B.C. producers look to Ontario

18% tax credit proving attractive

VANCOUVER — Four more producers in British Columbia are on the verge of moving projects to Ontario to take advantage of better tax breaks, even though most crews and actors won’t be able to follow the work.

Strict residency requirements attached to Ontario’s tax credits specify individuals qualify only if they paid tax in Ontario in the year prior to the year principal photography begins. That’s bad news for technicians and actors here, where unemployment is as high as 50%.

Brightlight Pictures, one of B.C.’s major film producers, said Monday it would start moving projects to Toronto within two weeks if the provincial government refuses to match Ontario’s 18% tax credit for foreign productions (Daily Variety, Jan. 11).

Anagram Pictures, Avanti Pictures, Omni Film Prods. and No Equal Entertainment could do the same.

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B.C.’s tax credit remains at 11% and the B.C. government has said it would address industry concerns, but that may not be until Feb. 15 when it announces its new budget.