FilmOntario: Minister MacLeod Speaks at FilmOntario AGM

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Toronto, ON (November 22, 2019) – The Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, spoke to over 100 members of the screen-based industry at FilmOntario’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday, November 21 at the Four Seasons in Toronto.

FilmOntario renewed several of its objectives and commitments at the meeting. Stable and effective tax credits continue to be a key priority, and work will continue on red tape reduction in the tax credits in order to ensure Ontario remains a competitive production jurisdiction. FilmOntario is also committed to engaging with industry and government on studio infrastructure and workforce development.

This caps a very busy week for the industry consortium, which also held a very successful roundtable with Premier Doug Ford earlier in the week.

During her remarks, Minister MacLeod reiterated the government’s commitment to stable tax credits. She also commented on her recent trip to Los Angeles, where she heard firsthand about the need for studio infrastructure and capacity-building. The Minister stated that she was looking forward to working with government and industry to ensure the industry workforce is able to grow to meet the upcoming demands for labour. Her speech was very well-received by everyone on-hand.

“We are very pleased to see that the Government of Ontario has made a real commitment to certainty for the screen-based industry, from the statements in the 2019 Budget to our conversations with the Premier and in the Minister’s speech tonight,” said Sue Milling, FilmOntario co-chair and Executive Director of ACTRA Toronto.

“It was particularly gratifying to hear Minister MacLeod acknowledge the role of the film and television industry to the economy and to the quality of life in the province, added Jennifer Jonas, President of New Real Films and FilmOntario co-chair. “We look forward to continuing to work together to promote the unique nature of Ontario’s industry, with its balance of domestic and service production, that creates jobs in the province and enriches the everyday lives of all Ontarians.”

The AGM was well-attended by a wide range of FilmOntario members, including ACTRA Toronto President Theresa Tova and member Wendy Crewson, who introduced the Minister, along with executives representing eOne, William F. White, SIM, EP Canada, Take 5 Productions, New Real Films and unions ACTRA, IATSE and NABET 700-M UNIFOR.

Some industry facts:
• $1.89 billion in independent film and television direct spending in Ontario in 2018, a record-breaking year for the province
• This was an increase of 18.6% over 2017 spending
• Film and television production is active across the province, creating jobs and economic impact in local communities
• Spending is almost equally split between foreign and domestic production
• Every $1 million invested through the film and television tax credits generates 109 direct and spin-off FTEs and $7.4 M in provincial GDP