The short quarantine period is expected to bring more productions to the province

Natalie Valleau, CBC News

The two-day rapid COVID-19 testing pilot at the Calgary airport is attracting attention from film and TV producers in Alberta and Hollywood.

The pilot program, a partnership between Alberta and the federal government, allows eligible international travellers to take a COVID-19 test at one of two border crossings in the province — the Calgary International Airport and the Coutts land border crossing.

Should tests come back negative, travellers can leave quarantine as long as they remain in Alberta for the first 14 days. They must also get a second test six or seven days after arrival at a participating community pharmacy.

Those in the film industry say the short quarantine period could see Alberta become the next northern hot spot, but some say more might be needed to make that happen.

Calgary’s Prairie Dog Film + Television is gearing up to go to camera next week on the second season of Tribal, one of the first series on TV focused on an Indigenous female protagonist.

Janet Hamley, co-executive producer says the production cast and crew is mostly Canadian, but she’s excited for the opportunities that come from shorter quarantine times.

“The two-hour testing just gives more flexibility for our cast and crew to be able to come in from out of town, especially coming internationally where they’re not having to keep a mandatory quarantine for 14 days,” she said.

“It’s going to save production a lot of money and time with regards to being able to bring in people from out of town.”

As well, she says that it has the potential to inject millions of dollars into Alberta’s economy.

“It’s really just saying that production is open and we want to we want to diversify Alberta and bring in attracting business,” she said.

“Film and television is a billion dollar industry and it has come to a complete halt. Obviously, we’re really excited to have the opportunity to get back up and running again. And if it draws attention on an international platform to bring production here to Alberta, then it’s a great opportunity.”