This week marks the Business Development Bank of Canada’s (BDC) 35th annual Small Business Week – a celebration of entrepreneurship, providing small businesses and over 10,000 business people with opportunities to network and expand through hundreds of conferences and workshops held across the country. This year’s theme is “Measure Up! Shape your future”.
When most people think of the film and television industry, they may think of their favourite actor or director, or perhaps their favourite scene in a movie. What they may not consider are the thousands of small businesses whose work helps create the entertainment they enjoy on television, online, or in the movie theatre. Real people – entrepreneurs – working behind the scenes, who are pivotal to every successful production. As Canada has grown to be one of the most sought after locations for film and television production in the world, local vendors in cities across the country now depend on the film and television industry for their livelihood.
Fans of the popular NBC Universal series Suits may know every detail of what happens at Pearson Specter & Litt, what they don’t know about are the many Ontarians who help create and benefit from the fictional world of Harvey Specter and Mike Ross. In one season alone of the Toronto production, over 270 vendors were engaged from over 40 communities across the province, with spending close to $10 million. These vendors included film and television production facilities, catering companies, local retailers, cleaners and alteration companies, and automobile shops to name a few. In British Columbia, ABC’s Once Upon a Time engaged over 880 local businesses from 63 communities across B.C in one season. Warner Bros. Supernatural – in its tenth season of production in the province – engaged over 1,000 local businesses from 35 communities across B.C. last season. This generated $19 million in spending on goods and services.
We recently celebrated just a few of these businesses who played a role in Warner Bros. Suicide Squad with a “behind the scenes” video you can watch here. From a sheet metal business to caterers, an electrical and lighting supplier to the company that provided the fasteners and bolts to put it all together – these were just a handful of the people and businesses in Ontario who benefit from making movie magic happen.
As we’ve seen again and again from local productions, when a film or television production comes to town it creates thousands of jobs in the area and generates millions of dollars for local economies. With total production activity last year reaching $7.1 billion in Canada, our industry supports thousands of small business jobs across the country.
We join leaders across Canada this week in celebrating the men and women behind Canada’s thriving small business community as they help “shape the future” of the Canadian economy.