Calgary rises to eighth best city to live and work as a moviemaker

January 18, 2023
Film, TV & Creative Industries Digital Media & Entertainment New Economy
Calgary Moviemaker Newsroom 2023 1920 v2

Home to A-list Hollywood productions and local indie films, Calgary’s film and television industry continues to gain international recognition. The city made MovieMaker’s list of Best Cities to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2023, rising two spots and placing eighth among the Top 25 cities in North America.  

This is the third consecutive year Calgary made MovieMaker’s Top 10 list, which evaluates factors including surveys, production spend, tax incentives, research and personal visits. The Canadian-city-studded roster placed Calgary alongside Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.  

“Calgary has made a firm commitment to attract both the talent and production related to the film and television sector,” said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. “Film-friendly municipal policies and practices, combined with economic development initiatives make Calgary a leading city for the best and brightest in the sector.” 

In 2022, Calgary Economic Development facilitated 144 film, TV and digital media entertainment projects and over 1,100 filming permits with multiple city departments. 

Growth in creative industries – particularly film and TV – elevates Calgary’s brand as an iconic city and helps create long-term prosperity, a priority in the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy. 

"Calgary is a destination of choice for global film and television productions,” said Brad Parry, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development. “The MovieMaker ranking is one more proof point that will help us attract large-scale projects, create more opportunities for filmmakers to tell their stories and solidifies our position on the national and international stage.” 

Annually, over 3,200 creative industries post-secondary graduates from Mount Royal University, SAIT, the University of Calgary and Bow Valley College feed the talent pipeline, joining more than 24,000 people employed in the creative industries sector. 

“Alberta has over a hundred years of film and television history. Calgary’s screen industries continues to grow and produce content that brings international recognition to this jurisdiction,” said Luke Azevedo, Vice President, Creative Industries, Operations and Film Commissioner. 

“The MovieMaker designation highlights the talent of the thousands of people who live and work in the screen industries in Calgary.” 

Moviemakers and experts in the creative industries have limitless opportunities in Calgary. Productions considering Calgary have one-window access through the Calgary Film Commission for film permits with the City of Calgary, and a full suite of production services such as digital photo packages and location scouting. 

In 2021, the Government of Alberta removed the $10 million cap per project for the Film and Television Tax Credit. This incentive positioned Calgary as a competitive film jurisdiction and played a role in HBO’s selection of Calgary as the film location for The Last of Us, which premiered Jan. 15, 2023 with rave reviews.

Along with many notable local Alberta projects, other major productions filmed in Calgary in 2022 include Fargo, Emmy-award winning Fraggle Rock, Joe Pickett, Heartland, High School, Prey and Under the Banner of Heaven. 

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

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