People involved in Nova Scotia's $125-million film industry are speaking out against the provincial government's decision to review the tax system, which includes a credit for the film industry.

The tax credit currently in place allows films that employ Nova Scotians to get about 50 to 60 per cent of their labour costs back — something proponents say injects money into the local economy.

Several members of the film industry spoke out last week about their concerns that the film tax credit would be affected in the provincial government's review of the entire tax system. CBC News was flooded with emails from people all over the province, revealing just how far-reaching Nova Scotia's film industry is.

Dave Anderson's Halifax-based business Village Sound makes music for everything from television commercials to feature length films.

Anderson said his company relies on the local film industry for 30 per cent of its business — accounting for tens of thousands of dollars per year.

Anderson's office employs three people. In addition to working on films and television, his company also licenses work from local musicians and gets their music into movies.

He said cancelling the tax credit could turn business away from Nova Scotia.

"If Nova Scotia isn't competitive with other provinces, then we'll certainly lose out on a lot of opportunities and a lot of people besides from ourselves — actors, people who work in the industry, crew — would certainly lose a lot of opportunities," he said.

Corner stores and antique shops

Mike Hall works nearly full-time as an art director on local films. He said he's seen first hand the impact big productions have on the local economy.

"All of the small businesses, the small corner stores, the little antique shops in Halifax ​— they all survive and are helped out through us," he said.

The film industry reported $125 million of production activity last year in the province and Hall said the tax credit is integral in creating jobs for everyone from caterers, to boat drivers, to hair and makeup people.

"All the money that comes into this province helps so many people. Look at the credits of any film and you just see the list — it's huge. It's like a small country that goes into every one of these things," he said.


  • There is no specific review of the film tax credit in Nova Scotia. There is a review of the province's entire tax system, of which the film tax credit is a part.
    May 14, 2014 11:36 AM AT