Halifax production company takes premier to task over digital tax credit comments
By:Sarah RaeFor Metro HalifaxPublished on Fri Apr 08 2016.
John Wesley Chisholm and the Arcadia Entertainment team want Premier Stephen McNeil to know they do indeed exist.
That was the purpose of Friday’s “existential press conference” at Arcadia’s Quinpool Road offices.
“Yesterday the Premier of Nova Scotia said that we don’t exist, and I’m here to say that we do,” Chisholm, president of Arcadia, said to media surrounded by his colleagues.
The clip he’s referring to shows McNeil speaking to media, talking about the full time, permanent jobs provided by the digital tax credit. When a reporter says that’s exactly what’s said about the film tax credit, McNeil replies “we didn’t see that.”
The film tax credit had been in use for 20 years but was cut last year by the Liberals. In response to protests, a tax credit specifically for digital and animation media was re-introduced, leaving out live-action productions like those Arcadia creates.
One of Arcadia’s most popular programs is Hope for Wildlife, which airs in more than 100 countries and profiles the wildlife rescue of the same name. Hope for Wildlife staff and a few of the animals they care for, including a skunk, were also at the rally.
There are more than 30 full time staff employed by Arcadia, and Chisholm said he’d like McNeil to know many of them have had their jobs longer than he’s had his as premier.
Andrew Killawee, a writer and director, said he’s had his job for 14 years, since before McNeil was an MLA.
“Fourteen years is as full time a job as you can get,” he said. “They exist here in the province and the premier has to own up and either say what he really thinks or he’s got to come clean and have some serious talks with us because we’re in crisis mode.”
Chisholm said he and the rest of the staff just want to get back to doing their jobs, and they need support if they’re going to be able to do that.
“Our roots are here, our shows are here, Hope for Wildlife is not going anywhere,” he said.
“They’re going to keep rescuing 3,000 plus animals a year and we’re going to keep telling those stories to the world, but we need the tools to do it.”
La industria del cine y la televisión de Nova Scotia y su gran crisis.
Segunda Entrevista especial para el blog: Kelli Morehouse
En el post de Febrero 28 les expliqué el gran Éxodo que ha sufrido la Industria de cine y televisión de Nova Scotia, del cual mi familia y yo formamos parte. Desde este espacio prometí ir entregándoles opiniones de algunos de nuestros amigos y colegas, trabajadores afectados por la crisis de la Industria de Cine y TV. Mi manera de hacer justicia ante tan mala decisión provincial.
Para los que no estén informados, que paso allí en la lejana y bella provincia Nova Scotia, les hago un resumito, también les invito a que lean mis anteriores post sobre el tema y las entrevistas que Chris Brown me ofreció para el blog.
Kelli Morehouse, durante Diez y nueve décadas ha trabajado en la Industria de cine y TV de Nova Scotia. Morehouse es Prop Master, ha trabajado en todos los grandes proyectos internacionales que se han filmado en Nova Scotia, tales como: Trailer park boys 2 features; Moby dick feature; Drunk and on drugs series; Lizzie Borden series; Mr. D series.
Kelli Morehouse, de manera muy amable accedió a responder mis tres preguntas
Can you explain how the new Nova Scotia film tax incentive fund works?
How to explain the new incentive fund is not so simple! My understanding of it in talking with friends, producers, production managers is that the fund is very difficult to maneuver with no guaranty after jumping through all the hoops you will get any funding. How are productions suppose to do a budget without realistically knowing what they will receive in funding or even if there is anything left in the fund. I have no doubt that the NS government has no idea how their new fund is suppose to work either, especially the new business agency in charge of the fund, they don’t have a very good record of investing wisely . I truly believe the government didn’t really think things through and did not do there do diligence on the financial impact on the province and it’s citizens .
How did the change to the tax incentive fund affect your life?
The obvious answer to how the new fund has changed my life is of course financially as it is for all of the film community and it’s suppliers. In actuality it is so much more than that, the community has been torn apart with friends and families leaving the province in search for film work in other provinces that are busy especially with the low Canadian dollar. In some cases families are being split up where a spouse goes to find work or they have to make a tough decision to try and sell the family home in a very difficult market. This is a province that doesn’t have a lot of opportunities with good paying jobs and careers, the film industry was one, the provincial government doesn’t understand that! I have worked my butt off for 19 yrs in this province in the film industry making a career for myself along with my friends and that has not always been easy but we as a community have built a reputation internationally which we are very proud of. To have everything we as a community and have worked so hard for over the past 25 yrs dismantled in one uneducated decision without consultation is the act of a reckless government . The financial impact is so much greater in our economy with local business and personal tax revenue no longer contributing the amount of money it did to the province before the changes.
I moved back to this province 23 years ago after living and working out west because I love Nova Scotia and with hard work and professional integrity I could have a good career within the province I chose to live in, now I am no longer certain of that and may have to leave for financial reasons. I am not alone in this dilemma as you and Chris have had to make and countless other friends, the way I see it is we are one big family being torn apart. In hard times you need your family around you whether it is a hug a meal or as simply as familiar, they are your people and that to me is what our community was.
Your opinion and what do suggest?
So my dear friend this is my opinion on how the NS incentive fund has changed the film industry in our province. Good job keeping people in the province Stephen MacNeil !!
Otros colegas y amigos se han ofrecido a colaborar y aportar sus opiniones sobre este tema, que no solo es provincial, sino que nos afecta a muchos a nivel internacional.
Esta es la primera parte de una serie de entrevistas, que realizaré sobre el tema de la crisis que ha provocado Stephen McNeil en Nova Scotia. Su más terrible plan económico contra la industria del cine. Los recortes de crédito fiscal en la industria del Cine en Nova Scotia.
Chris Brown, nos explica su visión del tema, su obligada estrategia de inmigrar a Toronto. La crisis de #NSFilmJobs. Una triste y lamentable situación para la industria del cine en Nova Scotia.
My opinion is that the government of Nova Scotia had a tax incentive program before April 2015.. which supported the industry, which encouraged the industry, which basically the industries’ 30 years in the making but for the past 20 years had really developed. We had hosted international filmmakers directors and producers which we had won the respect of. We hosted projects that were based in Hollywood. We developed the talents of our technicians, artists and craftspeople. We had a viable industry that for the government, who for every $1 dollar invested $4 dollars would come back into the economy in an average year. In a good year it would be $6 for every $1 they invested. When they decided to change the incentive fund the industry came to a screeching halt because the producers no longer had confidence that they could produce a film or TV show in the province NS with the support of the government. For us we had to move. For 17 years I made a great living in Nova Scotia, that was basically finished in 20 minutes. The decision that was made impacted our lives negatively but at the same time it had some sort of positive effect. We had to move to another province. In another province my talent and experience were looked at, at par with international filmmakers.
Right now there is nothing happening in the industry, There has been no new development. The government has decided not to change their stance on how they administer the new tax incentive fund. The new tax incentive fund is non competitive. That is to say that it can’t compete with any other region in Canada as far as offering the same sort of incentive. Basically the producers are no longer interested in coming to the province and are no longer interested in investing any time or capital in the industry there. It is disappointing because there were 2700 people out of work because of it. There are many families that are basically having to go through a conflict because one parent, say works in the film industry and the other one doesn’t. So that one has to leave to go work in another province, while the other one stays maybe they have kids which isn’t easy for everybody. We have more of an advantage to be able to be mobile.
In our case, we… because our daughter is really young and my beautiful wife takes care of her and takes care of our home-life; we were able to pick up and leave because you know we had no other commitments. That is not the case for a lot of other people as well I was originally born in Ontario, had family in Toronto and have friends. I have other friends and contacts that I made in the film industry that were more than willing to help out. With that support and with a lot of help from certain friends we were able to make a transition. It is still very hard. You know that is a great financial burden we have to suffer for moving. It is not easy. Ontario is not very easy to navigate. It’s more expensive. It is very heavily populated. However there are lots of opportunities. I feel positive for the future. i didn’t necessarily want my daughter to grow up in a big city but if that’s the case, because we had to move,then that is the case. She will still have those ties to Nova Scotia that she has.
I suggest to
Well to my friends and to my coworkers in Nova Scotia, I suggest to, if you can, make a go at it. But if you can’t.. Move move .. Go somewhere your talents are going to be appreciated. Where you can make a living without having to depend on the Nova Scotia government, that does not support arts and culture. Go to place that does. It is a booming business. It is unprecedented that in February that all reports say that is going to be one of the largest years for film and television in Canada. It is unprecedented that anyone report that early in the first quarter of the year. It’s going to be extraordinarily busy. Yeah come a join us in other provinces, where film and TV is supported and there is an incentive for production to partake in the economy.