The Whistler Film Festival kicks off today with support received from the provincial government’s Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) program. The 14th annual festival will run Dec. 3-7.
Funding of $79,000 is being targeted to specific components of the festival, including attracting several internationally acclaimed film industry personalities to promote some of the festival’s films and activities. Multiple events are being put on by the Whistler Film Festival Society, a charitable cultural organization.
This funding adds to the more than $60 million Whistler has received since the RMI program began in 2006. It has supported many infrastructure advancements such trail development, a village square rejuvenation and an outdoor ice rink as well as cultural celebrations, festivals and events. Whistler’s Festivals, Events and Animation strategy which focuses on arts, culture, heritage and village square amenities ensure that tourism products are attractive to a wide range of visitors.
B.C.’s tourism sector is one of the eight key sectors identified in the BC Jobs Plan, creating more than 132,300 jobs and over $13.9 billion in revenues across the province in 2013. Since RMI inception in 2007, over $87.6 million has been invested in tourism infrastructure and programs to support local and regional tourism economies in the 14 participating communities.
RMI is a $10.5-million-a-year program that addresses the unique circumstances of resort-oriented municipalities to develop and enhance local tourism related infrastructure and amenities. The communities eligible for the RMI initiative are Fernie, Golden, Harrison Hot Springs, Invermere, Kimberley, Osoyoos, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke, Rossland, Sun Peaks, Tofino, Ucluelet, Valemount and Whistler.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour —
“The funding that’s given to the Whistler Film Festival shows the variety of projects that RMI money is meant for. Whistler made a name for itself around the world with the 2010 Winter Olympics. We’re helping to ensure it remains on people’s minds by supporting this arts and cultural event.”
Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State Tourism and Small Business —
“This year, RMI funding will assist the Whistler Film Festival host an international audience. This is part of the B.C. government’s continued commitment to find new and exciting ways to help resort municipalities build their tourism products and increase visitation. It’s also a fun way to enjoy a movie while supporting jobs created by the film industry.”
Jordan Sturdy, MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky —
“The Whistler Film Festival is a must-attend event for filmmakers and film lovers, and has been instrumental in showcasing arts and culture throughout Whistler and the Sea to Sky corridor. For 14 years, the Whistler Film Festival Society has helped promote new artists and independent film, and I’m pleased we are supporting their efforts through the RMI program.”
Mayor of Whistler Nancy Wilhelm-Morden —
"Through provincial RMI contributions the Resort Municipality of Whistler has invested in a wide variety of projects and programs to grow tourism. The Whistler Film Festival funding will help to attract incremental visits during the festival, and to strengthen Whistler’s and British Columbia’s reputation as a destination for arts, culture, and entertainment."
- Since 2006, through RMI, more than $87.6 million has been invested in tourism infrastructure and programs to support local and regional tourism economies.
- Tourism is one of the largest industries in the province with over 19,250 businesses and accounting for $7.3 billion (4%) of B.C.’s overall GDP in 2013.
- Since 2003, tourism revenue in B.C. increased by 44.3%.
- B.C. continues to grow its tourism sector throughout the province using the 'Gaining the Edge' tourism strategy. Gaining the Edge is the province’s five-year overarching plan for increasing tourism revenues, businesses and jobs through partnership and co-ordination with industry and communities, focussed marketing, creation of world-class visitor experiences, and actions to enhance tourism industry competitiveness and sustainability. It focuses on developing key tourism products such as touring vacations, city experiences, skiing and snowboarding, Aboriginal tourism, conventions and meetings, as well as outdoor adventure/eco-tourism.
- Total tourism wages and salaries were $4.5 billion in 2013, an increase of 3.8% since 2012.
BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
To learn more about the program, please visit:
Whistler Film Festival: http://www.whistlerfilmfestival.com/
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour