Ontario boasts local lensing boost

Canadian province reaches record with $443 million spending total

TORONTO — Film and TV spending in the Canadian province of Ontario reached record levels last year, according to year-end figures released by the Ontario Film Development Corp.

More than C$635 million ($443 million) was spent on the provincial economy in 1997, up from last year’s record of $370 million.

The most dramatic area of growth was home-grown Canadian domestic TV series, which grew 62% from $194.7 million in 1996.

Although foreign productions in Ontario increased in number from 50 to 56, the dollar figure spent was actually down 15% to $153.5 million from $176.4 million last year.

A number of existing and new tax credits that kicked in toward the end of the year bodes well for next year, according to Gail Thomson, the OFDC’s Film Commissioner.

“That, combined with the lowest dollar in 12 years, I hope will convince the Hollywood production studios to consider us in the future,” she added.

These figures do not include TV commercials, corporate video or music video production, but they do for the first time include spending by animation productions of $21.6 million.

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