Bollywood in Canada, Second-Largest Country with Endless Variety of Landscapes

Take a look at the Bollywood films shot in Canada, and how the North american country is an important market for Indian films.

Salman Khan wishes “Happy Canada Day” from Vancouver. Salman Khan, along with other Bollywood stars, is in Vancouver for the Da-Bangg Reloaded Tour.

Also Read: Canadian PM Trudeau in India, meets Bollywood biggies

Also Read: Bollywood actor Madhavan in Ottawa, visits Canadian Parliament


Toronto, Canada
At one point of time, almost every middle-class Indian wanted to emigrate to Canada. The immigration rules were easier and favorable towards skilled people, and several Indians took advantage of that opportunity. However, with increasing opportunities in India, competition from other countries, and tougher Canadian immigration rules, fewer Indians are opting for Canada now.

Nevertheless, the fact is that there are more than one million Canadians of Indian origin, most of whom are both Indians and Canadians at the very core. And when you’re an Indian at core, you’re bound to love Indian films.

Here’s the Bollywood connection with Canada, especially with major cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal. Know which Bollywood movies were shot in Canada, and the various film festivals and other major Bollywood related events that have happened here.

Movies Shot in Canada

Canada also has a very strong local film industry that makes lot of Hollywood films. Hollywood North, is a colloquialism used to describe film production industries and/or film locations in Canada, specifically Toronto and Vancouver.

Since the 1990s, several Indian films have been shot in various ‘exotic’ locations of Canada such as Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Niagara Falls and even Hamilton, Ontario.

And Canada definitely seems to be a favorite of our Bollywood ‘Khiladi’ – Akshay Kumar. Well, after all he’s a Punjabi and he definitely feels at home here, outside Mumbai.

Akshay Kumar has made 3 of his popular “Khiladi” movies in Canada: Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi, Mr & Mrs Khiladi and International Khiladi, all shot in Toronto. His other films with Canadian locations are Bewafaa, shot in Montreal, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye and 8 x 10 Tasveer, which were shot in Calgary, and ‘Thank You’, which was shot in Vancouver.

Akshay Kumar filming for Thank You in Vancouver

Akshay Kumar is definitely very popular with the Canadian South Asian audience, so much that he was named the brand ambassador for the Canada Tourism Commission in India in 2010. He was even invited to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto.

Bollywood in Toronto    |   Bollywood in Vancouver    |   Bollywood in Victoria

Did you Know?
The ocean scenes of James Cameron’s successful movie ‘Titanic’ (1997 film) was shot very near to where the Titanic tragically sank in 1912. The scenes were filmed near Halifax, Nova Scotia, which was the closest port to the catastrophe. Over 100 victims of the Titanic are buried in Halifax cemeteries.

Popularity of Indian Movies

There are several cinema chains, such as Cineplex, who grasped the importance of Indian movies and started showing Bollywood and Punjabi movies in mainstream theatres across Canada. The strategy worked wonders for them, earning them impressive amount of revenue.

Such is the popularity of Indian movies in North America that at times Hindi and Punjabi movies end up generating more revenue per screen than even Hollywood fare (in Surrey). For example, “Dhoom 3” grossed more at one Toronto Cineplex theatre than anywhere else on the continent.

Film Co-Production Treaty to Benefit Both India & Canada

India & Canada have a Film co-production treaty in place that is likely to benefit both the countries. Bollywood may be a giant when it comes to the number of films churned out every year. But Canada is also very strong in audiovisual production, thanks to its proximity to Hollywood, and its audiovisual sectors makes a significant contribution to the Canadian economy.

How will the co-production treaty help?
With this filming treaty, film producers from both countries will be able to tap into the various incentives and tax breaks that are offered by both the governments. It will allow producers to share production budgets and even risks, on film and TV projects.

Already, several Bollywood films and Punjabi films are shot in Canada. Several award functions are also held in important cities in Canada. With this treaty in place, more of these will happen in Canada. The agreement is also likely to boost export of Indian Films into the Canadian Market.

Risks & costs to be shared
This agreement is expected to benefit producers from both the countries in pooling their creative, artistic, technical, financial and marketing resources for the co-production. It will also lead to exchange of art and culture among the two countries and create goodwill and better understanding among the people of both the countries thereby boosting cultural ties between India & Canada.

Toronto is one of the top production hubs in North America and Canada would want to tap into the growing Bollywood industry. Bollywood on its part would be keen to shoot at exotic Canadian locations at subsidized rates. This treaty is likely to help both the causes.

Indian locales could be used more for shooting foreign films
The treaty is also expected to boost the utilization of Indian locales for shooting foreign films. It will increase the visibility and prospects of India as a preferred film shooting destination across the globe, and will lead to the inflow of foreign exchange into the country.

The Audiovisual treaty will provide more opportunities to local talent associated with art, production and film industry. It is likely to open up the Bollywood market to Canadian filmmakers on a larger scale, and provide incentives for Indian productions to use Canadian talent. With the treaty, the Canadian government is trying to project Canada as a coproduction partner of choice in audiovisual co-production.

Canada Tourism

Canada has a large foreign (as well as domestic) tourism industry. The second largest country in the world, Canada’s incredible geographical variety is a significant tourist attraction. Much of the country’s tourism is centered around Canada’s four largest metropolitan areas, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa, well known for their culture, diversity, as well as the many national parks and historic sites. Toronto is the largest city in Canada, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, and is the provincial capital of Ontario.

Capital: Ottawa
Largest city: Toronto
Currency: Canadian dollar
Calling code: +1