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Ontario Helping Create Jobs and Growth in Northern Film Industry

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Ontario Helping Create Jobs and Growth in Northern Film Industry

Province Supporting Film Productions to Boost Local Economies

Ontario is helping strengthen and diversify the northern economy and create good jobs for people in the north by supporting the rapidly-growing film production sector.

Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, made the announcement this evening at a community screening of Born to Be Blue. The movie was filmed in the north and received support from the province to hire local cast, crew and service providers to facilitate production.

Ontario's investments in film productions help bring millions in revenue to local northern economies through regionally-sourced goods and services such as accommodation, security, transportation, catering and equipment rentals. Every $1 million of film and television production generates 21 full-time direct and associated jobs.

Support for the film industry in the north is an important part of the government's Growth Plan for Northern Ontario [pdf]. The plan is helping to create a globally competitive northern economy, support communities, renew and expand modern infrastructure and support a healthy environment.

Investing in the north's film production sector is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Born to be Blue is a re-imagining of jazz legend Chet Baker's musical comeback in the late '60s. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and Cinefest in 2015. Academy Award-nominated actor Ethan Hawke received critical acclaim for his performance as Baker.
  • The NOHFC has supported the growth of the film industry in Northern Ontario by providing more than $69 million to 127 projects. This has leveraged more than $309 million in direct economic activity.
  • In 2015-16 alone, the NOHFC invested more than $13 million in 23 film projects produced in the North, including Two Lovers and a Bear, Mean Dreams and Sleeping Giant — all of which screened at the Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Ontario's film and television industry celebrated its best year ever in 2015, contributing $1.5 billion to the province's economy.
  • Ontario is the number one film and television production centre in Canada and the third largest by volume in North America, behind California and New York.

Additional Resources


“By investing in film productions, our government is diversifying the Northern economy and providing economic and job opportunities for local businesses and communities. These investments demonstrate our government’s continued commitment to building up the North.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Chair of the NOHFC

“Northern Ontario is quickly becoming a hot spot for film production due to its unique scenery, first-rate shooting locations and talented pool of crew and service providers. I am proud that support from our government is helping to bring more projects to the region, building its reputation as a prime destination in the industry.”

Eleanor McMahon

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“Shooting Born to be Blue in Sudbury was an absolute pleasure and the people and facilities we found there made a significant contribution to the excellence of the film. I love shooting in Northern Ontario. I had previously shot a film in North Bay, once again with the help of the NOHFC, which is a fantastic program that provides invaluable support. This enables us to work in fabulous Northern Ontario, hire the gritty and talented local cast and crews and use local facilities. Next I need to shoot a film in Thunder Bay!”

Jennifer Jonas

Producer of Born to be Blue

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