News & InfoEP StoreAcademySupportCommunityProducts by Country
Blog Home

Production Tax Incentives in Western Canada Every Producer Should Know About

Alberta and Manitoba offer film and TV productions competitive tax incentive programs and versatile filming locations.
October 4, 2022

Jennifer Liscio

EP Blog-Western Canada tax incentives

We recently hosted a Master Series webinar and published a blog highlighting tax incentive programs available in three provinces on Canada’s east coast: Nova Scotia, Labrador and Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island. Now, let’s head west, where, in addition to British Columbia (one of the largest Canadian production hubs), film and television productions can find exceptionally competitive incentives available in Alberta and Manitoba.

Manitoba offers production perks, incentives, and resources

Manitoba is deeply dedicated to attracting productions to its film-friendly province. The province backs up its impressive tax incentive program with resources and infrastructure production teams can take advantage of throughout the filming process – from development to wrap. Here’s what you can expect if you decide to explore Manitoba as a potential hub for your next project.

From sprawling metros to arctic terrain, Manitoba has it all

Whether you seek beaches, cottage country, arctic terrain, or a Midwestern town - you can find it in Manitoba. Local cities double for big US metros, including Chicago, New York, Detroit, and San Francisco. You can also find a great stand-in for seaside Connecticut, northeastern Minnesota, or midwestern Missouri. And local architecture runs the gamut, offering everything from contemporary structures to residential neighborhoods to historic districts. Curious to see for yourself? Peruse the locations page of the Manitoba Film & Music website.

Manitoba provides robust production infrastructure

Manitoba Film & Music is a full-service film commission that offers a wide variety of programs and services to help producers maximize their budget and reduce hassles.

Throughout pre-production, the office provides digital location photo packages, detailed production and tax incentive information, and preliminary and follow-up location scouting services. They also provide access to resources that help navigate any logistics related to getting your project off the ground and assistance with acquiring all the necessary permits.

Buildings in Winnipeg-s historic Exchange District.jpg
The historic Exchange District in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Once filming starts, producers enjoy 24-hour production support and access to government contacts who can address any issues that arise. Winnipeg's capital city also provides additional benefits, including access to office space, use of civic buildings (at no additional fee), and more.

From a facilities standpoint, you'll find a purpose-built studio with 15,000 square feet of clear space supported by office space, a carpentry shop, wardrobe, a commissary, and loading docks. Many different warehouses are also available throughout the area.

During post, filmmakers can take advantage of companies like Frantic Films, which has expert VFX teams on standby, ready to support you as you take your film to the finish line. Their offices are equipped with the latest Avid technology and a Dolby 5.1 mixing theater. You can also request on-site edit suites or access to ready-to-use facilities.

Manitoba’s Tax Incentive Program

Known as the 'most competitive tax credit in Canada,' Manitoba's 15-year-old tax incentive program, which has no caps or limits, offers credits up to 65%. The province doesn't require the involvement of a broker, and producers don't have to partner with local companies to access the credit, but you can receive a bonus credit if you do!

Manitoba provides two different tax credit options, allowing producers to select the one that’s most beneficial to their budget. Here's a breakdown of the program details:

  • Cost of Salaries Tax Credit: This program provides production companies with a fully refundable corporate income tax credit for eligible Manitoba labor expenses. It offers a 45% base credit, and additional bonuses may apply for principal photography shot in rural areas, the use of Manitoba-based producers, and bringing repeat projects to the province. With all bonuses in place, productions can earn a credit for up to a stunning 65% of eligible Manitoba labor expenditures.
  • Cost of Production Tax Credit: One of the most comprehensive all-spend tax incentive programs in Canada, Manitoba's Cost of Production credit provides a fully refundable corporate income tax credit. Productions receive a base credit of 30% but partnering with an eligible Manitoba production company earns you an extra 8%, boosting the credit to 38% of all eligible Manitoba production expenditures, including labor.

To be eligible for either of these tax credit options, applicants must be:

  1. Incorporated in Canada
  2. Permanently established in Manitoba, and
  3. A taxable Canadian corporation that primarily operates as a film or video production

Eligible projects include digital and web-based productions and fully financed feature films, documentaries, dramatic series, variety, multimedia, children's programming, animation, music programming, informational series, and television movies.

For more information, visit the Manitoba Film & Music tax credit site, or check out the Cost of Salaries FAQs and Cost of Production FAQs.

Alberta receives accolades for all-inclusive production perks

Moving further westward, productions can find even more benefits in the film-friendly province of Alberta. Calgary, the flagship city of Alberta, was named one of the best places to work and live as a filmmaker in 2022 by MovieMaker Magazine. The city placed 10th among 25 big cities in North America. Many things are taken into consideration in compiling the list of top cities, including incentive programs, production spending, location variety, government support, and recent productions.

Damian Petti, the president of IATSE Local 212, says, "Our capacity has massively increased by tenfold in terms of sound stages. And then our attractiveness for the film incentives, the tax credit, has also increased – so it's not surprising that we're climbing the charts."

Though Calgary was the city named, Petti explained that the acknowledgment speaks more broadly to Alberta’s appeal as a great place to film. The province has been working hard to be competitive and attract more productions to the area.

Panorama of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.jpg
Calgary, Alberta

Alberta is always camera-ready

Producers will find gritty streetscapes, character-filled cities locked in a ‘simpler time,’ picturesque mountains and lakes with awe-inspiring vistas, ranches, and small towns situated between dusty western trails. If rural is your scene, local forests, prairies, foothills, and badlands are just a few hours' drive from any major city.

Whatever era and location you want to portray, Alberta has the perfect spot. And if it doesn't exist naturally, an abundance of purpose-built backlots can help you bring your vision to life. Add the benefit of having 16-hour long days of sunlight, and you can see why Alberta is an attractive option. When you're ready to start scouting, check out Alberta's locations library.

Alberta investments in production infrastructure

Alberta offers expert post-production services and a resource directory on the Alberta Post Production Association website. As for stage facilities, the Calgary Film Centre – an 80,000 square-foot production studio and warehouse – has been booked at 100% occupancy since July 2019. In large part, this is due to recent changes to the province’s tax credit program, which we’ll discuss below.

Alberta's Tax Credit program

The Alberta Film and Television Tax Credit (FTTC) offers a refundable Alberta tax credit certificate on eligible Alberta production and labor costs to corporations that produce films, television series, and other eligible screen-based productions in the province. Applicants can apply for either a 22% or 30% tax credit rate certificate.

The province's fund has a $70 million budget for 2022 to 2023 and $225 million to be used through 2024 and 2025. A previous $10 million cap was removed at the end of March 2021 in an effort to draw larger projects to the area. The decision was made after local industry leaders and government officials met with large studios to calculate the financial impact of productions on the local economy. Data revealed that productions generate $4 for every $1 of tax incentive money spent, further evidence that eliminating the incentive cap was a smart move for the province.

Luke Azevedo, the film commissioner with Calgary Economic Development, says that decision was a game changer. "What Minister Schweitzer was able to do with the change in the incentives hit the mark globally, and we felt the impact immediately.” Boy, did they! In 2019, Alberta’s film and television industry brought in $250 million of work. In 2021, Alberta brought in high-profile projects, like HBO’s 'The Last of Us'and that number rose to an estimated $482 million.

Eligibility criteria for corporations and productions

Eligible corporations may apply for the Alberta FTTC on their qualified productions. Note, principal photography must not have started before the application is submitted.

Corporations must be primarily engaged in film, television, or digital media production and must be incorporated in Alberta to be eligible for funding. Productions must have total production costs of $499,999 CAD or greater, and must not receive funding from the Alberta Production Grant or the Alberta Screen-Based Production Grant.

Check out the Alberta FTTC program guidelines for eligibility criteria, incentive details, and instructions on how to apply.

Maximize your budget wherever you film with EP

As Canada's leading film and TV tax incentive administration provider, EP's expertise is an unmatched resource for productions. We service jurisdictions all across Canada and can help you find the perfect province to film your next project. When you're ready to start scouting, check out our incentive map to get an idea of what kind of tax credit programs are available. Then, contact EP Canada's tax incentive team when you're ready for an estimate.

Related Content

Film Industry Booms in Buffalo

Western New York draws top filmmakers with expanded tax incentives, new soundstages, and architectural...
EP Blog_SQUARE_New US Incentives 2022

New US Film Incentives Introduced in Arizona, Indiana, Florida, and West Virginia

As production continues to boom, new tax credits and other programs welcome industry to new locations...
Los Angeles Times logo-sq

Hollywood production in U.K. soars to record levels as crews complain of burnout

Spending on film and high-end television shoots reach record-breaking amounts as production activity...
EP Webinar Panelists - US Production Incentives Update

US Production Incentives Update: New and Expanded Programs in 2022

Film commissioners Colleen Bell and Sandy Lighterman, and production executives Jay Roewe and Ashley Rice,...
EP Blog_SQUARE-Atlantic Canada Expands Incentives

Atlantic Canada Expands Film Incentives in 2022

Enhanced production incentive programs attract industry to Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, and...
Mount Hood, Oregon

Building on Oregon’s Cinema Legacy

How improved tax Incentives, job training, and production infrastructure is expanding the filmmaking...
5 Master Series panelists discussing Atlantic Canada production incentives-square

Production Incentives Update: Atlantic Canada

Learn how productions can benefit from newly expanded incentives in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador,...
Canadian flag flying over Quebec City

5 Reasons to Consider Canada for Your Next Production

Here's why Canada deserves a spot on every producer's shortlist.
Topic: Canada
EP Blog_SQUARE_filmmaking in new mexico

Forging the Future of Filmmaking in New Mexico

As the film industry expands in the Southwest, New Mexico leads the region as top destination thanks to...
Jennifer Liscio

Spotlight: Jennifer Liscio, VP of Tax Incentives and Legal Affairs

Meet EP's Canadian legal affairs and tax incentives domain expert, Jennifer Liscio, and learn how she’s...
Oklahoma route 66 sign

A New Frontier in Filmmaking

Oklahoma is becoming a production destination, thanks to new incentives and infrastructure programs.
EP Blog_SQUARE_International Film Financing

The Beginner’s Guide to International Film Financing

What to know before you begin an international financing plan.

UK Production Incentives All Producers Should Know About

Don't miss out on the UK's tax incentives, special programs, and national and regional funding...

Behind the Boom: Why the UK is a Hotspot for Production

Explore the generous industry incentives, talent, and infrastructure available to productions filming in...

Preparing for Year End: Focus, Find, and Fix!

EP's payroll tax experts share best practices to identify and resolve payroll tax errors for a smooth year...
EP Blog_SQUARE_Streaming service

Streaming Services Expand to Latin America and New Audiences

SVOD providers look to Latin America as a gateway to global stories and new subscribers
EP Blog_SQUARE_New York

NY Convenience Rule Impacts Remote Production Workers and Film Incentives

How remote employee payroll taxes apply to New York-based productions and if an employee’s physical...
EP Blog_SQUARE_US Expanded Incentives 2022-2

A Record Number of US States Expand Filmmaking Incentives in 2022

Your guide to the latest news in production incentives and film programs to come from the 2022 legislative...
EP Blog_Jesse Wente

Supporting Indigenous Storytellers of Canada

How the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) offers advocacy and funding for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis...
Topic: Canada

Georgia Proposes Capping and Prohibiting Sale of Film Tax Credits

The changes, if signed into law, would cap the amount Georgia hands out in film and TV tax credits at $900...
EP Newsroom-Thumbnail-Portland Business Journal

How Oregon’s updated film incentive law could boost the local economy

A new Oregon film and media incentive law could draw more movie productions to the state.
International Film Financing panel-featured

Film Financing Explained: International Financing

International production experts discuss how producers can utilize financing systems outside of the US,...
Digging Out of a Deficit-featured

Digging Out of a Deficit: What to Expect in the Second Quarter of 2022

Federal and State Unemployment Insurance rates are rising. Learn how these changes will affect 2022 and...

The Production Accountant’s Guide to Year-End Payroll

A step-by-step breakdown of how to navigate pitfalls and fix production payroll errors for a smooth year...

Film Community and Industry Jobs Grow in Washington State

Thanks to new funding and a continuous effort by Amy Lillard, Executive Director of Washington Filmworks,...

Special Report: Entertainment – A Hollywood Education

It’s the best of times and the worst of times for employment in the entertainment/streaming industry.

Special Report: Entertainment – Soundstage Gold Rush

Hollywood is experiencing an ongoing boom that fills its Los Angeles production hub to overflow levels.
EP Blog_SQUARE_Creating a development budget

The Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Development Budget

Before you start the filmmaking process, learn what basics you need to budget for to get your idea off the...
Changes to UK right to work checks

Important Changes to UK Right to Work Checks

On September 30, 2022 the UK rules around right to work checks will change. Here’s what productions need...
Topic: UK
Master Series Square Thumbnail-Film Financing-Crowdfunding

Film Financing Explained: Crowdfunding

Emily Best (Seed&Spark), Stacy Bradford (Indiegogo), and producer Zach Fineblum join us to discuss the ins...
EP-Newsroom-Below the Line-Thumbnail-480

Union Roundup: Production Incentives Experts Gather, Hoping Hollywood Can Bring Economic Recovery As We Learn to Live With Covid

Entertainment Partners offered an update on U.S. Production Incentives for 2022. The seminar focused on...
Streaming platform on tablet device

The Evolution of Residuals: How Streaming Changed the Model

Understanding how residuals payments are calculated for new content on streaming platforms.
dollar signs representing digital crowdfunding

The Beginner’s Guide to Crowdfunding

How filmmakers can leverage the power of social networks and online platforms to build buzz and secure...
EP Blog_SQUARE_Wes Hagen

Meet the Location Manager

A conversation with award-winning location manager Wes Hagen ('Ozark,' 'Hidden Figures.')
Sian Richards and Queen Latifah-square

A Face Kit for Every Skin Tone

Hollywood makeup artist Siân Richards is transforming the makeup industry for actors of every shade.
EP Blog_Residuals and the streaming model

Residuals and the Streaming Model

How residuals apply to historical content on new media platforms.
EP Blog_SQUARE_Fighting Hollywood Stereotypes-TTEI

Fighting Stereotypes and Rethinking Representation

How TTIE is advancing authentic storytelling in Hollywood by empowering historically excluded writers and...

Contracting in a COVID-19 World  

The pandemic has affected how UK production companies contract crew. Here’s how to reduce the impact of...

Terms to Include in UK Crew Contracts

Common terms which studios and production companies include in their UK crew contracts.
Topic: UK

The UK GDPR and how Productions can Reduce their Exposure - Q&A with Sheridans

Sheridans’ Associate Krishan Neelendra answers key UK GDPR questions from production companies and...
Topic: UK
KJ Lamb and Simon Donovan

Empowering the Next Wave of Production Accountants

The EP Production Portal team was delighted to participate in the biannual Netflix Assistant Production...
cell phone with sticky note stating sign here

Six e-Consent Myths (and Why They’re Not True)

Sheridans Associate, Sarmad Saleh, debunks some common e-consent myths.
Topic: Legal
recycling conversation

Sustainability in Production: Q&A with Nikki Saunders

Nikki Saunders on sustainable filming practices, COVID-19, and why carbon offsetting isn’t a...
EP Blog_The Race to Net Zero is On for Big Studios

The Race to Net Zero is On for Big Studios

Film and television studios are embracing the green movement in a big way. Here’s what you can expect to...
EP Blog_SQUARE_meet the cinematographer-dan-laustsen

Meet the Cinematographer

A conversation with Dan Laustsen ('John Wick', 'Nightmare Alley').
EP Newsroom-Thumbnail-480-the olympian

More Movies Could Soon be Filmed in WA as Inslee OKs Film Incentives Passed by Legislature

The law will provide tax breaks for filmmakers looking to make movies in Washington
EP blog-square-tax day

Tips for Tax Day 2022

Your ultimate tax filing checklist - the deadline this year is Monday, April 18th!
EP Blog_Marge Dean

Opening Career Doors

How WIA President, Marge Dean, is shaping the future of animation and empowering underrepresented genders
Master Series Women in Animation-thumbnail

Women in Animation: A 3D View

Marge Dean, Mandy Tankenson, and other women leaders from across animation come together to celebrate...
Bradley Cooper-nightmare alley

Meet the Assistant Director

A conversation with Myron Hoffert ('Nightmare Alley')
EP Blog_SQUARE-Sound Mixer-Lora Hirschberg

Meet the Sound Mixer

A conversation with Oscar-winning re-recording mixer, Lora Hirschberg ('Inception', Skywalker Sound)

Russian Invasion Hits Ukrainian Production Industry Just Starting to Go International

"Ukraine was just starting to open up to the world, now everything has closed up again."
Site Selection Magazine logo-sq

The Stage is Set

Puerto Rico Beckons to Film & TV Production Industry

Meet the Executive Producer

A conversation with Mike Drake ('Just Mercy') on the path to becoming and EP, and the role of social...

Payroll & Finances

PayrollResidualsSmartStartNew SmartTimeProduction PortalEP On LocationSmartAccountingEP LiveSmartPOCASHétPayPaymaster Rate GuideEP Residency

Manage Multiple Productions

AssetHubSmartHubSmartHub Vault
Subscribe now

Be an industry insider with EP's
newsletters and alerts

LegalPrivacy NoticeSecurity
© 2022 Entertainment Partners. All rights reserved.