada’s main production centre – as well as being a major North American hub – and recently hosted Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak.
Producers filming in Ontario can currently get support through the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, the Ontario Production Services Tax Credit and the Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit.
Proposals in the 2015 Budget include lowering the existing services filming incentive from 25% to 21.5% and the visual effects tax credit from 20% to 18%.
The document argues that the falling value of the Canadian dollar is already making it cheaper for foreign productions to film in Ontario.
“A lower Canadian dollar is making Ontario an increasingly attractive location for productions and is increasing foreign investment in the film and television sector,” the Budget document states.
“Foreign productions have benefited significantly from the drop in the Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar because their Ontario production costs are paid in Canadian dollars.”
The document points out that when the Canadian dollar fell 7% against its US counterpart in December 2013, Ontario’s foreign production activity increased by 35% as international producers moved to take advantage. A cheaper exchange rate should in that case make up for reduced filming incentives.
Foreign production stayed fairly level in 2014 compared to the previous year, according to recent figures from the Ontario Media Development Corporation. However, spending in the features category alone for a CAD 40 million from just two big movies – Crimson Peak and Adam Sandler’s Pixels.
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