Survey Results

Saskatchewan Media Industry Survey – What Comes Next for You? – June 2012

Full PDF document of entire survey available for download here.


Who answered the survey?

  • 198 surveys completed
  • 54% self-identify as working in film primarily, 29% in TV, 5% in digital media and 12% work in some combination of the three
  • 21% of respondents include producer or owner as part of their job title, 6% are students or recent graduates from a media program and the remainder are cast & crew
  • 95% chose to share how they voted in the last provincial election – 26% voted for the Saskatchewan Party & Brad Wall (when you look at just producers & owners this climbed to 41%)

 What are people planning or expecting to do over the next 2 years?

  • 45% are done and plan to leave the province entirely
  • 10% are leaving but plan to keep some kind of (smaller) presence in the province
  • 47% of producers/owners anticipate leaving or reducing presence
  • 7% just don’t know yet
  • 38% are going to try and stay

Of those who are planning to leave…

  • 50% are planning to leave in the next 6 months, 25% in 7 months to a year from now, and 25% in a year
  • 72% are planning to sell their homes
  • 29% are looking at BC as an alternative location, 24% at Ontario, 14% at Manitoba, 12% at Alberta and 9% at the United States
  • 57% people who gave a reason for leaving mention lack of continued work or opportunity in the industry in Saskatchewan (and needing to go where the work is to earn a living), 28% include the cut to the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit as their primary reason, and 16% mention the Saskatchewan Party, provincial government or Brad Wall or some variation of a desire “to be respected for the work I do by government.”

Of those who are planning to stay…

  • 85% of those anticipate a career change or significant change to their current business model
  • 63% anticipate having to downsize their companies, 59% expect they will have to do more corporate work
  • The rest are guessing a career change is on the horizon
  • 70% are staying because of some variation on “Home, family and everything I love is here”
Details of the questions asked and a compilation of the answers given are included in the Questions & Answers section of the full PDF document.

A Sampling of Stories

The following are a sampling of the personal thoughts and stories generously shared by the people who answered this survey. A full compilation of these can be found in the Stories & Final Thoughts section at the end of the full PDF document.
“We purchased a home here, made new friends, enrolled my son in preschool.  The sadness that we will not be able to continue here to work with people who are, in fact the hardworking pioneers of film on the prairie- including many of whom I have known personally since childhood, is particularly painful. I wish all that remain the very best in their endeavours, and hope that there will be a change which all members of the local film and television industry may benefit by- that is, of course, assuming any are left here, in this,  my dear birthplace of Saskatchewan.”
“I was so proud of Saskatchewan and the booming in the film industry few years ago.  Feel so sorry that Hollywood North is just a big souvenir like the gold rush.”
“Because of the SFETC and the Canada-Saskatchewan Soundstage, I’ve been able to remain in the province I love, in the community I love, with the family and friends that I love, as well as work with Academy (and Golden Globe, AFI, Sundance, BAFTA, Golden Bear, Palm d’ Or, Gemini and Genie) Award winning actors and technicians from all over the world. When professionals from Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin, Toronto, Vancouver, Rome, London, and New York recognize and compliment my skills and encourage me to seek things “bigger and better” than our Saskatchewan industry, I feel a tremendous sense of pride. Some of that pride is for my own efforts, but just as much pride is for those I work with and the province I love. I am proud of being able to say “Thanks, but I’m fine right here in Saskatchewan – I don’t need to move”. I have worked in 7 Canadian provinces and 24 countries around the world – and from this perspective – I really don’t feel there are things “bigger and better” than living and working here in Saskatchewan. Just like its’ people, this province is amazing and beautiful. And this is my home.  So, that’s my story. I’m telling it not because it’s special or unique. I tell this to you because my story isn’t special and I’m not unique at all within the Saskatchewan film industry. I am intelligent, educated, talented, hard-working, resourceful, determined, and loyal. And so are the 300+ other local (tax paying) film & media technicians whom I’m thankful to know and work with. And so are the (tax paying) people in the 1000+ jobs servicing the industry. And so are the hundreds of (tax paying) business owners that gain significant business income (and pay business tax) from film production investment. Eliminating the SFETC is a decision that I do not understand. Because as working families in Saskatchewan, WE ARE the ‘Saskatchewan Advantage’. Just like oil, potash, forests, crops, uranium, and diamonds – WE THE PEOPLE are valuable. And by canceling this program, you will be throwing away these precious resources.”
“To me this is about family and friends, my support system and without them I have nothing. I don’t want to leave behind what I love so much.”
“This was my home, my kids have grown up seeing the film industry regularly because I worked in it. Which developed into their own dreams of being actors. To accomplish their dreams they CANNOT do it in Saskatchewan anymore.”
“I was born and raised in Saskatoon. I left for college and was told that once I got out there in the world I would never come back. Well, after college I did come back. I was told I was crazy, but I came back home to Saskatchewan to start my career in film and television anyway. Fourteen years later, along with thirteen Gemini nominations resulting in 5 wins, 7 Golden Sheafs, 5 LA Web Fest wins, and a Kidscreen Award – all for shows that I was a part of making – and here I am packing my belongings and planning a move to Toronto to attend the Canadian Film Centre. I would be going to Toronto to attend the CFC whether or not the SFETC was cancelled, however now I am left wondering will there be a film industry in Saskatchewan for me to come home to? Will there be something to bring my new found experiences, contacts and skills back to? Will I be able to justify coming back home ever again?”
“The arts enhance critical thinking.  Education provides a voice.  It is good for the Sask Party if neither exist.”
“With heavy hearts I move my wife and two kids from a place we thought we’d be achieving our dreams for the rest of our lives.  As the saying goes, if you wanna sell hats, you gotta go where the heads are.  In our case, those heads are in Vancouver. This is still the most ridiculous, ill-sighted, completely insane decision our gov’t has ever made with regard to arts and culture. At least my kids are excited to get outta here and go to place where their daddy can follow his dreams.  I’m scared as hell…  And I sold my house which just celebrated its 100 year anniversary.  Sad… So very sad…”
“I planned on growing old in this province and likewise raising my children here, near their cousins and extended family.  That dream has been shattered.  My 93 year old Grandmother, who currently sees my children every week to two weeks and hears from me a few times a week, will likely only see my kids a couple more times in her entire lives because of the elimination of the tax credit.”
“I have lived and worked hard in Saskatchewan most of my life and I am sad to say that this is the first time in my life I am ashamed to be a Saskatchewan resident. My Saskatchewan government stood up in front of their people and blatantly lied about The Refundable Tax Credit and accused the Film industry of being trouble makers. I have been a hard working tax payer and created a small money making business that supported a family of 4 for the last 22 years and now with one incredible stupid slash I have been put out of business.”
“I voted for the Sask Party. I believed in them because I have a business degree and I am pro-business; the film industry IS a HUGE and viable business. I didn’t think the SK Party would kill a BUSINESS industry, but they did. I’m unimpressed they cut $8M in the budget, and yet they give boatloads more to industries MUCH larger than what the film industry is. Really? $8M is going to be THAT much of a savings, yet it pissed of investors and gave the WORLD the message we’re anti-film. It’s bullshit what the SK Party has done. I CANNOT stand the NDP, but next election I will NOT vote SK Party… If I have to vote NDP so THEY re-instate the tax credit, I will mark my “X” on the NDP slot even if the candidate is an idiot. Brad Wall and Hutchinson are bigger idiots for killing a 1:6 revenue generating industry.”
“I feel so betrayed by our government.  They want young people to stay in the province, especially young, educated people.  In two years I will have completed my degree in Film Production from the U of R, and I will most likely have to sell my condo and move away from the city that I’ve grown to love, and that I decided to make my home long after I finish university.  I will not get the income tax rebate promised to all university grads that stay in Saskatchewan even though I WANT to stay in Saskatchewan.  I don’t want to leave, but I have to.”
“After being awarded a century family award just a few short years ago for my family maintaining the same land for over a century I still can’t believe I am being forced out of the province by the government.”
“Making a film that was set here would also be an opportunity to integrate those very cultures into the telling of the story and showcasing our talent and province. Now however, it will be made by people out of province (maybe Winnipeg, maybe Edmonton or Calgary). Yes, I realize that Toronto passes for New York, and Vancouver passes for Seattle all the time, but now Edmonton will have to ‘stand-in’ for Saskatoon. Who would have thunk it?”


“Saskatchewan Media Industry Survey – What Comes Next for You?” was conducted by digital marketing strategist and researcher and SMPIA board member, Annelise Larson. This survey was conducted online using the Survey Monkey platform. Completely voluntary responses were collected from 198 people currently working in or studying film, television, and digital media in Saskatchewan between June 8 and 25, 2012. Invitations to participate were sent out via social media channels and through SMPIA email communications. The purpose was to provide a snapshot of the current plans of the industry to help with long term planning and to connect with those who are interested in continuing to track and tell their stories over the next two to three years. The information released to the public has had company names and other personally identifiable information removed.
You can download the full PDF document here.