VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – 2018 was a good year for the TV and film industry in British Columbia, and according to Creative BC, it doesn’t look like things are going to be slowing down any time soon.
Creative BC CEO Prem Gill says 2019 is forecast to be another active year for the industry, with a number of shows returning to film in the province.
“We see a lot of shows that have come back,” she tells NEWS 1130, citing a number of locally produced and written productions making a return as well.
“I think it’s going to be pretty steady, and we certainly remain a key production hub in North America that is on the top three, if not four… of where people want to be when they’re shooting in North America, whether it’s a series, a feature film, a web series, whatever it is.”
British Columbians who are fans of Hallmark Christmas movies may have noticed a number of those productions were filmed in the province — and they’re being shot all over the Lower Mainland and B.C.
Gill says it’s an exciting time, adding there’s a big focus on growing domestic creative talent, through initiatives like the Screenwriters program, launched last year.
“Definitely the focus on the environment and real green initiatives is something that is key for the industry, and that makes us an attractive centre because people want to be in places that are looking at questions and policies around equity and sustainability and environmental concerns.”
The industry is expected to generate tens of thousands of jobs in B.C., as it has over the past few years, she adds.
“I think we see it steady, in the same sort of range of about 60,000 jobswhich is what it has looked like in the last couple of years, and we see it holding pretty steady,” she says. “Then there’s all of the other services and jobs that we don’t always necessarily see as the direct jobs. The indirect things like the dry cleaners, the hotels, the restaurants. All this kind of stuff benefit from having a dynamic industry in B.C.”
The province has developed a global reputation for delivering on quality content, Gill says, and has become a top choice for those looking to film and produce content.
BY HANA MAE NASSAR -With files from Martin MacMahon