Report: Canuck biz sinking

Indigenous production drops 7%

OTTAWA — The Canuck production industry suffered yet another body blow with Thursday’s release of a grim report indicating the film and TV industries are continuing to decline.

“Reversal of Fortune” covers the biz in Canada for the fiscal year ended last April and was released as the cornerstone of the 10th Prime Time Convention, the annual confab of the Canadian Film & Television Production Assn., being held here in the nation’s capital.

Film and TV volume dipped by 2.1% to C$4.9 billion ($3.9 billion). Indigenous production dropped by 7% to $1.6 billion, while foreign location shooting dropped 1% to $1.5 billion.

Ontario and Quebec in particular saw foreign location shooting drop sharply: In Ontario’s case, it fell 10% to $1.4 billion, mostly due to the SARS crisis in Toronto, while in Quebec it fell 14% to $967 million. British Columbia had a boffo year, with production up 35% to $1.2 billion.

The drop resulted in a 4.5% decline in jobs to 135,000, and a 7% decrease in export value to $1.8 billion.

The report said given the state of the industry and the dollar, better things are unlikely to be in store for this year. “Current indicators show there will be a dramatic decrease in foreign production across the country in 2004-05,” it said.

The bright spots were an 18% jump in foreign location theatrical production, to $886 million (which was offset by a 20% loss in foreign location TV shooting to $741 million), and an 18% jump in international co-production to $588 million.

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