These statistics were announced in remarks to the Economic Club of Canada by OMDC President and CEO Karen Thorne-Stone. It was the strongest performance since 2000 ($1.01 billion) and the highest since the agency started keeping records in 1986.
Broken down into the industries various sector, the numbers look like this:
• Domestic television series grew 34% – to $626.7 million in 2011 from $467.9 million in 2010
• Foreign feature film spending was $231.6 million compared to $159.3 million in 2010 – a 45% increase.
• Foreign television series spending continued to grow contributing $150.2 million in 2011 compared to $119.0 million in 2010 – a 26% increase.
• Total domestic production spending contributed $852.1 million, a 32% increase. • Total foreign production spending increased by $94.7 million or 30%.
What this translates into is jobs. It is estimated that for every million dollars of film and TV production spent in Ontario, 23 full-time direct
and spin-off jobs are created. In other words, the $1.26 billion in production activity supported almost 30,000 full-time direct and
Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport said, The McGuinty government celebrates the success of Ontario’s creative industries as we are committed to creating jobs and a stronger economy. We are proud to partner with our film and television industry, continuing to foster an innovative, competitive climate that will drive Ontario forward as a leader in the global market.”
While the numbers alone make the story noteworthy, what should be remembered is this dramatic increase came at a time when the Canadian dollars was often at par with the US dollar and there has been a real rise in aggressive competition from other jurisdictions. Add to that a generally soft economy elsewhere and this news is indeed good news for the province and the Ontario-based film industry.
"We are delighted by the outstanding performance of the film and television industry. It is a testimonial to the fact that Ontario offers a ‘total package’ of incentives to attract foreign and domestic productions, including: the right mix of government support, stable and competitive financial incentives, world-class infrastructure, superb talent and skills and diverse locations," said Karen Thorne-Stone, President & CEO, Ontario Media Development Corporation.
Film is just part of Ontario's entertainment and creative output. It is estimated that the entire cluster supports almost 300,000 jobs and contributes $12.2 billion annually to the province’s GDP.