BC’s Thriving Film Industry

BC’s Thriving Film Industry

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

When people think of the film industry, the first place that comes to mind is likely Hollywood or maybe Toronto. Yet British Columbia has a thriving film industry that has helped to make the province an important part of this field.

The film industry in British Columbia started in the 1970s and has continued to grow since then. Hollywood filmmakers have often used places in BC for their Canadian locations, beginning with the Dominion Bridge steel plant in Burnaby, which was part of a film in the late 1970s. Since then, spots in British Columbia have been part of many films, as well as documentaries, advertisements, and other parts of the industry.

Besides being a location for Hollywood films, British Columbia has its own very successful film industry. For example, after Bridge Studios opened in 1987, the company filmed movies such as Star Trek 350 Shades of Grey and Tomorrowland. North Shore Studios produced DeadpooliZombie and The X-Files.  In 2001, Mammoth Studios opened and soon began producing films such as X-MenThe Revenant, and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. Famous movie stars have visited British Columbia to take part in filming programs in various locations around the province.

British Columbia’s film industry is part of a larger Canadian film industry. Ontario and Quebec, as well as other parts of Canada, also have film companies producing many movies and documentaries. The National Film Board of Canada was formed in 1939 to make films that were significant for the history and culture of Canada, and the organization continues to be important today.

Like in the rest of Canada, many parts of British Columbia’s film industry stopped or were severely restricted during the pandemic. These problems came after years of struggling with competition from Hollywood films. With bigger budgets and more access to famous actors, Hollywood films tend to get more attention than Canadian films, and people are often unaware of the films coming from Canada. Distribution of films in Canada also tends to be difficult, partly because of the large distances that films had to travel before the age of digital files. Even now, films can take a long time to get to Canada.

Despite those difficulties, the film industry has done well in British Columbia. The creative sector, which includes film, television, media, music, and magazine and book publishing, generates $4 billion each year in the province. Besides that, these industries create 85,000 jobs for people working in various aspects of these creative fields. Actors, producers, artists, writers, and many other creative people can work in these fields, but others are also necessary.

The film industry involves people in many different roles. Besides the writers, producers, directors, and actors, each film requires people to set up the stages, run the camera equipment, make lunches, and complete many different small jobs. People who want to be part of the film industry have many choices of how to get involved in this thriving field.

British Columbia’s film industry will continue to change over the years. If it continues to do as well as it has, it will be an important part of life for many people in the province.



Gee, Dana. “B.C. Film/TV Industry Awaits as Talks Continue in Hollywood Actors’ Strike.” https://vancouversun.com/entertainment/bc-film-tv-industry-hollywood-actors-strike.

Magder, Ted; Piers Handling; and Peter Morris. “Canadian Film History: 1939 to 1973.” https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/canadian-film-history-1939-to-1973.

Peng, Jenny. “Timeline: The B.C. Film Industry Shoots to the Forefront.” https://www.bcbusiness.ca/Timeline-The-BC-film-industry-shoots-to-the-forefront.

Thomson, Cameron. “B.C. Leads the Way in Film and TV Production in Canada: Report.” https://globalnews.ca/news/5113028/bc-film-industry-2019/.

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