Shooting in BC and Canada

We are based in Vancouver, British Columbia, one of the busiest production centers in North America with one of the deepest pools of accomplished crews and service providers. While the industry can support many levels of production budgets, it has become difficult to service low budget non-union shows in this competitive labour environment. Production in Canada is well regulated and filming activity is subject to municipal, provincial and federal regulations covering locations, curfews, safety, environmental aspects, payroll taxes, labour and immigration. Certain activities can require multiple permits and in BC we have streamlined the process as much as possible. Our company will always work within legal boundaries to ensure we can continue securing permits and providing services.

Contact us for informal budget opinions and general production answers.

And make use of the location and other production support services available through Creative BC, the provincial organization which administers the tax credit program and which has now includes the BC Film Commission.


Tax Credits

Visiting productions may qualify for the Production Services Tax Credits offered by the province of BC and the federal Canadian government.  

  • The federal PSTC is 16% of qualified labour expense plus the BC PSTC of 28% for a total of 42% (effective rate will be lower).
  • On average the overall BC/Canada PSTC tax credit yield will equal about 18-20% of overall production spend if post-production is not done in BC
  • The gross budget for a film must be at least CAD $1M and for a TV series, the per-episode gross cost must be at least CAD$200,000 for one-hour and $100,000 for half-hour episodes
  • Production Service film tax incentives are available to BC corporations and the corporation shareholders do not have to be Canadian
  • In BC there are additional potential tax credits for labour costs on production occurring outside the Vancouver zone (see map) and more distant locations
  • And in BC there is the Digital Animation Visual Effects tax credit applicable on all post-production labour expenses incurred in BC
  • The tax return for the federal and provincial tax credits is harmonized; only one tax return and one payment to the production company
  • The PSTC will take at least 8 months to process once claimed, and as long as 14 months if audited or other unanticipated issues
  • Tax credits can be cash flowed by various banks in Canada usually at 85% of the estimate based on final budget, and is drawn down as payroll is incurred or at completion of photography in a single loan amount
  • Qualifying for the PSTC will require full disclosure of the Chain-of-Title and gross budget
  • More tax credit information here.