Film, television and video production, 2021
Film, television and video production accelerated in 2021
The film, television and video production industry generated $11.3 billion in operating revenue in 2021, a 20.2% increase from 2019. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced productions across Canada to shut down from March until June, at which time provincial health authorities began to ease restrictions and allowed filming to resume. However, reopening was initially slow because of new health and safety protocols and the difficulty for productions to acquire insurance that covered shutdowns or delays caused by COVID-19. In response, the Government of Canada introduced the Short-Term Compensation Fund for Canadian Audiovisual Productions, which provided support to Canadian productions that were shut down as a direct result of a positive case of COVID-19 or outbreak among staff.
With the industry back in motion by the end of 2020, there was a backlog of previously delayed projects, the introduction of new projects and an increased demand for streaming. This resulted in the filming of an unprecedented number of projects throughout 2021 as the industry caught up, boosting industry activity beyond pre-pandemic levels.
Rising at a slightly slower pace than operating revenue, operating expenses rose 19.0% to $10.8 billion. As a result, the profit margin moved from 3.3% in 2019 to 4.2% in 2021.
Operating revenue in Ontario rose 20.1% to $4.2 billion, with the province maintaining the largest provincial share (36.9%). Revenue in British Columbia increased 22.3% to $4.1 billion, while Quebec had a more moderate increase of 10.7% to $2.2 billion.
Television productions continued to make up the bulk of the industry, accounting for 59.2% of total production revenue in 2021, edging up from the 59.1% share observed in 2019. Feature films saw a slight increase in 2021, with a share of 22.6% of total production revenue.
Trends in 2022 and onward: Will the strong growth in the industry be maintained?
Several factors influenced the industry in 2022, as it was still working through delays in production caused by the pandemic. Lockdown restrictions eased across the country, allowing for other means of entertainment. However, competition from numerous streaming services and a persistent demand for content did not slow down. Those trends will continue to have an impact on the film, television and video production industry over the medium term. Detailed financial statistics for the industry for 2023 will be provided following biennial survey data collection in 2024.
Note to readers
Data for 2017 and 2019 have been revised.
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