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  • Economic Development & Hollywood north

    The Edm Journal has a front page story on Economic Development taking over the control of the government's grant program.

    Alberta wants bigger piece of Hollywood North


    In April, the province's Economic Development department, which already markets Alberta as a film location, will also assume control of the government's movie-grant program, the $13.5-million Alberta Film Development Fund.

    Industry boosters have lobbied for years for the department to take over the program from Community Development, which focuses more on non-profit arts funding. It's a signal, they say, that the government plans to get more aggressive.
    I think this is a great opportunity for Edmonton. BUT there should be some lobbying to promote movies that are more than just westerns shot in Alberta - made to look like Montana or the Dakotas.

    I just got back from California - I found that only a few people really knew about Edmonton or what it had to offer (besides hockey). Mayor Mandel has said many times that we need to brand more things with "Edmonton." (Capital Ex isn't quite that btw).

    Is this an opportunity for Edmonton to attract another major motion picture ? Can Edmonton be promoted as something other another no-name location to shoot westerns ?

    wondering,
    Steve

  • #2
    Re: Economic Development & Hollywood north

    Originally posted by SteveF

    I think this is a great opportunity for Edmonton. BUT there should be some lobbying to promote movies that are more than just westerns shot in Alberta - made to look like Montana or the Dakotas.

    I just got back from California - I found that only a few people really knew about Edmonton or what it had to offer (besides hockey). Mayor Mandel has said many times that we need to brand more things with "Edmonton." (Capital Ex isn't quite that btw).

    Is this an opportunity for Edmonton to attract another major motion picture ? Can Edmonton be promoted as something other another no-name location to shoot westerns ?

    wondering,
    Steve
    This is a major bone of mine to pick. I am so tired of Travel Alberta and others constantly portraying Alberta in the cowboy stereotype. The recent trip/promotion by Travel Alberta to hire cowboy "actors" in New York to take advantage of the Brokeback Mountain buzz once again enforces the Alberta = cowboys and nothing else garbage.

    Sure, we have a western heritage, but not the Stampede version. We have immigrants from the Ukraine, Germany, Norway, England, and others that helped pioneer this area, and not a Stetson in sight. We need to respect and even promote the cowboy bit, but WHY OH WHY is it ALWAYS the rancher's bit??? When I lived in the US, I saw the odd Travel Alberta commercial, and it was mainly this sequence: Calgary, Stampede, horses and cowboys, mountains, Calgary, Calgary, Stampede again, shot of WEM waterslides, Calgary, Bow River, Calgary....you get the idea. No Edmonton, no Red Deer, no shots of the mine tours, no shots of the high tech sector, rarely Jasper, no Fringe, no K-Days events....

    Yes, we get good money from these films and from the Stampede in Calgary (we=Alberta), but these are so not the only games in town. Travel Alberta needs to get off it's high horse in Calgary and see there is a whole province that needs promoting, not just one festival, one way of life, and the mountains. We need more films province wide that are not cowboys or agrarian.

    I am not saying this because I dislike the rural life - to the contrary - I was raised in rural Alberta and I have fond memories. However, I have grown enough to see that there is so much more than the agrarian lifestyle here. We have the plethora of festivals, an emerging BioTech sector, the NNIT, resurgence in design, great theatre, and a multi-cultural identity that many cities would envy. ...and if the Grand Prix is absorbed into the Capital Ex, we could have a combined attendance that far supersedes the Stampede and offers much more than a rodeo.

    Alberta is more than a hayseed cowboy. Can't we start expanding our horizons already?
    President and CEO - Airshow.

    Comment


    • #3
      A little over 8 years ago when the movie 'The Edge' (Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin) came to Alberta to film I was told by the crew that this would be one of the last major motion pictures to be filmed in this province for some time. Alberta Economic Development was in the process of divesting itself of the Alberta Film Comission as it was then known. It's no surprise that the province has come full circle on this and the department will play a major role in attracting film investments here again. I have to agree that the image currently associated with this province is backward and unsophisticated. Let's hope that our tax dollars will go to not only bring more file work to Alberta but to promote this province as a diverse, exciting and fun place to be. Alberta may be enjoying an ecomomic boom because of the oil industry but we are so much more than that and are more economically diverse that ever.

      Comment


      • #4
        Amen, and welcome Greg!
        President and CEO - Airshow.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Economic Development & Hollywood north

          wondering,
          Steve[/quote]

          This is a major bone of mine to pick. I am so tired of Travel Alberta and others constantly portraying Alberta in the cowboy stereotype. The recent trip/promotion by Travel Alberta to hire cowboy "actors" in New York to take advantage of the Brokeback Mountain buzz once again enforces the Alberta = cowboys and nothing else garbage.
          [/quote]

          Funny part is - Calgarians are unhappy with Travel Alberta for promoting the mountains too much...

          I agree with Steve - but for different reasons.
          The "Country" experience does not show as a very good "call to action" with people choosing their travel destinations (or at least nowhere near wanting to visit the Rockies or even shopping...) but Travel Alberta consistenly pick the Cowboy theme in their international advertising.

          Bottom line is: outside of Stampede week - Calgary does not get much tourism share - not even for one overnight stay - as foreign travellers jump in their rental car at the Bannf International Airport (AKA Calgary Airport) and cruise to the mountains without a second look in their rear view mirrors - (Kind of makes Calgary a "one-trick pony doesn't it?)

          Where is Travel Alberta's head office by the way?
          Don't ever take investment advice from someone who is still working for a living!

          Comment


          • #6
            Quote:
            In April, the province's Economic Development department, which already markets Alberta as a film location, will also assume control of the government's movie-grant program, the $13.5-million Alberta Film Development Fund.

            Question is... if every Canadian Province and US State tries to "buy" movie productions... who really wins?

            If we were to invest this kind of budget into - let's say - an emerging industry that shows continued growth - and maybe pick an industry that has eclipsed the Movie industry over the last few years... wouldn't it make more sense - and Lord forebid maybe even a bit visionary?

            Just think - Invest this money into the Video Gaming Industry and become a world leader... Isn't that what it really should be all about?

            We have a very good pool of talented and educated resources and the environment is very positive and shows continuous growth. Bioware is now a major player worldwide - and they did it alone! I don't see ANY related movie businesses that can make the same claim anywhere in Alberta...

            Would it be that tough to put together a program that promotes and supports the development of the Video Gaming Industry - trains people and offer start-up grants - instead of playing exactly the same "game" as every other destination in the quest of attracting Movies?

            Let's also not forget that this entire "renegade movie productions" scheme is at the whim of any US legislation that could prohibit (or at least put on huge disincentives to) this whole industry. Our "investment" would be gone forever with nothing left to show for: not sound risk management if you ask me....
            Don't ever take investment advice from someone who is still working for a living!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Economic Development & Hollywood north

              Originally posted by Funk E-Town
              Where is Travel Alberta's head office by the way?
              Calgary

              Your post echos a lot of what I hear Calgarians say. They too are tired of the cowboy schtick over and over and over....and they are tired of only the one big festival.

              I've never heard it called the Banff International Airport before. Too funny.

              Their international booking office is in Banff...

              From CONTACT US...


              Janice Fraser Belsher, Sales Development Director
              Meetings, Conventions and Incentive Travel
              Travel Alberta International
              P.O. Box 1745
              Banff, AB T0L 0C0
              Phone: 403.760.4404
              Fax: 403.762.1054
              E-mail: [email protected]
              President and CEO - Airshow.

              Comment

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