This map shows the location of a proposed film studio on Camosun College’s Interurban campus. (Camosun College/Submitted).

Proposed Saanich studio part of a larger push to capture Hollywood dollars

Local film commission set to launch promotional push to attract movie productions

The head of the local film commission welcomes plans to bring a film studio to Saanich.

“The studio is what we need to bring in the big money,” said Kathleen Gilbert, film commissioner for the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission.

The Greater Victoria area hosted 25 film productions in 2018 that pumped some $21 million in direct spending into the region in what Gilbert has called the commission’s “best year ever” in breaking in its 2015 record.

A film studio, meanwhile, would allow the region to attract productions that could end up spending anywhere between $80 and $200 million, with anywhere between 30 and 60 per cent going towards local spending.

“I will let you do the math,” she said.

RELATED: Camosun College starts feasibility study to reel in new film studio

She made these comments after Camosun College started discussions with Lexi Development Group on the feasibility of building a film studio, sound stage and educational facilities to an area near the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE).

“We’re starting to explore the potential of a film studio in partnership with industry that would complement existing programs, while opening the door to educational programs that support B.C.’s film industry,” Sherri Bell, president of Camosun College, said last month.

Should the project go ahead, the studio would include two sound stages, production facilities and teaching spaces, said Gilbert.

The studio will especially help the region fulfill the need for trained crews, one of the previously identified obstacles to attracting productions, she added.

“With 25 productions choosing to film in the Capital Region last year and this year looking to be just as busy, we are always struggling to assist producers with local hires,” she said. “Increasing the number of available trained crew will help us in landing more productions.”

The provincial industry generates about $3.4 billion and employs 60,870 people. The region, however, only captures a small fraction of this share, because it lacks the necessary physical infrastructure and personnel.

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Film industry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria art gallery provides Open Space in an online way

View Chantal Gibson’s recent show on the web, hear Indigenous stories on Instagram starting Sunday

Victoria brewery throws support behind still-operating restaurants

Vancouver Island Brewing initiates #TakeOutTuesday to keep local eateries in the public eye

LIVE MUSIC: Artist in Residence reaching into the community

Kathryn Calder to perform livestream show on YouTube channel this Friday, April 3

Victoria vocalist Maria Manna reaches out to hard-hit Italy with special online song

Jazz singer to perform ‘Hymn to Freedom’ with Italian lyrics on Facebook at 2 p.m. Monday

Royal BC Museum joins home education trend for outreach programs

Free webinar options available for RBCM@Home and kids’ programs, starting March 31

Hip tradition sing-along planned again for Canadians April 2

The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois is encouraging all to join him virtually in a’Porch Session.’

Vancouver Island musicians in quarantine thank neighbours with backyard performance

Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra director Karl Rainer and his sons play for those in self-isolation

Order of Canada Vancouver Island musician pens ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’

Qualicum Beach lawyer and saxophonist Phil Dwyer notes health officer has become a ‘folk hero’

Campbell River journalist launches Isolationpalooza II

Featuring all local musicians, a volunteer virtual concert, of sorts

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Netflix reducing video quality in Canada to lower Internet bandwidth use

Bell Media is also planning traffic measures affecting the Crave streaming service

Will the show go on? B.C. music festivals consider options for 2020

Summer events running out of time to stay on schedule, in wake of COVID-19 uncertainties

Most Read