Mark Wahlberg to Canada: Restore Film Tax Breaks for Hollywood

The movie actor called on Canadian politicians to reinstate subsidies for Los Angeles producers shooting movies locally, as he raised money in Toronto for kids charities.

TORONTO – Hollywood actor and producer Mark Wahlberg was in Toronto Wednesday to pass the hat around for kids charities – and for subsidies to draw Hollywood film production back to Canada.

While the Entourage executive producer visited the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s trading floor to raise money for childrens’ causes, Wahlberg urged the Canadian government to restore lost tax breaks for Hollywood film and TV shoots here.

“We are really trying to encourage the government to reinstate these tax incentives to bring film and cinema back to Canada,” Wahlberg told The Globe and Mail newspaper Wednesday.

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The Hollywood celebrity was in Toronto to participate in the CIBC Miracle Day, an annual fund-raiser where bank employees, including market traders, donate their fees and commissions to charities.

“I’ve made four movies in Toronto and three in Vancouver. It’s the best working experience, some of the best crew, the best people I’ve ever worked with, and there’s just not enough film being made here,” he added.

Wahlberg was last in Toronto to shoot Max Payne in 2008, and a year earlier made Shooter in Vancouver.

Both locales popular with Hollywood film and TV producers have since sweetened their provincial tax credits, with Ontario in 2010 introducing a 25% all-spend film tax credit to remain competitive with Louisiana and New Mexico.

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Other Canadian provinces like New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have either rejigged or scrapped their refundable film tax credits.

Even so, Wahlberg urged the Canadian government to do more to ensure Hollywood kept coming north.

“It was some of the best work experiences that I’ve had. And it’s just a shame that films are going to other places,” he said.

“We want to really bring it back to Canada,” Wahlberg told the Canadian newspaper.