Creative Industries & Culture: At A Glance

Alberta’s cultural industries contributed over $5 billion to Alberta’s GDP.

Alberta is home to video-game giants such as BioWare and Beamdog. And, more and more, it’s being featured on television and movie screens around the world, from the acclaimed film The Revenant, to the reboot of Ghostbusters. With a competitive Canadian dollar and crews ready to put scripts into action, the film business in Alberta is ready to embrace locally and globally driven productions. Major studio or indie project, there are so many unique locations from which to choose — urban or wilderness — with 16-hour summer days and more sunshine than any other province.

With major production centres, a variety of standing sets and provincial funding in the form of a Film and Television Tax Credit, it’s no wonder the film industry in Alberta is vibrant. The province reports that in the summer of 2021, the HBO series The Last of Us brought more than $200 million in economic activity.

Alberta is also home to famous galleries, great musicians and renowned authors. The vibrant cultures of our cities help this province attract and retain talent, and impress our visitors. Get ready, the show is about to begin.

in funding for live experience organizations in 2020-2021 to resume live events that aligned with COVID-19 public health guidelines

grants awarded by the Alberta Foundation of the Arts

Annual amount Alberta’s cultural industries contributed to the economy

Number of jobs created annually by the cultural industry in Alberta

Annual contribution from Alberta’s creative economy to the province’s labour income

Sources: Government of Alberta, Statistics Canada, Alberta Partners for Arts & Culture


Creative Force

HatChap Productions is going to need some shelf space — not only for camera equipment, but for trophies and plaques its projects are earning.

Founded by musician and filmmaker Nick Bohle, HatChap proves that a production company can thrive in Alberta. With a home base in Lethbridge, a city of just over 100,000, located 175 kilometres south of Calgary, it has recently produced the music video, “Human,” from Jodie B. — which in December 2021 won Best Video prize at the New York International Film Awards.

HatChap also collaborated on Erica J. Barr’s film, Monique’s on 4th, wowing audiences on the festival circuit and earning official selection honours at the Montreal International Film Festival, the London Indie Short Festival of 24 Frames and Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival. The short film tells the story of a drag queen who is swept away from the prairies by a tornado — Wizard of Oz style — to a colourful boutique. It’s part fantasy, part music video.

In fact, there is a real Monique’s En’4th Fashions located in Lethbridge.

A Quiet Oasis

Nikka Yuko Garden was built in Lethbridge on the centenary of Canadian Confederation as an emblem of multicultural unity commemorating the contributions made by citizens of Japanese ancestry to the community.

The garden integrates traditional Japanese design principles with the magnificent mountain and prairie scenery of southern Alberta, creating a landscape tailored to the authentic rhythms of local life.

Nikka Yuko (which means “Japan-Canada friendship”) merges the environment with traditional Japanese philosophy and symbols. From water features and manicured trees, to ancient rocks harvested from the nearby mountains and architectural elements handcrafted in Kyoto, each facet of the garden has been harmoniously mingled to create a tranquil oasis.

Whether participating in a traditional tea ceremony, enjoying festive lights on a winter night stroll, or viewing local art exhibits, visitors are certain to have a magical experience.

Living Culture

The Tsuu T’ina Culture Museum, located just beyond the City of Calgary’s western border, has been a centre for preserving and promoting the history of the Tsuu T’ina Nation, a Dene First Nation Band, since the institution first opened in 1983.

The new museum educates visitors about the Tsuu T’ina’s rich cultural history. Set within a magnificent mountain vista, the museum seeks to connect Indigenous youth with their heritage and introduce the public to the Tsuu T’ina’s nuanced past.

The Nation-owned gift shop showcases authentic Indigenous creations made by over 40 artisans who represent various nations and supports local artisans by providing beading and regalia-making supplies to the Treaty 7 area, of which the Tsuu T’ina Nation is a part.

In these ways, the Tsuu T’ina Culture Museum provides access to a unique cultural world.