The province of Alberta will house Canada’s newest purpose-built studio in Calgary as it emerged that the government there is planning a 30,000 sq ft soundstage with a 40-foot clear span.

Speaking exclusively to Screen International, Alberta’s Minister Of Culture And Community Spirit the Honourable Lindsay Blackett said he hoped to make an announcement in the next 60 days.

Blackett said the province will work with a consortium of public and private investors to lease the land and build the structure. He said the group would likely lease another building for conversion to production usage. “We will have the land and the entities willing to put forward financing,” Blackett said.

Alberta is the only province that does not offer a tax credit to production companies. Rather, through the Alberta Film Incentive Program, it offers a 25% grant based on the Alberta spend. The fund is capped at C$20m. However, rather than wait until the end of the tax year, participating producers are refunded in cash two months after completion of production.

The province is known for its fiscally conservative politics thus its investment in a studio underscores the powerful business argument for a local film industry. Blackett estimated the province’s return on investment in film and television at between 6:1 and 10:1.

His ultimate ambition: “We would like to build a production community and industry that rivals BC and Ontario.”