As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to strain the largely centralized film and television production landscape, industry members across Southwestern Ontario are pushing for enhanced government incentives in this region and elsewhere in the province.
Recently, a new industry group, the Southwestern Ontario Film Alliance, met with senior government officials to discuss the notion of enhancing existing incentive programs aimed at supporting film and television production outside of Toronto, Hamilton and northern Ontario, where much of the province’s $2.2-billion-per-year film and television industry has been focused.
“COVID really accelerated the need to pull together all the creative and technical people in this region to say, ‘Hey, we’re here, we’re out of work, we have skills and talent. Why is it that the film and television industry is only working in Toronto, Hamilton and northern Ontario?” said Craig Thompson, executive producer at the Stratford-based production company, Ballinran Entertainment, and one of the founding directors of the Southwestern Ontario Film Alliance.
“We’re not that far from Toronto, we’ve got great locations, we’ve had many productions like Murdoch Mysteries, and Netflix did the two projects here. Why can we not be a home for film and television production?”