Calgary named top 10 place to live and work as a moviemaker

January 25, 2022
Film, TV & Creative Industries New Economy
Calgary tower movie crew

Calgary’s record-breaking year in the film and television industry continues to gain international recognition. The city made MovieMaker’s list of Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2022, placing 10th among the Top 25 cities in North America.

This is the second consecutive year Calgary has rounded out MovieMaker’s Top 10, which considers numerous factors in its rankings, including survey results, production spending, tax incentives, recent productions and personal visits.

“Alberta had a banner year in the film and television industry last year, with multiple locations highlighting the beauty and diversity of our province,” said Minister Doug Schweitzer, Alberta’s Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation. “Now, we see our reputation further solidified as Calgary claims its second top ten spot for moviemakers to live and work. This recognition means even more companies and productions will turn their eyes Alberta’s way, which signals an even brighter future for this industry in our province.”

There was more than $520 million in production spend recorded in the Calgary region in the past year with Calgary Economic Development facilitating 123 projects and over 500 filming permits.

“With the increasing demand for digital content globally, there is significant growth potential for Calgary’s film and television industry,” said Mayor Jyoti Gondek. “Every day we need to promote that our city is a film and TV-friendly location with award-winning talent and crews who can support local and foreign productions alike.”

More than 24,000 people are employed by 4,400 businesses in the creative industries sector with a talent pipeline fed by over 3,200 creative industries post-secondary graduates annually, including from Mount Royal University, SAIT, the University of Calgary and Bow Valley College.

“Calgary is a globally competitive film jurisdiction with the momentum to expand beyond its spot as the fourth-largest location in Canada,” said Brad Parry, Interim President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development. “Growing a skilled and diverse workforce that can meet the opportunity in the new economy, including in the creative industries, is a major focus of our organization.”

In 2021, the Government of Alberta announced removal of a $10 million Film and Television Tax Credit per project cap to attract larger film productions to the province.

“Our amazing crews and talent, our infrastructure and vistas, and our government support at the municipal and provincial levels continue to help us showcase Calgary as a global destination of choice for the screen industries,” said Luke Azevedo, Vice President, Creative Industries, Operations and Film Commissioner.

Calgary has over half a million sq. ft. of purpose-built and retrofit studio space to accommodate large-scale productions. The city was a choice film location for several recent high-profile productions, including The Last of Us, Under the Banner of Heaven, Joe Pickett, Guilty Party, Fraggle Rock, Billy The Kid, Wynonna Earp, Tribal and Heartland.

Other major productions filmed in Alberta include Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Intersteller, Brokeback Mountain, Inception and The Revenant.

For more information on Calgary’s film and television sector, visit our Creative Industries page.

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