Hallmark Channel series Chesapeake Shores has filmed in Nanaimo back in the past. (News Bulletin file)

Film and TV have multimillion-dollar economic impact in RDN, says INFilm

Vancouver Island North Film Commission seeks $50K from Regional District of Nanaimo in 2020 budget

Chesapeake Shores and the Sonic the Hedgehog movie were among productions that contributed close to $20 million to the economy across the Regional District of Nanaimo, says a local film commissioner.

Joan Miller, film commissioner for Vancouver Island North Film Commission (INFilm), made a funding request presentation at the RDN committee of the whole meeting Nov. 26, seeking $50,000. The commission promotes the region to the film industry and Miller said Chesapeake Shores, the Hallmark Channel series, has provided a multimillion-dollar boon for the economy over the last few years.

“The total impact to the region for [Chesapeake Shores’] last four seasons has been $18.5 million, so we broke it down to over 35,000 room nights, vendor spend $9 million, local payroll $9 million, so you can see the impact [filming] is having and job creation is having in your region,” Miller told RDN directors at the meeting.

RELATED: Paramount budgets $17M for Sonic movie in Ladysmith

Miller also said INFilm worked on a number of bigger features in the past year-and-a-half, including Disney’s Descendants 3 and Sonic the Hedgehog, which filmed in Ladysmith and on the Island Highway within the RDN.

“Nanaimo was its base, that’s where all the hotel rooms were, that’s where all the services came out of and The Amazing Race Canada, another project we worked on this year, their extra total room nights were 4,000 and close to $1 million,” Miller said. “So when you look at adding it up in the last year and a half, it’s been close to $20 million directly input into this region.”

Miller said INFilm has a studio in Errington, but it is booked until 2022 and research is being done on the possibility of another. She said she has been working with the City of Nanaimo and Lantzville.

“The staff have been forwarding me names of developers … and so I’m in a series of meetings now because we desperately need more stage space,” said Miller. “We’ve got a lot of production coming in 2020-2021. They might come here for more than just our locations. They’d like to come here and set up, but we actually need facilities.”

As part of its budget discussions for 2020, the RDN committee gave preliminary approval to INFilm’s funding request.

Sheryl Armstrong, RDN Nanaimo director, said the service provided by INFilm is valuable, even though she was originally unsure of the commission.

“I remember when you first came to council, I was kind of skeptical, but not anymore because I think the work is amazing now,” said Armstrong.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ballenas Whalers clinch Island high school girls hoop championship

Parksville squad advances to AAA provincials in Langley

Parksville chamber names finalists for annual business awards

Parksville-Qualicum Community Foundation to receive Community Spirt Award

PQB crime report: Thieves pilfer safe, flare gun, even a walker

Oceaside RCMP deal with 196 complaints in one-week span

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Victoria police ask victims of human trafficking to come forward after Saskatchewan arrests

Four people from Vancouver Island were arrested in Saskatchewan on Jan. 28

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

Island wildlife rescue centre sees 9 poisoned birds since January

MARS trying to fundraise for ‘rigorous and expensive’ lead poisoning treatment

Nanaimo man wins lotto, plans to buy $16,000 fridge

Curtis Wright a winner in Lotto 6/49 draw

VIDEO: Knife-wielding man arrested after barricading himself in Lower Mainland Walmart

A man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the fish area at a Walmart in Richmond

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

Most Read