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Council greenlights funding to attract film and TV production

Lethbridge was featured earlier this year in the HBO hit and Emmy-nominated The Last of Us, plus in an Amazing Race Canada episode last summer. Our city has previously hosted productions for and been seen in movies such as RV, Rollerball and Days of Heaven.

When the Hollywood LA next comes beckoning to our LA, the City of Lethbridge will be better positioned to help shout “lights, camera, action.”

Lethbridge City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously in favour of a request originally brought forward by Economic Development Lethbridge to help the community attract more film and television production to the community. The report presented and approved by Council, which can be viewed here, was agreed to by City Administration and EDL and includes operating budget allocations for both parties.

“This is exciting news for our community and I am thrilled at the possibilities it could bring to our city and region in the coming years,” says Mayor Blaine Hyggen. “We know Alberta has been a hub for film and TV production in recent years and this initiative will really help put Lethbridge on the map and help drive future economic growth.”

“This initiative will serve as a starting point for the formal coordination and proactive development of the creative industries sector in Lethbridge,” says Carly Kleisinger, Director of Community Services. “With a focus on film, television and digital content creation, we look forward to moving this forward with Economic Development Lethbridge.”

A City employee will be required to develop and coordinate the groundwork required and administer the permitting process efficiently and effectively. The external position with EDL would focus on external community relations, marketing and attracting the film industry to come to Lethbridge.

“There has been a lot happening in film and television production in Alberta over the last few years,” says Trevor Lewington, Chief Executive Officer for EDL. “This funding approved by City Council allows us to better position Lethbridge to attract more of that business and the resulting jobs to our community. Economic Development Lethbridge will be working with local creative industries including film, television, streaming, virtual reality and gaming to better understand the barriers to growth that these local businesses face and how we can help them grow.”

Opportunity Lethbridge and EDL will return to Council with annual reports, including updates on the term positions and work completed to date through their respective normal reporting processes. Both term investments would be reviewed and considered for continuation in a longer-term/more permanent capacity as part of the next Operating budget.

City Administration will continue to use a consultant report from Winged Whale Media as a guiding document for future work.

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