N.S. government tops up film incentive fund by $1.5 million
Published Friday, June 17, 2016 8:06PM ADT
Last Updated Saturday, June 18, 2016 1:52PM ADT
HALIFAX, N.S. -- More than a year after cutting the film tax credit, the Liberal government is increasing funding for the Nova Scotia film industry by $1.5 million, increasing the available budget to $11.5 million.
Government has said the $10-million cap could be reassessed if it appeared the fund would run out in any given year.
“What we’ve heard from government is that if there are new projects coming into the province that need additional support, that they want to hear about it,” said Erica Beatty, executive director of Screen Nova Scotia. ”Obviously, they can’t make any sort of commitment in advance.”
However, many in the industry are hoping for a commitment that more money could be available if the $11.5 million runs out.
“What then? You know, this is a good step, but it’s still not the stability I think that producers are going to be looking for,” said film editor and producer, Kim McTaggart.
Nova Scotia Business Inc. says it’s positive that all parties are communicating.
“What we said we would do is constantly monitor where we were,” said Laurel Broten, president and CEO of NSBI. “We would provide that information, both working with the industry and with the Department of Business,”
Screen Nova Scotia says more productions are starting up this season, and many Nova Scotians seem to think the fund is money well spent.
“I don’t know if it’s necessarily the best use of our money, but I think it’s worthwhile,” said Gareth Yawching-Rickwood. "I hope it creates some good jobs for people.”
“It’s a little push that could help a great deal, and this city needs it,” said Elizabeth Lemay.
Film production is booming across the country this year, but in Nova Scotia, it’s expected to hit about 50 to 60 per cent of what it’s been in previous years.
The Nova Scotia NDP says those numbers are evidence the new funding comes too little, too late.
“The ending of the film tax credit program, in effect, destroyed that, so many productions have moved out of the province,” said provincial NDP leader Gary Burrill.
Seventeen productions have been approved for funding this year, with a total payout of nearly $5 million. More than a dozen more applications are being processed.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.