Calgary Film Centre breaks ground for new studio

The city has broken ground on a $22 million sound studio project. Politicians and industry officials believe the facility will lure more film and television productions to the Calgary area.

New studio facility designed to attract international productions to Calgary

Calgary Economic Development CEO Bruce Graham, Alberta Culture and Tourism Minister Maureen Kubinec and Mayor Naheed Nenshi at the sod-turning ceremony for the Calgary Film Centre. (CBC)

A sod-turning ceremony was held Friday for a $22 million sound studio complex in Calgary. 

The Calgary Film Centre will include three sound stages, offices and production-related storage facilities.

Calgary's film commissioner, Luke Azevedo, says production companies considering shooting in Calgary ask three questions of his office.

"What's your incentives? What's your crew base? And what's your infrastructure? And they make their decisions based on those three aspects of every location they go to," he said.

Azevedo says the new facility will help his office attract more film and television productions to Calgary.

Much of the funding for the Calgary Film Centre comes from the public. The city is providing $10 million, while the province is contributing $5 million towards the cost of the project. 

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the public investment in the film centre will pay off.

"We expect that the economic impact of this will be well into the hundreds of millions," he said. "So this is actually a very good use of money."

The studio complex is located in a southeast Calgary industrial park. It is expected to open for business late next year.