Demands grow for film funds

Armstrong, Coldstream and Vernon want other jurisdictions to support Okanagan Film Commission

Three communities funding the film industry are pressuring those jurisdictions sitting on the sidelines.

Armstrong, Coldstream and Vernon, the only participants in the Okanagan Film Commission service, agreed Wednesday to ask the three other municipalities and five electoral areas to contribute.

“It’s important for everyone to support it,” said Jim Garlick, Coldstream director. “Coldstream can make the argument that we don’t directly benefit (from the movie industry) but our residents do benefit.”

Most of the movies shot recently have been in Enderby and Lumby, and while Enderby is considering getting involved financially, Lumby remains reluctant.

“It’s too late for this year because the village’s 2015 budget has been adopted,” said Kevin Acton, Lumby director, adding that he wont guarantee a grant in 2016. “I want to look at the (OFC) financials for the last few years because we have to justify where our taxpayers’ money is going.”

The OFC received $24,000 from RDNO last year and it’s seeking $35,000 for 2015.

On Wednesday, the three participants decided to provide $33,000 (RDNO’s maximum tax requisition is $34,000 based on net taxable income and some funds go to administering the RDNO service).

Based on the $33,000, Enderby would provide about $1,100 if it was part of the service and Lumby would grant about $830.

The total economic impact from 20 film productions in the entire Okanagan in 2014 was $17.5 million, while OFC’s budget was $180,000.