Today the B.C. government announced funding for a new pilot project at North Island College (NIC) that will train North Island residents and First Nations to work in the film and TV industry, and meet the growing labour need for locally trained crews in the region.
Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum and Minister for Social Development and Social Innovation, made the announcement at North Island College’s First Nations Gathering Place in Campbell River on behalf of Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. Stilwell was joined by representatives from NIC as well as local stakeholders in the film and TV industry, local First Nations and employment organizations, who are partnering in this project.
British Columbia is one of the top centres for screen-production excellence in North America, with a long history of producing award-winning feature films, television series, documentaries and commercials. Vancouver Island is a key destination for producers who are looking for diverse, spectacular scenery.
The purpose of this new pilot project is to provide innovative, short-term training to tradespeople and Aboriginal residents on Vancouver Island, so they can pursue local jobs in the film and TV industry, which, in turn, will provide the industry with the skilled crews it needs for future productions on the Island.
The project will pilot two separate courses, each with classes offered in Port Alberni and Campbell River. The new specialized trades program will help train carpentry and electrical journeypersons and apprentices to work in the film industry in areas such as set construction. The First Nations production assistant program will train First Nations students to work on productions taking place within the region.
The courses are expected to start in late September 2017, with course completion in early spring 2018 so students can be ready to work on productions planning to come to the Island next spring.
The industry and training partners involved in this project also will evaluate the programs, once complete, for possible expansion into other areas of B.C.
The film and TV industry is an important part of B.C.’s diverse, strong and growing economy and a key part of the BC Jobs Plan. The training project announced today also supports the government’s Creative Economy Strategy, launched last year, which aims to leverage B.C.’s creative economy advantage to support economic growth, job creation and the resilience of the creative sector.
The Sector LMP project is funded through the Sector Labour Market Partnerships program under the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement. The program helps employers understand and respond to changing labour-market demands, ensuring that training and education programs in B.C. are aligned with industry’s labour-market needs and priorities.
Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum –
“The film and television industry is booming in B.C., with $2 billion in production spending here in the province, and many productions filming right here on Vancouver Island. This growing sector of our economy provides job opportunities for locals as well as economic benefits for the communities within our region. The training programs that will be piloted in Campbell River and Port Alberni by North Island College will provide more of our residents with the skills needed to work in the industry, which will in turn attract more production companies to film here in the future.”
John Bowman, president, North Island College –
“We especially want to thank the Government of B.C., the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Joan Miller at the Vancouver Island North Film Commission (INfilm) for their vision and commitment in developing this project with us. This funding will provide new training opportunities for students on the North Island, help our communities diversify their economies and build capacity for the growing creative industries in the region.”
Joan Miller, regional film commissioner, Vancouver Island North Film –
“They say timing is everything and now is the time for the regions of B.C. to take advantage of the current growth in B.C.’s motion picture industry. We are working to create job opportunities by offering short-term film training to tradespeople with crossover skills and entry-level film training for First Nations communities whose traditional lands have some of the most attractive and unique filming locations available in B.C.
“Vancouver Island has film-friendly communities, competitive regional tax credits and a world of looks to choose from. We are excited to be taking the next step by providing training to develop local crew support to the many production inquiries we received each year.”
- With 297 film and television productions, and direct spending of $2 billion in 2015-16, B.C. is one of the top production centres in North America.
- British Columbia’s motion picture industry supports approximately 25,000 direct and indirect quality jobs that make up a talented, highly experienced and knowledge-driven workforce.
- With over 60 studio facilities and over 2.5 million square feet (230,000 square metres) in stage space, B.C.’s motion picture industry can service over 50 productions at once and accommodate all sizes and types of production.
- Foreign-made series accounted for $790 million in spending in B.C. out of a total $2 billion in production. That compares to $618 million for feature films.
- The industry has a strong balance of international and domestic production activity, with foreign productions accounting for three-quarters of total production spending in B.C.
Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program: www.workbc.ca/sectorlabourmarketpartnerships
Creative Economy Strategy: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/sports-culture/arts-culture/creative-economy/creative-economy-strategy
BC Jobs Plan: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: https://www.workbc.ca/Training-Education/B-C-s-Skills-for-Jobs-Blueprint.aspx
B.C. 2025 Labour Market Outlook: https://www.workbc.ca/Statistics/Labour-Market.aspx