Film industry calls UCP cuts 'dramatic' and 'catastrophic'
EDMONTON -- Alberta's film industry says the UCP's funding reduction will do irreversible damage.
In a letter to the provincial government, Alberta Screen Industry Stakeholders applauded the move to a tax credit, but said reducing overall funding to the industry to $15 million in 2020-21, $30 million in 2021-22 and $45 million in 2022-23 will be "catastrophic."
On Sunday, filmmakers held a town hall meeting in Calgary to form a united front.
"I don't see any sort of light on the horizon in terms of what they're doing, and I think it will ultimately destroy the industry," said film director Michael Petersen, adding a large producer has already left Alberta for British Columbia.
In an email to CTV News Edmonton, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism Press Secretary Justin Brattinga said the previous grant was "severely mismanaged by the NDP," and said the budget of $45 million will be maintained between the old grant program and the new tax credit program until the transition is complete in 2022-23.
The UCP's plan to cap a Small Production Grant at $1 million is also being criticized.
"A million dollars is almost nothing," said Kelly Wolfert, a local filmmaker. "That's 10 documentaries."
The letter said Alberta is the fourth largest film production centre in Canada, generating $255 million in 2018 and employing 3,335 people.
Minister Tanya Fir agreed to meet with Alberta Screen Industry Stakeholders on Thursday after she received the letter.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Sarah Plowman