Calgary Film Centre makes its long-awaited debut
A brand new, state of the art facility created for both the local film industry and to attract foreign productions is complete.
“You feel like you’re in a different world already,” said Calgary Film Centre GM Erin O’Connor. “It does feel like we will be bringing Hollywood to Calgary.”
The $28.2 million Calgary Film Centre, located in the Great Plains industrial area near the intersection of Glenmore Trail and 52 Street Southeast, houses three acoustically sealed sound stages with a combined 4,645 square metres (50,000 square feet) of space.
Luke Azevendo, Calgary’s commissioner for film, television and creative industries, says the new facility will provide consistency to a transient industry that has grown accustom to adaptation.
“For years, we were the kings and queens of the retrofit,” said Azevendo. “Facilities that we would have to create an environment the production could occur in. Then, at the end of that production, those facilities would go back to their original uses and then we’d have to go through that process again.”
The facility will ensure productions can film in Calgary year round, accommodate multiple productions at any given time and is expected to bring numerous jobs to Alberta.
“Alongside just the film production coming in, there’s hundreds and hundreds of people in crews and talent that will be provided work through those systems,” said O’Connor.
William F. White International Inc., Canada’s largest provider of equipment for the film industry, has invested $1 million in the project and will set up shop within the centre.
“The knowledge base and the quality of their equipment and the quality of their people is extremely significant when you’re trying to attract foreign and have our local production have the best in the world to work with,” said Azevendo.
Paul Bronfman, Chariman/ CEO of William F. White International Inc., says the facility adds to the attractiveness of Calgary in the eyes of the industry.
“Calgary’s got an amazing downtown, there’s a variety of locations here,” said Bronfman. “I still think we’re pigeonholed so I think this studio will help a lot.
Bronfman believes the Calgary Film Centre will assist in correcting the misconceived notion that southern Alberta is only for filming westerns.
In 2015, the film industry generated upwards of $175 million in southern Alberta.
With files from CTV’s Kevin Fleming