Sun filtering between the rows of trailers – commonly associated with filming – parked at Oak Bay Marina marked the second Screen in BC Day today (Sept. 21).
As part of the celebrations, Richard T. Lee, MLA for Burnaby North, Kathleen Gilbert of the Vancouver Island South Media and Film Commission and Allen Lewis, vice president of Production for Front Street Pictures toured an Oak Bay set for Front Street Pictures’ Rose Parade. Christmas decor is popping up in the region as the made for TV movie films in Oak Bay and around the Capital Regional District.
“We’re here today to celebrate Screen in BC Day which celebrates all of the screen-based industries. Really, we’re here … to celebrate all of our amazing local talent, to showcase our beautiful locations here in Victoria and in the Greater Victoria area,” Gilbert said. “And really just to congratulate ourselves and pat ourselves on the back for developing and moving forward such an amazing industry here in Victoria that brings in millions and millions of dollars into the economy every year.”
They then celebrated with the unveiling of an official proclamation. Aside from the event at Oak Bay Marina, similar events honouring contributions to the creative economy were held in Vancouver and Kelowna.
“I am happy to be here in Victoria celebrating Screen in B.C. Day on the set of Rose Parade. Films like these not only create quality original content, but also support many jobs for the local community,” Lee said. “I would like to thank Front Street Pictures and the Vancouver Island South Media and Film Commission for your dedication to B.C.’s creative industries.”
Front Street Pictures is a Vancouver based company that films throughout the province, and specializes in a full range of production services including the development and production of original content. They are responsible for projects such as October Kiss, Garage Sale Mystery, and Love on the Sidelines. Front Street has completed over 262 hours of programming on 132 projects, and won 51 awards including several Emmys.
Over the last five years, British Columbia has grown to become one of the world’s largest clusters for visual effects and digital animation companies, confirming the province’s reputation as a global full-service production centre, capable of performing the complete spectrum of services required for major productions.
“We are proud to be participating in the 2nd Screen in B.C. Day. British Columbia is world class in terms of technical expertise in the film industry and Front Street Pictures has prided itself on providing the first practical ‘on set’ experience for many young film makers,” Lewis said. “The crew base in Victoria is growing every year and the Island is quickly become the go to favourite for productions. We look forward to continuing to film on Vancouver Island, with its’ fabulous locations, friendly locals and growing technical expertise.”
B.C.’s motion-picture industry supports about 25,000 jobs.
“The Film Industry on Vancouver Island is thriving. Production in 2015 was at a record high with over 20 productions choosing to film in Greater Victoria region alone. Our crew base is growing, more locals are finding high paying long term Industry jobs and the economic impact of the industry is substantial,” Gilbert said. “We are looking forward to a very busy fall and winter season with several productions planning to roll cameras on the streets of Victoria. With several groups looking at opening a full service film studio within a year we, at the film commission, see only good times ahead.”