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Faces of Film Nova Scotia: Rosemary Travale

rose_travaleHi! My name is Rosemary Travale and I work in Halifax, Nova Scotia currently as a Layout Artist at DHX Media. I’m originally from Stoney Creek, Ontario and I went to Sheridan College for animation, graduating in 2014.

I’m only a recent transplant to Halifax, moving here with my finacee at the very start of 2015 after I was offered a design position from DHX. I was pretty excited to come out here as I had some friends in the industry here who did a great game talking up the beautiful city and how great it was to work and live in Halifax. I learned pretty quickly they were absolutely right and weren’t exaggerating at all. I feel that I’ve been incredibly lucky to work in a place I’ve grown to love so quickly, at a workplace filled with amazing and talented

It would be such a shame to see this industry that I am so proud to be a part of in Halifax destroyed without a second thought because of the film tax credit being cut. All of these vibrant and talented people would have to uproot their lives to continue working in this industry we all love, taking everything they have been putting into the Halifax economy with them. The film industry has generated so much money and jobs for this province, it makes no sense that we are on the verge of being chased out. While it would be hard for us all to leave, and many (including myself) don’t want to go, there are other provinces that want us and will fight to keep their incentives lucrative enough to draw studios to them. For now we will keep fighting for Halifax and hopefully prevent this incredible mistake from becoming a reality. We will not give up!

Please keep supporting us in our fight to keep the tax credit alive!
#FacesOfFilmNS #NSFilmJobs #NSFilmTaxCredit


  1. jason jason April 17, 2015

    Again, as a VFX worker we’ve already been through this, and animation needs to take note. The tax incentives will not lead your industry to success, it will lead it to instability and endless trekking across continents as various jurisdictions run out of money. Myself and many of my friends were forced to move from California to Louisiana to Vancouver to follow the work. Other went to New Mexico, then Toronto.
    You guys want a stable life, but tax credits are not the answer. The answer is to build your skills so you can get a job in places where the industry is actually sustainable without government support.

  2. alyssa alyssa April 18, 2015

    Honestly your comments on this are kinda off.
    Animation doesn’t need to “take note”. Moving to go where the work is is a common thing in this industry. And think what you like about tax credits but right now that’s how the industry functions.

    We want stable lives and for a long time that was pretty plausible here. My super has been in the industry with near constant work for 15 years, all in halifax. I’ve been at my studio for 3.5 years now with literally constant work. Some of my coworkers have been at this studio for 7 years.

    This industry is booming now. If we wanna move to Ottawa or Toronto or Vancouver we can, but this is home and we have and have had work here for so long that we’re totally gonna fight to stay.
    Everyone knows tax credits won’t solve all our problems, but there is literally absolutely nothing an animator can do about that.

    Please go read more about our specific issues and how weve been left with no legs to stand on incredibly quickly before giving advice.

  3. Ron Ron April 20, 2015

    Jason, you are embarrassing yourself a bit since obviously you are uneducated on how the labour tax credit system works. Where ever there is not a film/TV tax credit in North America and Europe, there simply is NO industry in those areas. It is true that all states, provinces and territories that do have a film/TV tax credit are dependant on it, because ALL other areas have one, it’s a level playing field, any city with no film tax credit simply has no film industry there, film & TV production are as dependant on the tax credit as they are dependant on money, and as we all know, ALL productions need money for them to happen.

    Maybe Nova Scotia was a bit spoiled since we had one of the best tax credits (specifically for film) in Canada, but to go from 50% to 12.5% is essentially removing it completely.

    If you’re still a bit confused about how this whole film and TV tax credit thing works, this may help:

    The film and television labour-based tax credit is just that: a credit used to pay (in our case) for NS labour.

    It is not a big bag of money that goes into a secret safe behind a producer’s desk. It is used as part of the financing to pay for production labour costs.

    It goes directly to NS jobs.

    This is why it is not used to “pay down taxes”. This is why “99% of companies don’t owe taxes in NS.”

    Allow me to illustrate:

    If I undertake a $1m film, this is how I do it.

    First thing: I start up a “single purpose” company. Let’s call it SINGLE CO. I do this for every project. And I do it because of liability, financing, labour agreements, and a whole bunch of other business elements that are unique to each and every production. Suffice it to say, it’s industry standard practice and it predates the tax credit.

    Now, because I am based in NS, I have the competitive advantage of having a 50-65% labour-based tax credit. (For arguments sake, let’s say it’s 50% in this case.) That means that if half my budget is labour (an average), then right out of the gate, I have $250k of financing for my project thanks to the NS tax credit.

    I then go out to the international marketplace and pitch my movie. And I raise the rest of the money I need to make it. I get a little bit from a Canadian distributor, a little bit from some broadcasters, maybe some from the federal government, and some from a foreign sales company or other investors.

    Now SINGLE CO has $1m in financing (including the NS tax credits). The $250K “seed” has grown into $1m. I used the tax credit to leverage three times more money, all of it from outside NS. And I bring that money back into the province to spend on my production.

    I make my film. It costs $1m to make. I use all that money – including the $250k in tax credits – to pay for thecast and crew, goods, and services. And I pay taxes. I pay payroll taxes, HST, etc. And, of course, all my crew and suppliers also pay taxes.

    At the end, I have a finished film. And SINGLE CO has “broken even.” My financing and production costs have canceled each other out. And so, SINGLE CO does not owe anytaxes in NS. It has paid taxes. But at the time it applies for the tax credit, it has broken even and does not owe corporate taxes.

    Eventually, SINGLE CO may make a profit. It will transfer those profits to my permanent “parent company” and to other investors. And they will all certainly pay taxes on those profits. But technically speaking, SINGLE CO, when it applied for the tax credit, did not owe any taxes. Not in NS. Not anywhere.

    So you see, these tax credits go directly to paying the crews that help make our films. It goes directly to NS workers making films and TV shows in NS. It goes to NS jobs. It goes back into to the NS economy.

    And by the way, that is what – in the government’s own words – the tax credit was intended to do: “to encourage the development, training, and hiring of Nova Scotia film personnel in all disciplines, which grows the audiovisual industry in the province”.

    So, when deciding your position on the tax credit, please do your best to understand how the system works. And consider the “return” as well as the “cost”.

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