A major announcement was made in Niverville Thursday morning that will see the construction of a state-of-the-art film and television studio village. The studio village will go up at the corner of Wallace Road and Provincial Road 311.
The Manitoba government is hailing a $30-million private sector investment that will create 300 new jobs over the next three years, and bolster both the regional economy and the province's burgeoning film and production industry. The announcement was made by Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Obby Khan and Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Doyle Piwniuk.
Volume Global and Julijette Inc. have announced the development of Jette Studios, a state-of-the-art, full-service film and television studio village in Niverville that leverages the latest technology and includes 18,581 square feet of studio space. As construction is completed in two phases starting this summer, Khan says the facility will be instrumental in supporting the 1,500 Manitobans who make up the province's film labour force into the future.
"This is proof positive that Manitoba is open for business and our government is taking action to build stronger communities and create new economic opportunities," says Khan. "Manitoba's film industry is thriving with 88 projects in the last year generating $365 million. Whether it's the Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit, our new direct flights between Winnipeg and Los Angeles, or infrastructure improvements that propel growth, we are taking concrete steps to support Manitoba jobs and grow the economy."
Piwniuk says the Manitoba government has also committed to $40.6 million worth of infrastructure investments in and around Niverville in its five-year Multi-year Infrastructure Investment Strategy to support one of the fastest-growing areas of the province.
"Our government has committed to working with the Town of Niverville on strategic infrastructure projects to further enhance and attract economic growth in the area," he says.
According to the province, the Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit is one of the most competitive in North America. Since being introduced in 2017, it has become an incentive for attracting production to the province. Last year, 122 projects benefited from the tax credit that supported $525 million in production over a 30-month period. As a result of Jette Studios being located outside Winnipeg, productions will receive an additional five per cent rural tax credit.
Piwniuk says the Manitoba government has also recently provided $4.8 million to help the Winnipeg Airport Authority improve direct flight connectivity from Winnipeg to international destinations such as offering three flights per week to Los Angeles.
"This government has created an environment that encourages partnerships that lead to significant private investment and economic opportunities benefiting the local economy, the region and the province," says Piwniuk. "This project leverages natural advantages - proximity to the U.S. border and to an international airport in Winnipeg - with targeted investments in our infrastructure network, our talented labour force, tax credits and connectivity to Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of North America."
Juliette Hagopian is founder of Julijette Inc. She says setting up in Manitoba offers several benefits, including the best tax incentives, direct flights between Los Angeles and Winnipeg and being located in one of the fastest growing communities in Canada.
Volume Global, a pioneer in rapidly deploying portable pop-up soundstage and state-of-the-art LED volumes, will provide the phase one studio structure, a 20k sf air-supported production soundstage, as well as training, consultation and Virtual Production supervision for the studio's LED walls.
According to Michael Hamilton-Wright, Co-CEO of Volume Global, their pop-up soundstage technology allows them to start producing content quickly and efficiently, generating income for the studio and accelerating expansion for the community.
The new studio will cater to smaller and bigger-budget movies, TV series, corporate presentations, commercials, animation and gaming. The state-of-the-art facility is expected to attract a diverse range of productions, including those from major studios like Netflix, Amazon and Disney, which are often in need of long-term studio rentals.
"Manitoba currently does not have a purpose-built clear span facility that caters to productions with larger practical builds, as well as access to a modular LED Volume for virtual production," says Christopher Harrington, Co-CEO of Volume Global. "Today, it's not just about having a fancy and big LED TV screen, it's about having the experienced virtual production team and technology to give filmmakers the creative freedom they've never had before."
The studio's growth plan includes additional buildings to house production offices for all department heads, a carpenter mill, online post-production facility including VFX, picture and sound editing bays, as well as a state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos 50-seat finishing theatre.