Community Collaboration

Mountain View Regional Film Office Rural Community Collaboration- “Make it Reel Big”

Submitted ByTown of Didsbury on behalf of Mountain View Regional Film Office

The Mountain View Regional Film Office (MVRFO) is a collaborative partnership between Mountain View County, Town of Sundre and Town of Didsbury. It. This inter-municipal collaboration is the first rural Alberta film office of its kind, adding to economic diversification and increase of economic capacity. Our communities are complementing each other in form of film settings: unique natural settings; mountains to prairies; unique buildings and facilities, street – and landscapes, towns easily transform into Western, 80ties, many other decades. The partnership developed a brand, a website with an image library and various videos

MVRFO, led by the three Economic Development Officers provides a customized concierge to the film industry. It’s a one-stop-shop to help i.e. scouts with their initial research for filming locations and local resources, services and talent. It is also a tool for local companies that provide value added services. The initiative also acts as a Foreign Direct Investment mechanism to attract tech firms that serve the film industry; plus attract production companies and talent from all over the world. Growing our film and tech industry is a critical step to establish ourselves on the international stage.

Our website is translated into 5 languages (Punjabi, French, Spanish, German and Korean) to help interested parties from other countries to navigate through the process to work here, take advantage of the Canada and Alberta film incentives and programs, or to relocate The languages and target countries have been chosen according to the collaboration agreements that are in place between Canada, Alberta and other Countries.

Benefits include:

  • Increased awareness about the region, leading to more productions and economic diversification, tourism and notoriety
  • Budgets for production, set design, and post-production being spent locally
  • Locally sourced resources help to reduce productions’ carbon footprints
  • Increase in talent attraction for crew development, and business investment attraction in the area of media technology industries
  • Established partnerships with film industry organizations, Alberta Film Office; Keep Alberta Rolling; post secondary institutions such as Red Deer Polytechnic, Olds College and SAIT. By collaborating with post-secondary, we are able to provide a trained workforce to the filming industry. Also provides an opportunity for their students and graduates
  • Partners share operations and promotional cost; workload to streamline film development permits, fees, guidelines and governance, and navigating inquiries
  • Caters to business retention & expansion; business, investment, residents attraction.

As a Result of our MVRFO collaborative, the media exposure & interest spiked and assisted with the dramatic increase of:

  • traffic to website, leads for film production, tourism activity
  • social media – LinkedIn followers: 0 to 149 within 2 months
  • Didsbury museum visits up ~ 400. 2023 will be record year
  • Businesses revenue & visitation & social media: 15-20%
  • Inquiries to our economic development offices combined: ~ 80%
  • MVRFO hosted 4 productions: Fargo Season 5, Project Six Shooter, The Order and a commercial production
  • MVRFO launch event hosted over 50 attendees from film industry across Alberta
  • Inquiries by tech firms based in India, Europe & across Canada: over 100
  • MVRFO hosting and tour 40 investors from India
  • MFRFO is presenting at Alberta Municipal convention, share experience to help communities to understand impact of film industry from a resource & community perspective.

Challenges included a short turnaround time for the federal grant reporting getting website components to work, plus capturing most seasons for our video and image library. An unexpected, overwhelming media interest and had to think on our feet to positioning and communicate purpose of MVRFO. Together, partners navigated through this perfect storm.