News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 30, 2022

Manitoba Government Leads Delegation to Los Angeles to Promote Local Film Industry and Province as Ideal Location for Investment

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Manitoba Open for Business, Committed to Supporting Further Growth in Key Industries: Smith, Cullen

Manitoba government officials, economic development partners, industry representatives and Indigenous leaders are embarking on a mission to California to meet with studio and production representatives and promote Manitoba as an ideal location for business investment and expansion, Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Andrew Smith and Economic Development, Investment and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“Manitoba’s booming film, television and digital media industry plays an important role in the provincial economy and has seen unprecedented growth in the past few years,” said Smith. “Manitoba is open for business and our government is committed to fostering continued and sustainable growth in this thriving sector. I look forward to leading this first-ever delegation to promote Manitoba’s advantages to key industry leaders and strengthen business and investment relationships.”

Manitoba’s Film and Video Production Tax Credit is renowned as one of the most competitive in North America and is a significant long-term and stable incentive for attracting productions to the province, noted Smith, adding that with the recent completion of the Big Sky Studios’ new state-of-the-art facility, Manitoba is well equipped to attract large-scale film and series productions.

“We are so excited to be hosting a large delegation of Manitobans on a mission to California in support of our local film and digital media production sector,” said Rod Bruinooge, executive officer and film commissioner, Manitoba Film and Music “This is an ideal time to highlight all of the new developments in our market including a new direct flight from Los Angeles to Winnipeg as well as new studio space that has opened this year. Last year, Manitoba had its most successful year with $365 million in production volume and with these new developments we see that number continuing to grow.”

Coinciding with the American Film Market, the delegation will embark on WestJet’s inaugural direct flight between Winnipeg and Los Angeles, and will meet with some of the industry’s top producers and decision makers from the international entertainment production industry, Smith noted. The Manitoba delegation and the Consul General of Canada to the United States will co-host an industry-focused reception to showcase Manitoba’s competitive advantages and how the province is well positioned to work with Hollywood to produce blockbuster films and series.

“Los Angeles is a hotbed for film, video-game development and animation. Through the convenience of this direct connection, we’re excited to build more opportunities for Manitoba’s creative industries,” said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO, Economic Development Winnipeg. “However, the U.S. is a key market for us across all sectors with California being one of the top three states for investment in Manitoba. This connection will open future economic possibilities in additional sectors including the biosciences and tech sectors.”

Members of the Manitoba delegation will meet with companies across a variety of sectors on the mission, Cullen noted.

“Air connectivity is the foundation to Manitoba’s long-term recovery and growth. It is key to drive business, investment and tourism,” said Cullen. “While Manitoba’s growing film, digital media and gaming industries will greatly benefit from the new direct route, many sectors and businesses in Manitoba are well positioned to grow their operations, recruit talent and attract investment.”

The new direct route from Winnipeg to Los Angeles will operate three-times a week on a year-round basis, strengthening ties between Manitoba and the U.S. and enhancing convenience for both business and leisure travel, Cullen added.

“With a thriving film and television industry, our Manitoban guests and partners have long awaited this integral connection and will benefit substantially from convenient flights between both cities,” said John Weatherill, chief commercial officer, WestJet. “As the only airline providing direct connectivity between Winnipeg and Los Angeles, this route not only supports our efforts to bolster the economic success of the communities we serve but provides a vital link that will stimulate new business, investment and tourism opportunities.”

“At Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA), we’re committed to growing the connectivity of the region we serve to benefit all Manitobans,” said Nick Hays, president and CEO, WAA. “New routes, such as the one to Los Angeles, help provide more leisure travel options, more convenience for those flying for business, and more dollars for the province’s economy. We’re proud to work with all our partners to show industries across the world that Manitoba is the place to be.”

Manitoba is known for its central location, solid transportation infrastructure, clean energy, abundant natural resources and highly skilled workforce, noted Cullen.

“Manitoba is a hub and North American leader of manufacturing of large zero-emission transit, industrial and agricultural equipment and has a dynamic aerospace industry. This route will provide opportunities to create more jobs and attract investment. Our government is keen to build on this solid reputation to attract investors looking to do business in the province by offering a competitive, business-friendly environment,” said Cullen.

The Manitoba government provided $4.8 million to WAA to help improve direct flight connectivity from Winnipeg to international markets. The funding provided was one of many strategic investments made from the province’s $50-million Pandemic Long-Term Recovery Fund to bolster economic growth and create jobs. Recent economic indicators from Statistics Canada show Manitoba is the national leader in economic recovery, added Cullen.

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