2015 a record year for Television and Film in Vancouver

February 19, 2016 | Jobs and the Economy
The City of Vancouver continues to establish itself as a premier destination for film and TV production with 2015 proving to be a record setting year. The City has posted an increase of more than 40% in film activity over 2014.
"We see firsthand the enormous positive impact on film and TV productions on our city every day,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “As one of Vancouver’s high-growth industries, film is a big contributor to our nation-leading economic growth. Vancouver is home to world-leading talent in the film industry and the City is committed to supporting all levels and aspects of production.”
Vancouver was host to an extraordinary amount of filming activity in 2015. Up from 235 productions in 2014, 353 productions filmed in Vancouver for a total of 1518 film days in 2015. This earned the City $710,000 in revenue for film and street-use permits alone. Film permits in January 2016 are up 30% from the previous year, continuing this positive trend.
Some highlights from 2015 included:
  • A significant employer – The film and television industry continues to be a substantial contributor to the City’s economy. Payroll data based on city postal codes show that over $143 million was paid in wages to city residents in 2015.
  • The return of the feature film – Ten more feature films (26) were produced in Vancouver than in 2014. Features such as Deadpool brought both international attention and economic benefits to Vancouver. Deadpool spent over $40 million during 58 days of filming in Metro Vancouver. The production hired over 2,000 local cast and crew, spending more than $19 million in wages.
  • The commercial industry filmed a record 158 TV commercials in 2015. These ranged from simple location shoots to the complex set design of the Jeep Cherokee “river in the city” commercial filmed last March.
  • The television industry filmed over 309 episodes in Vancouver last year. Warner Bros. continues to be Vancouver’s biggest TV client with 7 productions filming in 2015, including Arrow, The Flash, Supernatural, iZombie, Lucifer, The 100 and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Warner Bros. spent over $70 million directly in the City of Vancouver on labour, suppliers and locations. Their productions employ over 2,400 local crew and cast from the City.
Peter Leitch, Chair, The Motion Picture Production Industry Association: “On behalf of the industry, I want to thank and congratulate the City of Vancouver for a record year of filming. The Vancouver Film Office plays a key role managing the sustainability of one of our most valuable resources - Vancouver locations. The importance of Vancouver’s support for the industry cannot be underestimated when it comes to managing our reputation with clients from Los Angeles and around the world.”
John J. Kelly, Executive Producer, Deadpool, 20th Century Fox: “Having just had the most successful box office weekend of my career as well as that of 20th Century Fox, I would like to say ‘thank you’ to the city who made this all happen – Vancouver. When originally looking for a city to shoot this film, Vancouver had the most attractive elements including an active and supportive film-friendly city staff, amazing locations, and well-experienced local crew. “
Looking forward, the City’s film branch staff will be working closely with the film industry to look for ways to recognize and support the local neighbourhoods, businesses and residents that enable
successful film production. In the last two years, the industry has contributed over $200,000 in cash and donations to local Vancouver charities and social organizations.
The City is also collaborating with the film industry to support location sustainability as well as building Vancouver’s brand as a “film city”; this initiative will highlight the fact that Vancouver is the third largest film production centre in North America.
“Vancouver’s Digital Entertainment and Interactive sector, of which TV and film production is a huge part, is extremely important to the continued growth and resilience of our economy,” said Vancouver Economic Commission CEO Ian McKay. “Vancouver is projected to lead the country in economic growth for another five years, and high-growth, knowledge-based industries like DE&I are a critical part of that success. We will continue to reach out to DE&I companies in Hollywood, London, Europe and China to promote Vancouver as the top destination for servicing the global industry and creating innovative IP.”
TV and film production statistics
TV Series
Includes short films, music videos, documentaries, student films, photo shoots, etc.