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Alberta’s arts and culture minister heads to Hollywood to promote film and television industry

Alberta’s Minister of Arts, Culture and Status of Women is in Los Angeles this week to promote the province’s growing film and television industry.

“It’s an investment into an industry that creates jobs and diversifies and strengthens our economy,” Tanya Fir said.

She has booked meetings with executives from HBO and other major production organizations in Hollywood.

She will also co-host an event with the Canadian consulate, celebrating the 30 Emmy nominations for two major productions shot in Alberta.

The Last of Us has already won eight of those awards, Prey has picked up one and they could win even more this weekend.

“This a great time to capitalize on this momentum now and market Alberta as a top location to film and television producers and studios,” Fir said.

Calgary-based sound mixer Michael Playfair and his team won the Emmy for outstanding sound mixing on HBO’s The Last of Us at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Saturday.

“It was a big thrill and very exciting moment just being on stage,” he told CTV News.

Playfair, who has been in the industry for 25 years, says it was one of the “most amazing” shows he has ever worked on.

“It was a big budget show and they really had the resources to do everything properly and to look after problems when they happened and pick really, really good locations,” he said.

The Motion Picture Association says The Last of Us was the largest series ever shot in Canada, contributing $141 million to the local economy.

Luke Azevedo, Calgary Economic Development’s film commissioner, will join the minister for meetings with studio executives.

He says he’s hopeful about the year ahead.

“Trying to ensure that we’re bringing major projects back to the province as well as supporting our local producers and ensuring that they have an opportunity to tell those Alberta stories to the world,” he said.

Edson Castro, an animation instructor at Bow Valley College, says he wants to see the part of the industry grow.

“When it comes to animation, which is my main field, it’s not where I want it to be,” he said, noting that there aren’t many animation companies in the province.

“I hope it will grow in the future. I think there will be a good batch of animators and filmmakers here.”

Fir is set to be in Los Angeles until Friday.

The Primetime Emmy Awards are set for Sunday.

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