Sudbury

Sudbury reaps benefits as film productions use city for location incentives

Sudbury is showing its versatility this summer as it plays the backdrop to a number of large film productions.

Sudbury is attracting productions with budgets ranging from $1 million to $30 million

Rob Reselli helps connect film producers with service providers across northern Ontario. (Matthew Pierce/CBC)

Sudbury is showing its versatility this summer, as it plays the backdrop in a number of large film productions.

In a returning role, Greater Sudbury is standing in as the fictitious southern Ontario town of Letterkenny. The show's seventh season begins airing Oct. 14 on US streaming service Hulu, and Bell Media's Crave.

Parts of Sudbury, including the Grand Theatre, will become the small Tennessee town of Silverado in a Hallmark movie titled "Country at Heart."

French television series Amélie et Compagnie, about a young girl who can talk to her cat, is also currently filming in the city.

These are all due to a team at Cultural Industries Ontario North (CION), which helps bring productions to northern Ontario by connecting them with local businesses that service the film industry.

Rob Riselli, the film program and reporting supervisor at CION, says the productions "certainly will put tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars into the community."

It's not just the hiring of a local crew, he said, but productions also rely on hotels and restaurants to house and feed the workers who are not sourced locally.

"The incentives to come here are great for those producers," Riselli said. A confluence of the low Canadian dollar, tax incentives and funding from the province's Northern Ontario Heritage Fund contribute to Sudbury's desirability.

"They're spending that money here, and they continue to spend," he said.

"For every dollar they get invested into them, they're spending four dollars out. That's a minimum. There are other studies that say it's seven or eight."

Riselli is confident that the growth in Sudbury will continue.

"The rest of this year is going to be extremely busy up here," he said, "It's full on and I anticipate it being just as busy next year."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt is a reporter and associate producer at CBC. You can reach him at matthew.pierce@cbc.ca.

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