A Toronto film studio has won the right to negotiate a contract for a new facility in Ottawa, a step economic development officials hope will lead to the local industry quadrupling in size.
Cinespace is the preferred choice of the city’s lead economic development organization, Invest Ottawa, to build the new studio. The studio says it operates more than one million square feet of studio, office and support space and has previously worked on movies such as Good Will Hunting and Chicago.
The city has agreed to contribute $1.5 million in the project, which Invest Ottawa president and CEO Bruce Lazenby hopes will be enough incentive to kick-start interest in filming in Ottawa.
“There isn’t a sound studio in Ottawa today and that’s for a reason,” said Mr. Lazenby. “This market isn’t yet big enough for somebody to come in and make that investment entirely on their own.”
He hopes the “seed funding” from the city will grow what is currently a $50 million industry locally to a $200 million business.
Mr. Lazenby didn’t know how much the total cost of the studio would be, but said the public money would only cover a fraction of the total cost.
He wants a contract to be concluded in the early part of 2013, with construction at the location that has not yet been determined starting shortly after. In Mr. Lazenby’s “fondest dreams,” they would start filming before the end of next year.