More Manitobans working in film industry, census shows – Manitoba

The number of people working in Manitoba’s film industry is growing, according to numbers from the latest census.

Alan Freeman is a retired cultural economist who has been reviewing the data to determine the size of the creative industries in Canada and in the provinces.

“Well, we’re pretty excited, us in the arts statistics world — all three of us — because the census, the long-form census has just been processed so for the first time since 2006, you have real, large-sample data that tells you what people are doing and what industries are doing,” said Freeman.

He says Manitoba is posting strong numbers.

The latest data show it’s growing at a rate of about 4.3 per cent per year. Canada-wide, the average is about 5.7 per cent.

“Those provinces that have big urban centres, so B.C., Ontario, Quebec, always do better. If you look at the rest of the pack, then Manitoba is up on the top,” he said. “We have 2,700 people working in the industry — for whom the industry gives employment … If you go into the micro-detail of what the industry’s doing, it’s a real success story.”

Freeman cautions those are provisional figures, and final numbers will be released later this month.

Alan Freeman is a retired cultural economist based in Winnipeg who has been reviewing census data to determine the size of the creative industries in Canada and in the provinces. (CBC)

Meanwhile, the film industry just posted its best year in a decade for production volume, and Manitoba Film and Music, the government-funded agency that helps develop film and music in the province, predicts even larger numbers this year.

Ian Dimerman, the head of Manitoba-based Inferno Pictures, said filmmaking in Manitoba has historically slowed down in winter months but that’s no longer the case.

“Suddenly, there’s no lull,” he said. “The good news there is that having consistent work for these crews potentially attracts more people to the industry.”

He said production companies are…

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