Canadian talent on display

The National Canadian Film Day 150 set to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation.

  • Mar. 30, 2017 12:00 p.m.

A Canada-wide film festival — billed as the largest of all time — will extend all the way west and include Victoria as part of its national celebrations.

The National Canadian Film Day 150 is an initiative designed to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation. Various cities across the country will host film screenings on Apr. 19, providing the opportunities for everyday Canadians to interact with the work of their compatriots they may not have otherwise watched.

CineVic, a Victoria-based society that provides equipment and a community for local filmmakers, will play their part by hosting a showing of “Remember”, the 2015 film from prominent Canadian director Atom Egoyan on Apr. 18.

Egoyan will also give a talk on Apr. 19, the film day proper, discussing his storied career as a prominent Canadian filmmaker in a Hollywood market that does not often feature artists north of the border.

Both the showing and the talk will be hosted at the newly renovated Empress Hotel. David Geiss is a filmmaker and the Executive Director of CineVic, who says the combination of film, director, and setting made for too good of an opportunity to miss.

“It seemed like it would be silly to pass up,” says Geiss. “We jumped on board.”

The Empress may seem like an odd place to screen a film, but there is a connection—Egoyan, best known for his 1997 Oscar-nominated film The Sweet Hereafter, grew up in Victoria and used to work in the kitchens of the hotel.  The National Canadian Film Day was started in 2014 by Reel Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to the celebration and promotion of Canadian films. With that said, Geiss is quick to point out that ‘Canadian film’ as a concept or a genre is difficult to pin down.

“At this point that’s almost part of the whole stereotype and cliché; [trying to] figure out what a Canadian film is,” says Geiss. “And I think that just because this country is so huge and so diverse … that’s really hard to answer.”

With differences in budget, genre, and subject, there may only be one thing shared between the films being shown on Apr. 19 — the opportunity to be appreciated by a Canadian audience. But for Geiss, and for the organizers of National Canadian Film Day 150, this is an opportunity not to be taken for granted. “[It’s] bringing people in front of screens to watch Canadian films,” Geiss says, “when otherwise . . . they would never have had the chance to see them. That’s got to be a good thing.”

 

 

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

Just Posted

Powerful Russian folk trio makes triumphant return to city

Trio Voronezh back on Victoria stage for first time since appearing at Coupe Mondiale in 2013

Abbamania, Night Fever in spotlight at McPherson in Victoria

ABBA, Bee Gees songs will fill the Mac Feb. 7, along with Lady Gaga tribute

Vic High alumni named Victoria’s new Youth Poet Laureate

Neko Smart, the founder and coach of the Vic High slam poetry team, will serve a one-year term

Dance Victoria: The Trocks are in town!

Dance Days 2020 performance roster includes two powerhouse presentations

Pacific Opera Victoria exec member earns major honour

Yvette Guigueno to attend prestigious OPERA America leadership program this month in New York

Winners announced for inaugural Victoria Arts Council/Monday poetry contest

More than 100 entries received in five categories

Canadian polar bears’ ‘ingenious’ survival seen in BBC Earth series

Film crews also go to Tofino to watch black bears snap up crabs under massive boulders

Spring author’s reading series kicks off early in Sidney

Sidney and Peninsula Literary Society hosting Yasuko Thanh and Carla Funk for Feb. 7 event

The winners of London Drugs’ 2019 Amateur Photographer of the Year contest are…

After more than 26,000 entries, the winners have been selected across Western Canada.

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ filmmaker Dean DeBlois among Canadian Oscar nominees

Multiple Oscar-nominated Canadian talents on Academy Award hopefuls list

Most Read