The Province is releasing facts and a timeline regarding discussions and negotiations that took place with Wizcraft, organizers of the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) and with the Times Group, India's largest media conglomerate and organizers of the Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA).
In the summer of 2011, Wizcraft approached the Province with a preliminary proposal suggesting B.C. sponsor IIFA 2013 for a fee of $15 million. Led by Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training staff, the Province conducted early discussions with Wizcraft on all details of the proposal, including scope, schedule and cost. Based on those discussions, in May 2012, the Province submitted an initial $5-million bid for a June 2013 event. The bid was not accepted and was later rejected by Wizcraft.
One month later, the Times Group approached the Province with a proposal for a TOIFA event that involved multiple activities over several months, including an awards ceremony in late March. They also guaranteed extensive media coverage across their network. Given the larger scope and inclusion of media exposure, the Province ultimately agreed to provide $9.5 million to sponsor TOIFA.
Here are the detailed facts on discussions and negotiations the Province carried out to sponsor an India film awards event in B.C.
- Wizcraft provided a preliminary proposal to the Province listing their requirements for sponsoring IIFA, including: $15 million in sponsorship; all venues paid by the Province and; exemption from taxes.
- No Memorandum of Understanding was developed between the Province and Wizcraft.
- As with all projects undertaken by the Province, scope, schedule and budget were discussed in early conversations with Wizcraft.
- Based on those conversations, the Province submitted a bid for an IIFA event that would span three days in June 2013, which was ultimately rejected by Wizcraft.
- In contrast to the Wizcraft proposal, the Times Group suggested a calendar of events to build awareness of B.C., including: pre-awards events; an internationally televised awards ceremony and; post-awards activities to continue B.C.'s exposure in India, as well as guaranteed media coverage across the Times Group network.
- Because of these additional considerations, the Province entered into an agreement with the Times Group to hold an Indian film awards with a provincial contribution of $9.5 million.
- In their initial presentation, the Times Group proposed that the awards event would take place in the last week of March, 2013.
- The Premier's Office was not involved in negotiations with Wizcraft, nor with the Times Group.
- Summer 2011: As part of a scouting trip in North America, Wizcraft officials visited B.C. to assess Vancouver as a potential hosting location for IIFA 2013 and had an introductory meeting with Premier Christy Clark.
- November 2011: Clark led a trade mission to India. At a press conference in Mumbai, Clark confirmed B.C.'s intent to bid on IIFA 2013.
- May 2012: The Province put forward an initial bid of $5 million based on a June event. Wizcraft did not accept the offer.
- June 2012: The Times Group contacted the Province to propose a possible awards event in Vancouver and were referred to ministry staff to undertake discussions.
- July 2012: The Times Group travelled to Vancouver to make a presentation to ministry staff.
- November 2012: Wizcraft confirmed to the Province that the bid for IIFA 2013 was not successful.
TOIFA decision points and current status
- The Times Group has long experience with Bollywood awards as the organizer of the 50-year-old Filmfare Awards.
- The Times Group's awards proposal would leverage the popularity of Bollywood in order to gain exposure for B.C. within the Indian population.
- The proposal included a rollout of pre- and post-awards activities as well as guaranteed media exposure.
- The proposal aligns with the Ministry of Jobs Tourism and Skills Training's India Market Strategy, which aims to increase trade and travel between British Columbia and India.
- The media exposure from these events will increase British Columbia's profile with Indian business owners and travellers.
- The first pre-TOIFA event, A Celebration of Women, took place in Richmond on March 2 and was full capacity. The event raised over $16,000 for the Minerva Foundation.
- The BC-India Global Business Forum was initiated as part of the ministry's India Market Strategy. Held on March 12, it attracted over 500 business delegates with some of India's and B.C.'s top companies to discuss trade opportunities.
As part of the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training's India Market Strategy, the Province is sponsoring TOIFA at a cost of $9.5 million, with an additional $1.5 million for the ministry to carry out promotional activities. The Times Group's media network reaches 90 million people per day, and it is estimated that TOIFA will draw 200 million viewers, helping B.C. gain significant exposure for increased trade and travel in India's fast growing marketplace.
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour