After years of planning and negotiations with the province for funding, a long-awaited film studio has finally been set in motion. This $22.8 million, 83,000 square-foot facility is the next step the city, province, the Calgary Economic Development and private investors are taking in order to create the needed infrastructure to sustain, enrich and expand the film industry in Calgary.
Calgary has been a part of the making and producing of many notable films in its history, including such titles as Unforgiven, Inception and The Assassination of Jesse James. It is also currently home to the production of a handful of successful television series including, Fargo (currently in production), Hell on Wheels (going into its fourth season) and Heartland (in its seventh season). This is to say that Calgary has a large and talented local film community whose teams and local talent force attracts to create great film.
This studio is to be completed in the summer of 2015, but its location has not yet been established. What we do know is that the facility will bring stability to the productions that are currently filming in and around Calgary, such as Heartland, who have been adapting to smaller warehouses and less then ideal filming conditions, including having to find new spaces to work almost on a yearly basis.
The studio is an important step for Calgary and its industry as Luke Azevedo, film commissioner with the Calgary Economic Development explains:
“One of the things we’ve been lacking here in [the] Southern Alberta region is the capacity to keep some of the productions here longer term and also be able to grow our indigenous production and give our producers here and our storytellers the ability to create product that we will be able to showcase to the world.”
This means there will be more jobs and more opportunities for our local crews to learn and create. It is estimated that for each dollar invested into the facility, six will be made in economic growth.
All in all keep an eye out for what the Calgarian industry will be up to in the next couple years.
You might even want to pull out those old scripts and practice your lines, as opportunities in the local film industry are about to get bigger.
$22.8 million to fund the project
$1 million from William F White
$5 million from the Province of Alberta
$6.8 million from the Calgary Economic Development
$10 million from The City of Calgary
About the Calgary Film Studio
One sound studio, 30,000 sq. ft., which can be sectioned off to make two studios
One sound studio, 20,000 sq. ft.
Warehouse space, 18,000 sq. ft., for props/wardrobe
Multipurpose rooms, 15,000 sq. ft.
By Karolina Gajewska
Photo: Courtesy of Sherrie Gilbert