Sound Stages and Production Companies: Canada
- It has been estimated that the number of sound stages in Canada ranges between 184 and 322.
- Canada has over 273 production companies across its 13 provinces and territories.
- Ontario and British Columbia are the top two provinces with the largest share of Canada’s production market.
This research provides an estimated number of sound stages and the number of production companies in Canada. Due to limited information, special care was taken to research each of the 13 provinces of Canada to triangulate the final figures of sound stages and production companies.
Number of Sound Stages in Canada
- The demand for sound stages in Canada has exhibited staggering growth over the past few years due to the rise in film production across the country. Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec are the top three provinces in Canada with the largest share of the country’s TV and film production.
- Ontario has a wide variety of sound stages, most of which are located in Toronto. According to Nordicity, between 2007 and 2019, sound stage square footage in Toronto rose by 0.5 million, reaching 2.1 million sq. ft. with a total of 136 sound stages. A recent report published by CBRE indicated that there are 53 sound stages covering 0.8 million sq. ft.
- Therefore, it can be assumed that the number of sound stages in Ontario ranges between 53 and 136.
- Some key players include Pinewood Toronto Studios with 11 state-of-the-art sound stages, Revival 629 studios with 13 sound stages, and Cinespace Film Studios with 12 sound stages.
- Since 2019, Canada’s production sector has been expanding with several sound stage construction projects, many of which are currently underway in Toronto and Vancouver. In Toronto include, Pinewood Toronto Studios is developing 200,000 sq. ft. of brand new sound stages and Hackman Capital Partners will be working on building Basin Media Studios that will hold eight new sound stages. Through new builds and expansions, sound stages and studio spaces are expected to rise by 63%, reaching a total of 5.3 million sq. ft. by 2025.
#2: British Columbia
- According to CBRE’s report on North American media Production, British Columbia holds the fourth-largest share of North America’s filming market. While this province has a large range of sound stages, mid-sized to large-sized sound stages are most common. The report also reveals that British Columbia has over 64 sound stages representing 1.2 million sq. ft.
- However, a report published by the Vancouver Public Library states that the province consists of over 120 sound stages covering 2.5 million sq. ft. Furthermore, an article published by The Hollywood Reporter indicates that there are 118 film studios with a total space of 2.45 million sq. ft.
- Therefore, it can be estimated that the number of sound stages in British Columbia range between 64 and 120.
- There are several projects for new studios and sound stages that are currently under development to meet the growing demand of the filming industry in the province. According to Creative B.C., there are over 37 sound stages that will go online in the next three years.
- According to Quebec Film Sourcebook 2021, Montreal has two primary stage suppliers — Mels and Grande Studios. Mels has 20 sound stages with space ranging between 1,200 sq. ft. to 36,000 sq. ft. while Grande Studios has 8 sound stages covering more than 80,000 sq. ft.
- Between the two suppliers, there are 20 purpose-built sound stages and 8 non-purpose-built sound stages.
- Calgary is the primary location for Alberta’s film production market, with Calgary Film Centre holding three purpose-built sound stages with 50,000 sq. ft. of space. According to CTV News, Calgary’s sound stage space increased from 50,000 sq. ft. to 500,000 sq. ft. in the first three months of 2021.
- Assuming the same ratio of proportion, the estimated number of sound stages in Calgary can be calculated as follows,
- Estimated number of sound stages = [(Final value / Initial value) x initial number of sound stages]
- Estimated number of sound stages = [(500,000 sq.ft. / 50,000 sq.ft.) x 3 sound stages] = 30 sound stages
- Manitoba Production Centre holds Winnipeg’s only sound stage that covers 15,000 sq. ft. of space. To match the growing demand for studio space, Big Sky Studios is currently working on adding three new sound stages in Manitoba.
- Saskatchewan has only three purpose-built sound stages managed by Canada Saskatchewan Production Studios which range from 7,000 sq. ft. to 15,000 sq. ft. in space. According to Creative Saskatchewan, these stages are some of the “largest and most comprehensive production facilities in Western Canada”.
- While several of Canada’s smaller provinces, including Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nunavut, have rising TV and film production sectors, they continue to have a stagnating number of sound stages.
Estimated number of sound stages in Canada
- Considering the provinces holding the larger shares of the film and TV production market in the country, the number of sound stages can be calculated as follows,
- There are 28 sound stages in Quebec.
- There are approximately 30 sound stages in Alberta.
- Manitoba and Saskatchewan have over four sound stages each.
- Therefore, the total number of sound stages in Canada can range between
- The estimated number of sound stages in Canada, thus, ranges between 184 and 322.
Number of Production Companies in Canada
- According to the Location Guide, there are 273 film, TV, and commercial production companies in Canada. The breakdown by province is as follows,
- There are about 96 production companies based in Ontario.
- There are 53 production companies based in British Columbia.
- There are 50 production companies in Quebec.
- Manitoba has 14 production companies.
- There are 12 production companies located in the country’s Northwest Territories.
- There are 7 production companies in Nova Scotia.
- There are 3 production companies in Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Nunavut and Prince Edward Island have one production company each.
For this research on the number of sound stages and production companies in Canada, we leveraged the most reputable sources of information available in the public domain, including industry-specific reports published by companies such as Deloitte, FilmLA, and Nordicity; reports from media outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter and Toronto Star; province-based industry organizations such as Quebec Film and Television Council; and various online directories such as The Manifest. After an exhaustive search through these channels, we found no definite figure for the number of sound stages and production companies. We then began individually researching each of the 13 provinces of Canada and via The Location Guide, we were able to obtain the total number of production companies in Canada. In our search, we found conflicting figures for the number of sound stages in Ontario and British Columbia, and this resulted in triangulating the final total as a range with a low estimate and a high estimate. Of the 13 provinces, we found reliable figures for Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. There was no distinct data on the number of sound stages available for the smaller provinces of Canada.