Motion Picture Production

British Columbia is the fourth largest centre for film and television production in North America.

BC has the locations, the facilities, and – most importantly – the people to bring it all to life. With skilled crews, technicians and creative experts, BC’s extensive talent pool is the foundation of a thriving industry sector.

British Columbia is competitive due to extensive studio space, special effects stages, film industry infrastructure, experienced technical crews, superior acting talent pool, post-production facilities, digital animation and visual effects facilities, and locations with more than 9 geographical zones that comprise A World of Looks.

BC has a competitive Tax Incentives Program. There is a British Columbia Domestic Tax Credit (Incentive BC), a Production Services Tax Credit (foreign), a digital animation and visual effects (DAVE) tax credit and a Nearby Location Tax Credit and Distant Location Tax Credit that are stackable on top of the Canadian Federal Tax Credit. Additionally, B.C. has many co-production treaties throughout the world.

The BC Film Commission has reported that in 2012, expenditures by filmmakers and television producers in B.C. rose to $2 billion by 2015.

In the Thompson-Nicola region of British Columbia, the Thompson-Nicola Film Commission represents and promotes all municipalities and electoral areas in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) to the film industry. It is the organization's goal to provide the best locations and services for motion picture productions.

Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology

The Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Trade is responsible for putting the BC Jobs Plan into action to increase the province’s economic competitiveness, which will create employment and benefit families in every region of B.C.

The strategies in the BC Jobs Plan leverage B.C.’s advantages in eight key industry sectors to enable job creation, maintain investor confidence with fiscal discipline and ensure the province's workforce will meet the needs of the future by encouraging and improving skills and trades training throughout the province. 

BC Creative Futures

In 2014, the B.C. government has launched a the creative economy strategy, which is designed to support sustainable, long-term success for the province's creative sector.

BC Creative Futures supports the provincial economy by helping foster a creative workforce through more arts opportunities for young British Columbians, by building a comprehensive, sector-wide vision to support the development and growth of B.C.'s creative industries and by expanding capacity at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Strategic Vision - Creative BC
Supported by the B.C. government, Creative BC works with creative industries in the province to develop and implement a broad strategy capitalizing on the sector's strengths and identifying new opportunities for the future. Creative BC works with film and TV, digital media, music, publishing and other components of the creative economy. 

As an independent, non-profit society combining services previously available through separate agencies, Creative BC engages government and the creative industries in a fresh partnership.

Creative BC

BC Film Commission has joined with BC Film + Media to become Creative BC. The new agency works with creative industries in the province to develop and implement a broad strategy capitalizing on the sector’s strengths and identifying new opportunities for the future.

Combining services previously available through separate agencies means that individuals in the industry can expect to receive continued, seamless assistance from the people they are used to dealing with, all under a single banner. The team will continue to offer a full range of industry programs, location and production services, tax credit administration and industry expertise.

BC Film Commission

Established in 1978, the British Columbia Film Commission (BCFC) is a branch of the provincial government working to ensure that the business of film and television production thrives as a value proposition for our domestic and international clientele.

BCFC offers a full range of services for film producers and production companies interested in what the province has to offer, including: production services, community services, and ongoing support.

BC Film + Media

BC Film + Media is an independent, not-for-profit organization established by the provincial government in 1987. It has the mandate to expand and diversify the film, television and digital media sector in British Columbia.
BC Film + Media's core responsibilities are to:

  • Support the development and marketing of high quality, commercially viable British Columbia film, television and digital media projects;
  • Sustain and grow a competitive B.C. owned and controlled film, television and digital media industry;
  • Enable British Columbia production companies to foster existing, and to establish new, relationships with national and international co-financing partners;
  • Encourage the development of a skilled and knowledgeable workforce;
  • Enhance the ability of British Columbia production companies to secure development and production financing;
  • Effectively administer provincial tax credit programs to ensure that BC remains competitive as a production centre and continues to attract private sector and federal investment;
  • Encourage film, television and digital media companies to establish business operations in BC; and
  • Assist governments in providing industry with a competitive and supportive legislative and regulatory environment. 

Thompson-Nicola Film Commission

The Thompson-Nicola Film Commission (TNFC) as a full-time, full-service film commission that represents the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD).

The TNFC's strategic plan covers two consecutive years with a budget for the third year in order to incorporate and plan initiatives that fall on alternating years.

The Mission Statement of the Thompson-Nicola Film Commission is: 

In cooperation with Creative BC, to attract and encourage motion picture and digital media productions that will result in expenditures in, or exposure of, the Thompson-Nicola Film Commission area.

The 5 goals of the Thompson-Nicola Film Commission are:

  • 1. To have motion picture productions and digital media productions film in the TNRD.
  • 2. To provide logistical support and information to production companies planning to film or filming in the TNRD.
  • 3. To be financially accountable by practicing due diligence in seeking funding opportunities or in-kind support.
  • 4. To provide TNRD communities and residents with motion picture and digital media production knowledge.
  • 5. To monitor and adopt best practices in utilizing social media and technology.

For a complete list of production companies in the Thompson-Nicola region, please visit the Thompson-Nicola Film Commission's website.

Canadian Media Production Association

The Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) is Canada's leading trade association for independent producers. It represents more than 350 companies engaged in the production and distribution of English-language television programs, feature films and digital media. Together, the production sector generates over $5.9 billion of activity annually and sustains 132,500 high-quality, full-time jobs.

The CMPA works on behalf of members to promote and stimulate the Canadian production industry. The CMPA's goal is to ensure the continued success of Canada's independent production sector and a future for Canadian content.

On behalf of its members it actively lobbies federal and provincial governments on various policy areas including broadcasting, copyright, taxation and trade. It negotiates labour agreements with key unions and guilds and supports producers when dealing with these agreements.

The CMPA manages a number of mentorship programs that partners emerging and mid-level producers with experienced members. Its annual conference, Prime Time in Ottawa, is a leading industry event and brings together participants from every area of the production sector. And together with industry partners it produces Profile, a comprehensive analysis of the Canadian production sector.

With staff expertise in a variety of areas, offices in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver and board members representing all provinces, the CMPA has the experience and scope necessary to effect change. Please click here to see a summary of key areas and staff responsibilities.

CMPA - BC Producer's Branch

The BC Producers’ Branch of the CMPA is a non-profit trade organization that works on behalf of over 75 British Columbia companies engaged in the production and distribution of television, feature film, and digital media content.  More specifically, it promotes the general interests of its members municipally, provincially, federally, and internationally; negotiates and manages labour agreements with guilds and unions; and undertakes a variety of industry development initiatives to build the capacity of B.C. based companies.

British Columbia Unions

IATSE Local 891 - Technical

With its charter established in 1962, IATSE Local 891 has grown to represent over 5,000 members in 22 departments. IATSE Local 891 represents a diverse group of talented, experienced, safe, and award winning artisans, technicians, and craftspeople throughout British Columbia and the Yukon.

IATSE Local 891 technicians deliver professional results to productions at all budgetary levels, and have helped to develop B.C. into the third largest production center in North America.

The IATSE name is a recognized industry leader. With over 400 locals across North America, IATSE represents its members with dignity and respect. IATSE professionals make the movies, theatrical productions, and events people line up to see.

IATSE Local 669 - Camera

International Cinematographers Guild of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 669 consists of over 650 members involved in motion picture, film, digital, internet and television production.

IATSE Local 669 was granted its charter from the International office in March 1990, and represents all IATSE camera personnel in Western Canada being the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Yukon, and Northwest Territories of Canada. The jurisdiction of the Local is divided into regional districts: British Columbia District, including the Yukon, and the Prairie District, including the Northwest Territories.

In British Columbia & the Yukon, IATSE Local 669 is a member of the British Columbia and Yukon Council of Film Unions (BCCFU) by order of the Labour Relations Board of B.C. on June 6th, 1996 with two other founding members IATSE Local 891 & Teamsters Local 155. The BCCFU has secured agreements with over 80% of film & television production in B.C.

The IATSE Local 669 membership is involved in all aspects of film and television that pertains to the camera. Our membership consists of Directors of Photography, Camera Operators, Camera Assistants, Unit Publicists, Unit Still Photographers, Electronic Camera people, Video Assist, Digital Engineers and Technicians, Data Management Technicians and Camera Trainees in all phases of filmed or electronically recorded theatrical feature films, films for television release, internet and television series productions.

It is the mandate of IATSE Local 669 to secure work opportunities, as well as the best conditions and wages for its membership, through Collective Agreements. Through these Collective Agreements, IATSE Local 669 is able to provide the full membership with varying levels of health, dental and retirement benefits, dependent upon how much each individual works.

IATSE Local 669 periodically offers a solid training program for camera trainees, whereby a camera trainee gains hands-on experience on numerous film sets. At the minimum, most camera trainees will work on a television series, movie-of-the-week, and feature film, and learn all equipment including the Panavision, Arricam, Arriflex, MovieCam, RED, Viper and Sony systems.

IATSE Local 669 is a freelance organization, which enables the membership to seek work based on experience and merit.

Directors Guild of Canada - British Columbia

The Directors Guild of Canada, B.C. District Council (DGC BC) represents the creative and logistical personnel in the film and television industry in British Columbia. The DGC BC Collective Agreement covers the categories of Director, 2nd Unit Director, Production & Unit Manager, plus those employed in the various Assistant Director and Locations Departments.

The DGC BC's mission is to ensure steady work for its membership and to teach, train and mentor each other to further the craft of film making in order to guarantee professionalism and utmost creativity. It supports and promotes each member and welcomes new members to its association for the betterment of its members welfare and long-term success.

Teamsters Local Union No. 155

Teamsters 155 represents 8 divisions of workers in BC's film industry: drivers, security, catering, animal handlers and wranglers, mechanics, marine personnels and miscellaneous.

Union of B.C. Performers

The Union of B.C. Performers (UBCP) is the autonomous BC branch of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA).  UBCP represents close to 5,000 professional recorded media performers in British Columbia and the Yukon.  ACTRA has 22,000 members across the country.

UBCP represents performing artists of all ages and demographics who work in feature films, TV, digital media, radio, documentaries, and commercials.  Its members are actors, voice over specialists, stunt co-ordinators, stunt performers, singers, dancers, puppeteers, and background performers.

The Association of Canadian Film Craftspeople, Local 2020 Communications, Energy & Paperworkers Union of Canada

ACFC West - The Association of Canadian Film Craftspeople, Local 2020 Communications, Energy & Paperworkers Union of Canada is a technical film union recognized by the Labour Board of British Columbia. It began as an association of freelance film technicians who were unified in their need for protection and endorsement while working in the film industry.

The association is focused on creating the best working conditions for its membership. Today, it is a strong Canadian union made up of quality, experienced craftspeople where its expertise in 23 departments make ACFC West, Local 2020 CEP the best choice.

The Writers Guild of Canada

The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) represents more than 2,000 professional English-language screenwriters in Canada.  These are the creators who write the distinctly Canadian entertainment we enjoy on our televisions, movie screens, radios and digital platforms.

The Canadian Screenwriters Collection Society (CSCS) was established by the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC), but is a separate organization with a distinct mandate to claim, collect, administer and distribute, on a collective basis, foreign authors’ levies to which film and television writers are entitled under the national copyright legislation of certain countries.

Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office

The Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Officer (CAVCO) co-administers two federal tax credit programs with the Canada Revenue Agency: the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) program and the Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC) program. CAVCO also is responsible for the administration of the CAVCO Personnel Number (also referred to as CAVCO ID).

Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC)
The objective of the CPTC is to encourage Canadian programming and to develop an active domestic production sector. This fully refundable tax credit is available at a rate of 25 percent of the qualified labour expenditure of an eligible production. The CPTC is jointly administered by the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) and the Canada Revenue Agency.

To be eligible for the CPTC, the applicant must be a Canadian-owned, taxable corporation that is primarily in the business of Canadian film or video production.

Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC)
The Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC) is designed to enhance Canada as a location of choice for film and video productions employing Canadians, as well as to strengthen the industry and secure investment. The PSTC is available at a rate of 16 percent of the qualified Canadian labour expenditures incurred in respect of an accredited production. The Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office co-administers the PSTC program with the Canada Revenue Agency.

To be eligible for the PSTC, the applicant can be either a foreign-owned corporation or a Canadian-owned corporation that is primarily in the business of film or video production services.

Telefilm Canada

Telefilm Canada is a team of some 200 enthusiasts of Canadian cinema. Dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry, Telefilm, through its various funding and promotion programs, supports dynamic companies and creative talent here at home and around the world.

In an increasingly competitive environment for consumer time and money, Telefilm has made stimulating demand for Canadian screen-based content one of the top priorities of its corporate plan.

Entitled Fostering Cultural Success, this strategic vision is based on the following four pillars:

  1. Maintain and expand our core role as funder;
  2. Develop our role as promoter;
  3. Provide thought leadership by developing and sharing industry intelligence; and
  4. Reinforce Telefilm’s organizational excellence.

The National Film Board of Canada

The National Film Board of Canada is committed to delivering outstanding film works to Canadians in every region of the country, and users around the world, on the platforms of their choice. Users can watch these films on their smartphone, tablet or connected TV, thanks to the Film Board's growing family of apps, as well as via partnerships with the world’s leading video portals.

Motion Picture Industry Association of BC

Established in 2002, the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of British Columbia (MPPIA) is a member-based non-profit organization dedicated to a strong future for BC’s motion picture production sector.

Together, MPPIA’s diverse membership represents the ‘voice and vision’ of the motion picture production industry in British Columbia. MPPIA’s vision is to grow, diversify and promote a competitive and sustainable motion picture industry in B.C.

MPPIA members work together to inform, educate, develop and market new initiatives that ensure B.C.’s motion picture industry flourishes as part of British Columbia’s vibrant, environmentally conscious, knowledge-based economy.