In hopes of attracting more film, production and video game companies to Edmonton, city council is looking at a new plan that could do just that.
“The crossover between all these industries is something that’s really changing the whole industry and if we can get out ahead of that I think that positions us well to be competitive in the future,” Mayor Don Iveson said Wednesday.
Edmonton has been without a film commissioner for more than a year, something Iveson said has been a barrier for the city when it comes to “taking advantage of Canada’s reemergence as a player in the screen industry.”
“Calgary has gone after this aggressively and we’ve been a little behind the times,” Iveson explained.
“But there’s definitely enough work to go around and there’s a kernel of a great industry here.”
The city has tried to figure out how best to attract more productions to Edmonton. Now, a plan has been proposed to city council that will bring all of Edmonton’s multimedia companies together by establishing a screen industries office to promote film, television and video games.
Edmonton has more interactive gaming companies than any other city in Canada. With the rise of video streaming services, the lines between traditional broadcast and new media are being blurred.
“It’s not just a TV show, it’s not just a movie. It’s like, ‘well, is there a game – a mobile game – attached to it? Is there an app or some sort of digital extension?’ I think Edmonton could really be a real centre for that,” Eric Rebalkin, CEO of Edmonton-based Mosaic Entertainment, said.
Mosaic Entertainment is currently filming the movie #Roxy in Edmonton and St. Albert. Cast and crew from the teenage rom-com will be in the Capital Region until the end of the month.
Edmonton city councillors will vote on the proposed Screen Industries Office business model later this year.