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The film industry by the numbers 

Nova Scotia's movie business: lots of money, a little Weird Al.

click to enlarge Diana Whalen at a press conference—she is standing at a podium, behind her are several Nova Scotia flags.
  • Diana Whalen spends her budget day getting to the bottom of the old joke about how many finance ministers it takes to screw up a film industry.
  • NS Finance and Treasury Board

Finance minister Diana Whalen may know a thing or two about numbers, but she apparently doesn't understand Nova Scotia's movie business very much. Her budget plan to gut the film industry tax incentive has local producers worried that Whalen is going to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. How much metaphorical egg-gold are we talking? Check the numbers below, gathered from sources including the Canada Council, guidelines for the film industry tax credit, a position paper from the NS motion picture industry association and Whalen's budget. You'll see a thriving sector of the economy that is in danger of becoming a shell of itself.

How much ahead of schedule the government is in putting through changes to the film tax credit system—now July 1, 2015 compared to the January 1, 2016 outlined in the 2012 tax credit documentation
How far a production has to be from Halifax City Hall for 50% of principal photography in order to qualify for the full Eligible Geographic Area—rural shooting—film tax credit
The highest Canadian Council for the Arts grant to a Nova Scotian film company, received by the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative
Number of full-time film industry employees in Nova Scotia last year, not including spin-off contract work and casual labour
The increase in NS public revenue from the arts sector from 2009-2013 (from $19M to $22.2M)
Amount of Weird Al Yankovic cat-themed music videos produced in NS (by Copernicus Studios)
How long the government says it takes to process the NS film tax credit application and refund the claim amount
Amount of remaining wages claimable against taxes owing in the plan put forward with the budget
Amount the province has invested in the film tax credit over the past five years
Number of contract jobs one NS film company, Tell Tale Productions, created in 2013
How much the NS screen industry has grown from 1993 ($6 million) to 2014 ($135 million)
Window of time a production company has to start principle photography on three separate eligible films in Nova Scotia to receive the Frequent Filmer Credit
How much of eligible wages will be refundable under the new tax credit system, compared to the 50% previously
Nova Scotia's projected budget deficit for 2015-16
How much "media arts" in Nova Scotia got from the Canada Council 2013-2014
Cost of applying for Nova Scotia's film tax credit—0.2% of eligible salaries, with a minimum of $200 and maximum $2,000
How much Haven spent on housing and hotels in season 4
How much Nova Scotian organizations received out of the total Canada Council grants given in 2013-14. NS was fourth least, followed by Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and then finally PEI
Number of Nova Scotian film production companies in 2014
Amount of NS film tax credits given out in 2013
Number of companies directly in the business of film production, or supporting film and TV production, in Nova Scotia in 2014
Net return to Nova Scotia on film tax credit investment over the past five years
Amount in tax credits given out in 2014, 17.5% of which was related to films shot outside of NS but using NS workers
The NS private sector revenue from the arts industries in 2013
Amount of tax credit a film production could claim for shooting in an Eligible Geographic Area—that's a rural location—in Nova Scotia. The EGA bonus was 5% when introduced in 2005, but doubled on September 30, 2007
Amount the government budgets to pay for the film industry tax credit
Amount of film production in Nova Scotia that was done by local producers in 2014
Amount in production enabled by the $25 million the province spent in film tax credits in 2013, which translates to a 396% return on investment


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