Nova Scotia in Canada has a wealth of scenic locations and architecture, making it a great place for film shoots
With scenic beauty and generous incentives, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia is a place where stories come to life. Located on Canada’s Atlantic coast, Nova Scotia offers diverse and spectacular locations. Whether your project requires urban sophistication, small-town ambience, or miles of unspoilt coastline, Nova Scotia has it all. The province also offers spectacular North American historic sites, restored and maintained to world-class standards.
Nova Scotia is one of the largest production centres in Canada compared to the more popularly known destinations like Toronto, Montreal and British Columbia, and has a proven track record for delivering excellence to filmmakers, both in terms of production values and quality, and all at a very competitive price.
It is one of Canada’s three Maritime Provinces and is the second-smallest province of Canada. It has one of one of the fastest economies in Canada which is largely based on the local fishing industry. Peggy’s Cove, a small rural community; Halifax, the provincial capital; and Lunenburg, a port town, are one of the best destinations in North America.
Halifax, Nova Scotia’s capital city, has it all, from a great skyline at night to historic properties. Sambro Island Lighthouse, the Maritime Museum and Argyle Street are some of the many attractions of the Halifax metropolitan area. This picturesque destination is green and provides landscapes which have been preserved for years. The colourful locations appear dazzling on screen. To bring in more revenue, the film commission of the province provides invincible incentives to co-productions.
Nova Scotia’s climate is largely defined by the sea, which almost entirely surrounds the province. Coastal locations tend to be several degrees cooler than inland locations due to the cooling effect of the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Fundy. A breakdown of the seasons in Nova Scotia is as follows:
Spring: Very green with trees and plants in bloom and mild daily temperatures in the 10 to 15 degrees Celsius range
Summer: The warmest season of the year with average daily temperatures in the 20 to 25 degrees Celsius range
Fall: Very colourful, with leaves changing from green to a medley of vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. Cooler temperatures averaging in the 10 to 15 degrees Celsius range in October and early November and the 0 to 10 degrees Celsius range in late November and December
Winter: This is the coldest season of the year with average temperatures ranging from -1 to -15 degrees Celsius. Snow is typically present during this time.
Nova Scotia Film Industry Tax Credit
Last year, the Nova Scotia government introduced the Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund (NSFPIF), which is based on an all-spend model and is payable to producers for eligible Nova Scotia costs. This new program enables producers to receive incentive funding of 25 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of 32 per cent of all spending in Nova Scotia, including labour, goods and services.
This program is a fully refundable corporate income tax credit. It is a labour-based credit that encourages the development, training and hiring of Nova Scotia film personnel in all disciplines. Film Nova Scotia administers this program on behalf of the Nova Scotia Department of Finance.
The Tax Credit is available to qualifying productions and co-productions produced and/or shot in Nova Scotia. Production companies applying for the Tax Credit must have a permanent establishment in Nova Scotia (a fixed place of business, a production office, a branch) and must be incorporated under the laws of Nova Scotia, another province of Canada or Canada. There is no limit to the size of the production budget, no corporate or asset cap, and no Canadian content or copyright ownership requirements associated with this Tax Credit.
There are two categories based on percentage of ownership. Following are the guidelines for eligibility and incentives before submitting your application:
Stream I: Indigenous/Co-Production:
Between 50 and 100 per cent Nova Scotian ownership and control of production
A minimum of eight Nova Scotians must be employed in Head of Department positions or acceptable combination
Receive a base amount of 26 per cent of all eligible Nova Scotia costs
For shoots where greater than 51 per cent of the principal photography is outside the boundaries of Halifax Regional Municipality, 2 per cent additional funding
For shoots of more than 30 days, 1 per cent additional funding.
Stream II: Foreign/Service Productions:
50 per cent or less Nova Scotian ownership or control of production
A minimum of four Nova Scotians must be employed in Head of Department positions or acceptable combination
Receive a base amount of 25 per cent of all eligible Nova Scotia Costs
For shoots where greater than 51 per cent of the principal photography is outside the boundaries of Halifax Regional Municipality, you can receive 2 per cent additional funding
For shoots of more than 30 days, you will receive 1 per cent additional funding
For both streams, you can receive up to 3 per cent additional funding if your production meets the criteria for the Nova Scotia Content Incentive.