News / Calgary

Ten seasons of Heartland generate about half a billion for Canada

The Canadian Media Producers Association released a new report on Heartland's economic impact

The study honed in specifically on the economic impacts of season 9.

Courtesy CBC

The study honed in specifically on the economic impacts of season 9.

Canada’s longest running one-hour drama, Heartland, generated almost half-a-billion dollars in economic output over its first 10 seasons.

The show just premiered its season 11 last month.

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), which regularly analyzes Canadian media projects, decided to do a case study on Heartland’s impact.

“Media production activity in Toronto and Vancouver often gets a lot of attention, but producers are creating strong Canadian content right across the country,” explained Andrew Addison, communications VP at CMPA.

“There are some very impressive projects coming out of Alberta, and we wanted to highlight that fact.”

The CMPA regularly acts as an advocacy group of Canadian media as well. The economic analysis for the study was carried out by MNP LLP.

They found that Heartland has generated $469 million in economic output, creating more than 4,500 full-time jobs in Alberta over 10 seasons (that’s 175 episodes).

The study specifically honed in on season nine, which benefited 1,741 total businesses. 1,400 of those were from communities across Alberta, with Calgary and High River benefiting the most.

“These include everything from local restaurants, hotels, and car rental companies to more specialized businesses that provide specific production services,” Addison said.

Tourism has also been boosted – a company called Anchor D Guiding takes fans on a tour of filming locations. The Museum of Highwood, which sells Heartland merchandise, now sees about 2,000 visitors annually.

Of course, the show also benefits from Canadian Film and Video Production Tax Credits from the government. For each dollar received, the show averages about $15.70 in economic output and $11.70 in GDP.

The economic impact estimate was generated by gathering production-related expenditure data from SEVEN24 Films (who produce Heartland), then excluding out-of-province expenditures and applying retail margins to relevant expenditures and finally estimating federal, provincial and municipal tax revenue impacts based on calculations of corporate income taxes, personal income taxes and sales taxes.

“I’m tremendously proud that our show has helped foster a vibrant and sustainable production industry in Alberta,” said Tom Cox, managing director of SEVEN24 Films. “The infrastructure we’ve developed here wouldn’t be possible without the support of our provincial and federal governments and their belief in the cultural and economic potential of Canadian content.”

Addison said the big take-away from the report is that strong Canadian content contributes to our national culture, creates jobs and drives economic growth.

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