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Deadpool highlights the comeback of Hollywood North

(File Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Deadpool is new in theatres this weekend and while filming may have inconvenienced drivers, it did provide a big boost to the local economy.

Major thoroughfares were blocked by production crews for the Hollywood blockbuster, starring local actor Ryan Reynolds.

Twentieth Century Fox injected more than $40 million into the BC economy, hired more than 2,000 local cast members, crew, and extras who earned over $19 million in wages.

Deadpool is just one example of a big-budget movie or TV show being shot here and the low Canadian loonie isn’t the only thing making BC so attractive as it gains steam as Hollywood North.

Our proximity to Los Angeles, competitive tax credits, natural beauty and the fact Vancouver has the largest cluster in the world when it comes to visual effects and animation studios are all reasons why filmmakers and producers keep coming back.

Prem Gill, CEO of Creative BC, says all this has a trickledown effect. “There are the caterers, the restaurants, hairdressers and there are a lot of young people working in these visual effects and animation studios. Certainly, the people who are employed in these industries are active and out there working away.”

She estimates there are between 25,000 to 30,000 people working in TV and film locally.

“We all know this is a great place to live. The attractiveness of the type of work that people are doing, the diversity of the work that ranges from large feature films to local animation — there is such a cross-section of the opportunities of the type of work people can do here.”

“We have an industry that is over 30 years old. Infrastructure is really important and we have studios, we have post-production facilities, we have crews and talent who live in the jurisdiction — so that is a big appeal too.”

There are over 40 projects being filmed here right now. Last year the industry brought in roughly $2 billion.