Films like Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven and several other box office hits have one thing in common — parts of them were shot near Calgary.
Calgary Economic Development wants to capitalize on Alberta's starring roles by building a film studio near Canada Olympic Park.
But the plan for a state-of-the art centre that included sound stages and digital production facilities with a price tag of $36 million hit another snag today.
While the Alberta Creative Hub was promised $10 million from the City of Calgary, the provincial government was not on board with a request for roughly $13 million.
"The amount of dollars that was expected from the government — almost $15 million — when I looked at that [it] concerned me greatly from a taxpayer and accountability point of view," said Heather Klimchuk, Alberta's minister of culture.
"So right from the get-go, when I became minister, I encouraged CED to kind of look at things differently and come up with a different vision."
The province says it will fund up to $5 million for the project.
But the former provincial cabinet minister who said it would go ahead is still pushing it forward.
'We need infrastructure'
"We were criticized because we weren't getting enough work here," said Lindsay Blackett. "So we have work here, we have people but we need facilities. We need infrastructure."
He sees the provincial government's unwillingness to fully fund the project as a minor setback.
"I'm not going to lose hope because we need it," said Blackett. "There's a $200-million industry that could be a $500-million industry and we can't do it without the proper facilities."
Blackett said he plans to approach private companies to make the facility a reality.
Calgary Economic Development CEO Bruce Graham remains optimistic an alternative project will go ahead.
"It really does drive economic diversification in industry to this province, which is very important as we continue to grow and develop this province beyond our energy industry base," he said.
Calgary Economic Development film commissioner Luke Azevedo says their work over the past seven years has brought the need for facilities in Calgary to the attention of the province.
"And it does come to fruition, we've got to see that as success," he said.