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2015 a record year for television and film in Vancouver

February 19 2016

“As one of Vancouver’s high-growth industries, film is a big contributor to our nation-leading economic growth," said Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Film trucks parked

We continue to establish our city as a premier destination for film and TV production with 2015 proving to be a record setting year. Film activity increased by over 40% in comparison to 2014.

"We see firsthand the enormous positive impact of film and TV productions on our city every day,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “As one of Vancouver’s high-growth industries, film is a big contributor to our nation-leading economic growth. Vancouver is home to world-leading talent in the film industry and the City is committed to supporting all levels and aspects of production.”

Industry highlights from 2015 

Vancouver was host to an extraordinary amount of filming activity in 2015: 353 productions filmed in Vancouver for a total of 1,518 film days in 2015—up from 235 productions in 2014. This earned Vancouver $710,000 in revenue for film and street-use permits alone.

Film permits in January 2016 are up 30% from the previous year.

The film and television industry is a significant employer

It continues to be a substantial contributor to our economy. Payroll data based on city postal codes show that over $143 million was paid in wages to Vancouver residents in 2015.

The return of the feature film

Ten more feature films (26) were produced in Vancouver than in 2014. 

Features such as "Deadpool" brought both international attention and economic benefits to Vancouver. "Deadpool":

  • Spent over $40 million during 58 days of filming in Metro Vancouver
  • Hired over 2,000 local cast and crew; spending more than $19 million in wages

The commercial industry filmed a record 158 TV commercials in 2015

These ranged from simple location shoots to the complex set design of the Jeep Cherokee "river in the city" commercial filmed last March.

The television industry filmed over 309 episodes in Vancouver in 2015

Warner Bros. continues to be Vancouver's biggest TV client with seven productions filming in 2015, including:

  • "Arrow"
  • "The Flash"
  • "Supernatural"
  • "iZombie"
  • "Lucifer"
  • "The 100"
  • "DC's Legends of Tomorrow"

 Warner Bros. spent over 70 million dollars directly in the City of Vancouver on labour, suppliers, and locations. Their productions employ over 2,400 local crew and cast from Vancouver.

What the industry is saying

Peter Leitch, Chair, The Motion Picture Production Industry Association: "On behalf of the industry, I want to thank and congratulate the City of Vancouver for a record year of filming. The Vancouver Film Office plays a key role managing the sustainability of one of our most valuable resources — Vancouver locations. The importance of Vancouver's support for the industry cannot be underestimated when it comes to managing our reputation with clients from Los Angeles and around the world."

John J. Kelly, Executive Producer, Deadpool, 20th Century Fox: "Having just had the most successful box office weekend of my career as well as that of 20th Century Fox, I would like to say 'thank you' to the city who made this all happen - Vancouver. When originally looking for a city to shoot this film, Vancouver had the most attractive elements including an active and supportive film-friendly city staff, amazing locations, and well-experienced local crew. "

How we are supporting the film industry

Looking forward, our film branch staff will be working closely with the film industry to look for ways to recognize and support the local neighbourhoods, businesses, and residents that enable
successful film production. In the last two years, the industry has contributed over $200,000 in cash and donations to local Vancouver charities and social organizations.

We are also collaborating with the film industry to support location sustainability as well as building Vancouver's brand as a "film city"; this initiative will highlight the fact that Vancouver is the third largest film production centre in North America.

"Vancouver's Digital Entertainment and Interactive sector, of which TV and film production is a huge part, is extremely important to the continued growth and resilience of our economy," said Vancouver Economic Commission CEO Ian McKay. "Vancouver is projected to lead the country in economic growth for another five years, and high-growth, knowledge-based industries like DE&I are a critical part of that success. We will continue to reach out to DE&I companies in Hollywood, London, Europe and China to promote Vancouver as the top destination for servicing the global industry and creating innovative IP."

The number of TV and film productions in Vancouver in 2014 and 2015

Production type 2014 2015
Films 36 78
TV series 34 45
Pilots 10 16
Commercials 105 158
Other (includes short films, music, videos, documentaries, student films, photo shoots, etc. 50 56

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