Research & Policy

Highlights from Profile 2019

March 28, 2019

Profile 2019 is published by the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) in collaboration with the Department of Canadian Heritage, Telefilm Canada, the Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM) and Nordicity. Profile 2019 is the 23rd edition of the annual economic report prepared by CMPA and its project partners.  Read the complete report here.


The film and television production industry in Canada consists of four key segments: The Canadian Television Production segment, Canadian Theatrical Feature Film Production, Foreign Location and Service Production (FLS), and Broadcaster In-house Production.

In 2018-2019, Total Film and Television Production in Canada:

  • Hit an all-time high in production volume of $9.32 billion (+5.8%)
  • Employed 180,900 FTEs (+2.4%)
  • Generated $12.8 billion in GDP for the Canadian economy (+5.2%)


The foreign location and service (FLS) production segment is primarily comprised of films and television programs filmed in Canada mainly by foreign producers with the involvement of Canadian-based service producers. This includes the visual effects (VFX) work done by Canadian VFX studios for foreign films and television programs. For the majority of FLS projects, the copyright is held by non-Canadian producers; however, for approximately 5% to 10% of projects, the copyright is held by Canadians.

In recent years, Canada’s FLS production segment has contributed to numerous films that achieved successful global box office runs. Some recent Hollywood films that have either been shot in Canada or had their VFX work done in Canada include It: Chapter Two, Midway, Pet Sematary, Murder Mystery and Dark Phoenix. Canada has also become a destination for the filming of many American television series and mini-series such as See, The Handmaid’s Tale, Star Trek: Discovery, The Man in the High Castle, and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, which have been commissioned by US networks as well as online video streaming services.

  • FLS production accounted for 52% of the total share of production volume in Canada (alongside 13% Canadian Content and 35% Broadcaster In-House).
  • The total volume of FLS production in Canada increased by 3.2% reaching a record $4.86 billion.
  • The sector accounted for 94,400 FTEs jobs for Canadians, including 44,400 direct FTEs in film and television production and a further 50,000 production related FTEs.
  • The sector generated $5.42 billion in labour income and $6.67 billion in GDP for the Canadian economy.
  • The copyright for 78% of FLS projects was held by persons or companies based in the U.S., up slightly from 76% in 2017/18.



  • The total production volume was $3.40 billion (37% of national share), creating 65,270 direct and production related FTEs.
  • FLS production in British Columbia reached $2.81 billion (from $3.04 million over 2017/18) representing 58% of the national total.

Note: Production statistics by Creative BC, and included in Profile, are based on the fiscal year in which the project’s filming actually takes place, however the actual level of FLS production in BC in 2018-19 was more likely to have mirrored the 2017/18 level ($3.04B), rather than the 7.4% decline suggested. For more on how to interpret the province’s film and TV production statistics click here.


  • The total production volume was $3.17 billion (34% of national share), creating 56,050 direct and production related FTEs.
  • FLS production in Ontario increased to $985 million (from $869 million over 2017/18), representing 20.3% of the national total.


  • The total production volume was $2.04 billion (22% of national share), creating 47,480 direct and production related FTEs.
  • FLS production in Quebec increased to $771 million (from $666 million over 2017/18) representing 15.9% of the national total.


  • The total production volume was $256 million, creating 5,110 direct and production related FTEs.
  • FLS productions increased to $86 million (from $31 million over 2017/18).


  • The total production volume was $253 million, creating 3,810 direct and production related FTEs.
  • FLS productions increased to $167 million (from $89 million over 2017/18).