North Stars

Mark Wahlberg: Canada has ‘the best working experience’

Mark Wahlberg joins traders at CIBC trading floor for the annual CIBC Miracle Day to raise fund for children's …

Mark Wahlberg lended some muscle to a Toronto CIBC this week (after flexing at Tie Domi the day before) for children's charity.

In town to promote his new movie "Broken City," the 41-year-old actor was on the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce's trading floor on Wednesday as a celebrity broker, the Globe and Mail reports. He even got on the phone with a client as part of the gig for the annual Miracle Day charity drive, which raises money for Canadian children's groups.

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While in the city, the actor, whose business Real Partners helps celebrities avoid squandering their fortunes, also explained why he has been so vocal in the past about encouraging Canada's government to reinstate film tax incentives.

"I've made four movies in Toronto and three in Vancouver," he told the Globe and Mail. "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."

Wahlberg said he wanted to reopen Toronto's Eastern Studios, but that the government's reaction to pressure has been "mixed."

"But if we've got the right people in the right places, maybe we can make that happen, because Canada loves the arts," he said. "And they have the best film festival in the world. They need to have the best film production here."

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Mark Wahlberg joins traders at CIBC trading floor for the annual CIBC Miracle Day to raise fund for children's …

So which seven movies has Wahlberg, whose mother is French Canadian, filmed in Hollywood North?

As it happens, Wahlberg's very first foray into acting, the TV movie "The Substitute," in which he plays the class jerk, was shot in Vancouver in 1993. Three years later he returned to the city for the teen horror "Fear" (with a young Reese Witherspoon). He was back in B.C. -- specifically New Westminster, Kamloops, Mission, Ashcroft and Cache Creek -- in 2006 to film the conspiracy thriller "Shooter."

Early on in his film career, Wahlberg also travelled to Ontario. He shot "The Big Hit," the 1998 action comedy about a neurotic mobster, in Hamilton (where he also filmed John Singleton's "Four Brothers" in 2005) and Pickering. He moved to Toronto a year later to film the action thriller "The Corruptor" with Chow Yun-Fat and again in 2008 for the video game adaptation "Max Payne."

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"It was some of the best work experiences that I've had," Wahlberg said of shooting in Canada. "And it's just a shame that films are going to other places."

Aw, we love you too, Marky Mark!

UPDATE, Dec. 7, 8:40 a.m.: In an email to omg! Canada, the Media Relations Service for Department of Canadian Heritage wrote the following:

"The Government of Canada provides significant incentives for international film and television production companies to work in Canada. This includes the federal government's two tax credit programs: the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) and the Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC). These film tax credits were introduced in 1997, were subsequently, increased in 2003, and have remained unchanged since then. They have not been cut at all since their creation. Contrary to what is suggested in the article, the total volume of film and television production in Canada reached an all-time high of $5.5 billion in 2010-2011."

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