January 15, 2019
By Sam Thompson
A tax credit for filmmakers is set to become permanent.
The Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit, a refundable credit for labour in local film and video productions, previously had a ‘sunset clause’ – an expiry date for the credit, set for Dec. 31.
Culture Minister Cathy Cox and Finance Minister Scott Fielding Tuesday announced Tuesday that the sunset clause will be eliminated.
“Manitoba’s cultural sector is an important contributor to the provincial economy, accounting for $1.6 billion in GDP,” said Fielding.
“We recognize the positive effect that film production has on our economy and creative community, and this action will bring long-term certainty to the industry.”
The elimination of the tax credit’s expiry date brings Manitoba in line with other Canadian jurisdictions, including the federal government and provinces like Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.
“By making the tax credit permanent, we’re ensuring there is stability and predictability for Manitoba’s media production industry,” said Cox.
“It’s important to ensure the industry has what it needs to respond to growing demand for content from streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Apple, as well as broadcasters across the globe.”
Manitoba has offered some form of refundable tax credit for film and video productions since 1997, with a number of enhancements over the years.
Carole Vivier, CEO of Manitoba Film & Music, said this will specifically help with long-term projects considering Manitoba.
“With a series you’re hoping you’re going into season one, two, three and four and if they’re coming in and they’re not sure if the tax credit is going to be there the following season, it just creates a bit of uncertainty,” she said.
“With this new announcement that uncertainty has completely gone away, which is fantastic news for us attracting series and creating series here. So on all levels that’s fantastic.”
She added there are more than 2,000 people working in the industry here in the province.
“I do believe there will be a boost. I think it’s such a strong message out to the rest of the world that Manitoba is open for business,” she said.