Okanagan Studios has opened in the former Far West building on Highway 6.

Okanagan Studios has opened in the former Far West building on Highway 6.

Lights, camera, action for Okanagan film studio

Okanagan Studios has officially opened its doors in the old Far West building on Highway 6 in Vernon

Movie magic is happening right in Vernon.

Okanagan Studios has officially opened its doors in the old Far West building on Highway 6 to meet the needs of the film sector.

“Okanagan Studios has responded to the record breaking demand for B.C. production resources by unveiling the first full service film and television studio to open in the region,” said Tim Bieber, general manager.

The 50,000-square-foot, multi-level facility has undergone extensive renovations.

“The Okanagan has seen strong demand for productions due to it’s unique locations, additional tax incentives and strong local crew base and we couldn’t be more excited for the opening of Okanagan Studios and the addition this strong asset brings to the region” said Jon Summerland, with the Okanagan Film Commission.

“This is what the region has needed and will enable our continued growth.”

Phase one of three is complete with two sound stages, including a repurposed 10,000-square-foot sound proofed stage, plus a second 12,500-square-foot warehouse currently offered as a flex stage.

In addition, the studio has retrofitted 34 offices, totaling more than 20,000-square-feet of furnished production office space hardwired with fibre Internet, VOIP phone system, onsite copiers and printers. The lot also features a separate 7,000-square-foot construction shop and art department, parking for more than 100 cars plus an additional lot for trucks and trailers.  A

Additional expansion is planned for the Vernon studio, including repurposing the existing flex stage and a third purpose built stage on the lot, while studios are also eyed for Kelowna and Penticton.

“We recognize this as an important step in expanding BC’s screen production sector as we look at sustainable growth across the whole province,” said Peter Leitch, Motion Picture Industry Association of B.C. chairperson.