The Ottawa Film Office (OFO), a pivotal force in growing and supporting Ottawa’s film industry, announces a fundamental project to establish a purpose-built soundstage facility, marking a significant leap in Ottawa’s prominence within the global film and television production landscape. The OFO is a not-for-profit organization, fully funded by the City of Ottawa.
The OFO has been a key player in enhancing Ottawa’s cultural significance globally, acting as a liaison between filmmakers and the local community. The introduction of the Request for Expression of Interest (RFEOI), prepared by local consulting agency GBA, for the purpose-built soundstage aligns with the OFO’s vision to position Ottawa as a recognized, full-service production destination. The soundstage initiative aims to cater to the evolving demands of the streaming industry, fostering economic growth and employment opportunities in the region.
Interested parties have until April 5, 2024, to make their submission on Merx, including feedback on the project, organizational and project experience, financial investment expectations, and a suggested financing strategy. The RFEOI process is not considered a Request for Proposals (RFP), but a platform to solicit valuable feedback and identify potential partners.
“Ottawa’s film industry is growing, contributing $120 million annually. Despite global challenges in 2023, the city successfully completed over 40 productions, and we predict 2024 would be a record year,” said Ottawa Film Commissioner Sandrine Pechels de Saint Sardos.
As a G7 capital and the National Capital of Canada, strategically positioned between Montreal and Toronto, Ottawa is emerging as an ideal locale for film production, offering unparalleled advantages. A short flight from New York City, Ottawa not only boasts a rich cultural tapestry but is also a cost-effective destination fueled by generous film production tax incentives. Within the province of Ontario, filmmakers benefit from a comprehensive set of fully refundable tax credits, harmonized with Federal Tax Credits, including a 21.5% credit for foreign productions. For eligible Ontario productions, a 35% credit is extended, with an additional 10% bonus for filming in Ottawa. First-time producers find added support with an increased credit rate of 40% on the initial $240,000 of qualifying labor expenses. Moreover, Ottawa’ s commitment to fostering animated productions shines through, as animation projects that generate at least 85% of key animation outside the GTA in Ontario also qualify for the valuable regional bonus.
“The Ottawa Film Office envisions a purpose-built facility, spanning 60,000 to 80,000 square feet, housing three 20,000 square feet soundstages—a testament to our commitment to creating a full-service production haven for the film and television industry in Ottawa,” commented Jeff Westeinde, Partner at THEIA Partners and Chair of the OFO’s Soundstage Subcommittee. “These purpose-driven soundstages set an industry standard, providing a controlled environment for 24-hour uninterrupted creativity amidst seasonal changes. Tailored to Ottawa’s skilled workforce, this state-of-the-art facility not only meets industry demands but also unlocks opportunities for workforce capacity and regional development.”
Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe stated, “This purpose-built soundstage will be more than just a space, it has to potential to become a real production hub offering turn-key solutions that will meet the demands of the film, television, animation and streaming industry, right here in Ottawa. It’s very exciting for the industry, and for Ottawa, becoming a choice location for filmmakers.”


About the Ottawa Film Office (OFO)
The Ottawa Film Office is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help stimulate Ottawa’s economy by attracting film and television production to the region, fostering the growth and development of the local film and television industry, and promoting the region as a preferred industry destination. Its services include location support, production attraction and development, and industry and government liaison and advocacy.

For more information, please contact:
OFO Soundstage RFEOI: Katie Pendergast, GBA | Email: [email protected]
Press Contact: Sabrina Propper | R Propper Public Relations | Email: [email protected] | Cell: 818.515.5798

Additional details

Opportunity and Industry Growth

The global shift towards digital platforms has reshaped the entertainment industry, creating opportunities and challenges. The recent introduction of Bill C-11 by the Canadian federal government is expected to further boost the film industry nationwide, attracting more filmmakers and generating employment opportunities. Despite industry-wide challenges in 2023, Ottawa’s film sector thrived, contributing an average of $120 million annually to the city’s economy.

The Soundstage Vision

The OFO envisions a purpose-built facility with approximately three 20,000 square feet soundstages, totaling 60,000 to 80,000 square feet. This state-of-the-art facility aims to offer a turn-key solution for high-quality film and television production in Ottawa, utilizing purpose- driven soundstages that provide a controlled environment for uninterrupted production.

Categories of Interest and Invitation for RFEOI Submissions

The OFO invites submissions from developers and operators with expertise in project management and the film, television, or animation industry. Developers are sought for their skills in planning, managing, and executing projects, while operators with experience in specialized equipment and production coordination are encouraged to contribute to the project’s success.

Location and Economic Impact

Approximately 22 acres of land have been leased from the National Capital Commission (NCC), strategically located 20 minutes from the Ottawa International Airport and downtown Ottawa.

The OFO anticipates the soundstage initiative to further contribute to Ottawa’s economic growth and attractiveness as a cost-effective destination for film production.

Market and Financial Analysis

The project’s financial structure was approved by the City of Ottawa in 2019, with a focus on securing funding for successful project execution. The OFO acknowledges potential impacts due to unforeseen events such as the Covid-19 pandemic and invites feedback on different construction methodologies and financing options.