Carrie Powell-Davidson’s motion to support the Vancouver Island North Film Commission with $5,000 in taxpayer money failed in a close city council vote on Monday night.
And she said she hopes her city council colleagues don’t regret turning their backs on this potential revenue generator for Parksville.
INfilm says 25 productions were filmed here (basically from Duncan to Port Hardy) in 2013, including portions of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a Budweiser commercial and television shows like The Mercer Report, Fish ‘n Canada and Hawg Quest.
In a letter to council asking for financial support, INfilm commissioner Joan Miller said she has been promoting the city to potential producers.
“In good faith, INfilm continues to include Parksville in our market campaigns to the film and media industry,” Miller wrote. “Over the years we have shot and loaded 128 unique locations and 2,560 individual images of your community. We have had success and continue to scout and include Parksville in our client packages.”
Powell-Davidson said INfilm commissioner Joan Mercer should get the support of Parksville taxpayers.
“Now that the film industry is extremely busy there’s going to be big demand for locations all over the place and I want Parksville to be top of the line,” said Powell-Davidson. “I want us to put some money in the pot and be a player. She (Miller) has the reputation, she has the connections, she has the contacts, she is everywhere the film industry is. And she has been representing our area for years with no financial contribution (from the city).”
‘No’ votes by councillors Bill Neufeld, Sue Powell, Marc Lefebvre and Al Greir killed Powell-Davidson’s motion Monday night. Mayor Chris Burger and Coun. Peter Morrison were in favour of the motion.
“I would love to be sold on it but I’m not sold on it at this point,” said Neufeld.
“I don’t see this as something that’s demanding at this time,” said Greir.
Briefly in other council news from Monday night’s meeting:
• Council approved a four-per-cent increase in water rates, to be put into effect for the March, 2014 utility billing.
• Amendments to the development cost charges bylaw was given second and third reading (read more about this, and the water utility rate increase, in upcoming editions of The NEWS.
• Council defeated a motion (only Powell-Davidson was in favour) to support an increase in the number of nominators (12 from two) one needs to become a candidate in the next election. In the same defeated motion was a suggestion to implement a $100 refundable deposit for those who want to run for municipal office.
• Council adopted a memorandum of understanding with Vancouver Island University regarding the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve.
• Council approved a development permit and encroachment agreement for renovations and the addition of a second story to the Bodyworks Fitness building on Morrison Avenue.