A new film and television studio for Calgary is getting closer to reality.
The Calgary Economic Development Authority is finishing a business plan for a new centre for creating film and television productions, possibly in downtown Calgary.
The agency is close to applying for money for the project, which could include three sound stages totalling almost 2,700 square metres, said Luke Azevedo, film commissioner with Calgary Economic Development.
Azevedo said this facility is needed to replace inadequate facilities that are soon to close.
"We have facilities that were not purpose-built that have been adapted for production at this point and those facilities will be going away," he told CBC News.
"And we need to have those facilities in place so we can transition in … something that's purpose-built that will allow us to really be world class and bring in that next level of production."
Films such as Brokeback Mountain and Unforgiven have been shot in southern Alberta, but better facilities are needed if the film industry is to grow, Azevedo said.
Azevedo said a facility like this won't just attract foreign production, it will help develop Canada's homegrown film and TV industry as well.
Promoters of the project will be approaching all three levels of government, along with private backers, to raise money this fall, he said.
Lindsay Blackett, Alberta's minister of culture and community spirit, said he'll need to see a solid proposal first.
"We're certainly wholly supportive of the idea of having a film studio — one in Calgary," he told CBC News.
"And it's part of our cultural policy is to support and sustain our cultural industries and film and television is a vital one of those. but we haven't got enough information and we haven't got the request yet to see what it is that they're actually looking for."
The minister also raised the issue of tax incentives for the film industry in Alberta, which is one of the only provinces not to offer tax credits for location filming.