Studio Space for Calgary Film Production Announced

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If you’re considering making your way into the Calgary Film Industry now may be a good time to start. The long-awaited announcement for a southern Alberta film studio took place this morning and it comes not a moment too soon. With three different television series likely to be shooting in and around Calgary this year, the industry is hungry for a reliable, quiet, indoor studio area to call home.

IMG_0241Full Swing Productions was on hand at the press conference today, held at SAIT Polytechnic, in the very screening room where Scott and I learned about Film & Video Production back in 2008. It was a fitting place for an announcement of this sort and many of the Alberta film industry’s strongest voices were in attendance. From veteran producers like Tom Cox and Joe Novak to local union leaders like Damien Petti and Tina Alford in addition to City councillors and other political representatives.

The Honourable Heather Klimchuk, the Minister of Culture in Alberta took the podium and made the announcement that Calgary Economic Development’s proposal for a Film Studio in Alberta had been selected for $5 million in Alberta funding. Says Klimchuk:

“We’re delivering on our promise to see a film studio built for southern Alberta here in Calgary.”

In August, the province denied a proposal that required a $13 million investment on their part, but opened the doors to new proposals which, if selected, would have $5 million provincial dollars committed. Calgary Economic Development’s proposal was ultimately chosen and they will be tasked with developing the project.


The price tag for the studio is going to come to $22.8 million and will be funded by the province, The City of Calgary and some private investment including that from the proposed studio’s first tenant, William F. White International.

The proposed studio will feature…

  •  Two independent sound stages
  • One stage will be 20,000 square feet but the other will be 30,000 and have the ability to split itself into two areas, allowing for a total three productions working concurrently.
  • 18,000 square feet of warehouse space.
  • 15,000 (or so) square feet for props, sets and wardrobes.

The studio is set to open in 2015 but a location for the building is still up in the air. The previous unsuccessful proposal had locked a location near Canada Olympic Park but that land has since be reallocated.

Why is this a big deal? Well, Alberta is blessed with some of the most amazing shooting locations on Earth. We’ve got world-class crews and craftspeople and “The Alberta Production Grant” which financially incentivizes productions to shoot in Alberta. And why not? According to The Alberta Government:

“Every dollar government invests through the Alberta Media Fund in the film, television and digital media industry results in six dollars of economic activity in the province.”

But we are missing the studio space which has handed an edge to other attractive jurisdictions. A new studio space means additional, more permanent production taking place in Alberta and that means more opportunity for new and upcoming filmmakers.


SAIT Polytechnic’s Arri Alexa was on display during the press conference.

For more information on the announcement have a look at the official announcement.



About the Author:

Matt Watterworth a is a 28-year-old filmmaker in Alberta, Canada. He graduated from the SAIT Polytechnic Film & Video Production Program in 2008 and followed that up with 4 years learning from the brilliant minds at one of Canada's top ten production companies. He claps better than anyone you know and, tragically, still wishes to be Batman.
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  1. Irene Hamilton  March 24, 2014

    I add my thanks to Matt for the details on a southern Alberta film studio. I will definitely follow the process and hope to join the journey in whatever capacity available. EXCITING NEWS!

    Irene, Grande Prairie

  2. River  February 4, 2014

    This is really exciting news! Thanks Matt for the details on this wonderful new development.


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