Even before officially opening its doors, the Calgary Film Centre has already captivated the interest of Hollywood.
On a recent trip to California, Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi made a stop in Los Angeles where he and a team from Calgary Economic Development were hosted for a networking evening by the Consul General of Canada James Villeneuve.
Industry executives from major motion picture organizations such as Walt Disney Pictures and MGM Studios had an opportunity to meet the film centre’s new General Manager, Erin O’Connor, along with Mary Moran, chief executive officer at Calgary Economic Development, and Luke Azevedo, Calgary’s Commissioner for Film, TV and Creative Industries.
The amiable atmosphere at the May 4 event at Canada House was a perfect complement to Mayor Nenshi’s message that Calgary is a "film-friendly" city. While Alberta may be known worldwide for its stunning vistas and diverse locations including the Rocky Mountains, prairies and badlands, we now have another fantastic location with the opening of the Calgary Film Centre.
“This is a dynamic and important time for future film and TV production in southern Alberta with completion of the Calgary Film Centre. We wanted the entertainment world to know we are open for business,” said O’Connor.
While the red carpet may be saved for the film centre’s official grand opening on May 19, the intimate gathering of 40 in Los Angeles could feel the energy from the Calgary delegation.
“It was so important for us to showcase Alberta, and to demonstrate we’re a location of choice for large budget productions and long-term series with our new stage facilities,” said Azevedo.
The $28-million facility in Calgary includes 50,000 square feet of purpose-built sound stages and 35,000 square feet of multi-purpose workshop and warehouse spaces. The centre is co-located with anchor tenant William F. White International Inc., Canada’s oldest and largest provider of professional motion picture, television, digital media and theatrical production equipment. The Calgary Film Centre will deliver year-round production support for local, national and international screen industry projects.
Borrowing the iconic movie line “if you build it, they will come", the May 4th visit by Mayor Nenshi and Calgary Economic Development to Los Angeles was a fitting preview to what the film industry can expect from Calgary and its new film centre.
Calgary may not be Toronto or Vancouver in size and scope but we have the people, the can-do attitude and the creativity to offer a service level to film and TV productions matched only by our award-winning local talent and crews.
Photo (from left to right): Counsel General for Canada in Los Angeles James Villeneuve, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Calgary Economic Development CEO Mary Moran, Calgary Film Centre General Manager Erin O'Connor, Calgary Commissioner for Film, TV and Creative Industries Luke Azevedo, Tina Alford of ACTRA and Jeff Brinton, Executive Director of the Cultural Industries Branch of Alberta Culture and Tourism.