Hot Docs reports $29m economic impact for Ontario

As part of its first economic impact study, the organization behind the festival, conference and Toronto cinema reported that it contributes US$29 million to Ontario's GDP.
September 25, 2013

In marking its 20th anniversary this year, the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival has released a study indicating its economic value to its host province of Ontario.

The festival, conference and market, in addition to its year-round activities, which include operation of the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, contribute a total of CAD$29.9 million (US$29 million) to Ontario’s GDP, the economic impact report states.

Of that amount, $16 million in Canadian business deals is attributed to Hot Docs industry market programs and activities. Local tourism benefited from $5.1 million in attendee expenditure at the festival and $6.7 million in industry delegate expenditure.

Hot Docs year-round operations also contribute 413 jobs and $13 million in tax revenue to the province, in addition to its economic activity.

Also noted is Hot Docs’ lure as a tourism attraction: of the study’s industry delegate respondents, 66% were visitors to Toronto, the majority from international locations, while 17% of festival attendee respondents were visitors to the city.

The festival has grown – from screening 21 films at its inaugural trade event – into the largest documentary festival in North America. The 2013 edition, which took place from April 25 to May 5, screened 204 documentaries, hosted 2514 registered delegates, and reported a total estimated audience of 180,000.

“We’re heartened to see such robust results in Hot Docs’ first-ever economic impact study. Toronto has become a premiere destination for filmmakers and film fans,” said Hot Docs executive director Brett Hendrie in a statement.

RELATED: Adam Benzine explores the event’s growth and success in Still Hot After 20 Years

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