Film commission seeks stable funding from mid-Island

Parksville, Qualicum Beach, RDN chip in one-year grants to INFilm for local productions

  • Mar. 2, 2017 6:00 p.m.

 

The regional district wants to keep the cameras rolling on the mid-Island.

At the Regional District of Nanaimo’s regular meeting Tuesday, directors supported the notion of stable funding for the Vancouver Island North Film Commission (INFilm).

The commission asked for and received $5,000 from Lantzville and the RDN’s electoral areas, to go with previous funding commitments of $30,000 from the City of Nanaimo, $10,000 from the City of Parksville and $5,000 from the Town of Qualicum Beach.

“These are not frivolous requests,” said Stephanie Tipple, INFilm president. “They are based on need, not want, and to the best of our knowledge, the ability to pay.”

Tipple made a presentation to the RDN board about her group’s past, present and future projects, notably the Chesapeake Shores television series that will be filming for another four months in Qualicum Beach starting in the spring. Already, she said, filming of that series has led to 155 crew hires, 10,000 room-night hotel stays in the region and $1.8 million in local spending. She said the mid-Island is in a unique position to take advantage of an expanding Lower Mainland film industry and said INFilm will spearhead a project on workforce development.

Bill Bestwick, a Nanaimo director, spoke in support of INFilm’s efforts.

“When I see the amount of employment and the 10,000 room nights and understanding what (INFilm staff and directors do) in their day-to-day work, the return on investment that we see, the economic impact is significant,” he said.

The RDN will meet with INFilm to discuss stable $50,000 annual funding from the region as a whole, replacing the current piecemeal approach.

NEWS Staff