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

Camosun College starts feasibility study to reel in new film studio

Facility could be located on Interurban campus of Camosun College

Saanich is one step closer to hosting a movie studio with an estimated price tag of up to $40 million on the Interurban campus of Camosun College.

“This is a huge win for South Island and Saanich,” said Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes in commenting on the decision of Camosun College to start discussions with Lexi Development Group about the feasibility of building a film studio, a sound stage and educational facilities near the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE).

Lexi Development Group and Camosun College announced the upcoming feasibility study Wednesday morning.

“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,” said Sherri Bell, president of Camosun College.

RELATED: Five Greater Victoria sites under consideration for region’s first film studio

While Haynes agreed with Bell in saying that the project remains very much in its early stages, it could bears far-reaching benefits for Saanich, which has been seeking to increase its non-residential tax base. (By way of background, about 77 per cent of municipal tax revenue comes from residential properties, with most of the remainder coming from business properties). Haynes also said the studio could generate synergies with the nearby Vancouver Island Technology Park, while also tying in with other proposed project for Saanich as a new hotel.

“It brings diversity and resilience to our economy,” said Haynes, whose has been working on this file for at least years, first as a councillor, then as mayor.

RELATED: Mayor-elect Fred Haynes wants to study idea of bringing film studio, new hockey arena to Saanich

A studio could help the region increase its share of the provincial movie industry, he said, in noting that 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. The region has had to decline offers by Amazon, Netflix and Paramount Studies for this very reason, said Haynes.

Many details remain outstanding, including final costs. Haynes personally estimates that the complete complex (which would include two sound stages) would cost anywhere between $25 to $40 million.

The project still has to clear a number of hurdles. They include community consultations, securing final approval from the provincial government, and support from Saanich as the host municipality.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Vancouver Island dance classes billed as female empowerment tool

New Comox Valley business focuses on ‘promoting positive body image’

Duncan’s Big Stick lights up red to signal COVID’s devastation of the arts

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Snuneymuxw artist brings aquatic designs to Nanaimo’s Beban Park pool

Work by artist Eliot White-Hill is being installed at the pool this month

Nanaimo musician plays all instruments on DIY debut album

Jamie Penner releasing guitar-centric instrumental record ‘Out of Curiosity’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Hospice worker and patient butt heads in upcoming Nanaimo theatre production

Yellow Point Drama Group presents ‘Grace and Glorie’ at Cedar Community Hall

Art+Earth Festival gets growing this weekend

Find out what events are in-person and what’s happening online

Film about missing and murdered indigenous women makes Nanaimo debut

A mother and daughter search for answers in Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s ‘Rustic Oracle’

Nanaimo’s Harbour City Photography Club goes virtual to adapt to COVID-19

Club’s exhibitions, meetings and presentations are now occurring online

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre returns to the stage in Port Theatre debut

Theatre group presents ‘2 Across,’ described as a ‘middle-aged romantic comedy’

Most Read