B.C.’s film industry will be getting a $42-million boost from the provincial government.
Creative BC CEO Prem Gill said the funding — which will run over three years — could not have come at a better time.
“From film and music to publishing and digital media, this support will position B.C. storytellers and their companies for success at home and around the world,” Gill said. “It’s very emotional.”
Arts and Culture Minister Lana Popham announced the funding Wednesday (April 19), calling it the largest one-time boost to those industries, which employ almost 120,000 people and generate $5.4 billion into the economy.
About $22 million will go to Amplify BC in order to promote the music industry, while $15.9 million is earmarked for domestic film production, $3 million is set for digital media companies and $600,000 for books and magazine publishing.
Popham said the money will help deal with the effects of the pandemic, which varied from industry to industry – lingering impacts of COVID-19 include the cancellation of music festivals and halts to local movie sets, but also boosted digital media.
Overall, the creative sector has “been hit very, very badly,” Popham said.
“No could have predicted that any of these things would hit us like (they) did. We’ve seen really tough times but I can tell you that our government has been listening.”
The announcement took place in provincial legislature’s Hall of Honour, which was turned into a Hollywood North gathering with an appearance from the Mandalorian and Grogu, – also known as Baby Yoda.
Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal so happens to also stars in the dystopian TV show The Last of Us, whose second season is set to film in B.C., specifically Vancouver, which will double as Seattle.
Attendees of the Wednesday announcement could also learn about other aspects of the film industry, such as visual effects, film makeup, as well as the upcoming TV production “Farming for Love,” an unscripted TV series filmed in rural B.C.