Hallmark Channel series Chesapeake Shores has filmed in Nanaimo back in the past. (News Bulletin file)

Film and TV have multimillion-dollar economic impact in RDN, says INFilm

Vancouver Island North Film Commission seeks $50K from Regional District of Nanaimo in 2020 budget

Chesapeake Shores and the Sonic the Hedgehog movie were among productions that contributed close to $20 million to the economy across the Regional District of Nanaimo, says a local film commissioner.

Joan Miller, film commissioner for Vancouver Island North Film Commission (INFilm), made a funding request presentation at the RDN committee of the whole meeting Nov. 26, seeking $50,000. The commission promotes the region to the film industry and Miller said Chesapeake Shores, the Hallmark Channel series, has provided a multimillion-dollar boon for the economy over the last few years.

“The total impact to the region for [Chesapeake Shores’] last four seasons has been $18.5 million, so we broke it down to over 35,000 room nights, vendor spend $9 million, local payroll $9 million, so you can see the impact [filming] is having and job creation is having in your region,” Miller told RDN directors at the meeting.

RELATED: Paramount budgets $17M for Sonic movie in Ladysmith

Miller also said INFilm worked on a number of bigger features in the past year-and-a-half, including Disney’s Descendants 3 and Sonic the Hedgehog, which filmed in Ladysmith and on the Island Highway within the RDN.

“Nanaimo was its base, that’s where all the hotel rooms were, that’s where all the services came out of and The Amazing Race Canada, another project we worked on this year, their extra total room nights were 4,000 and close to $1 million,” Miller said. “So when you look at adding it up in the last year and a half, it’s been close to $20 million directly input into this region.”

Miller said INFilm has a studio in Errington, but it is booked until 2022 and research is being done on the possibility of another. She said she has been working with the City of Nanaimo and Lantzville.

“The staff have been forwarding me names of developers … and so I’m in a series of meetings now because we desperately need more stage space,” said Miller. “We’ve got a lot of production coming in 2020-2021. They might come here for more than just our locations. They’d like to come here and set up, but we actually need facilities.”

As part of its budget discussions for 2020, the RDN committee gave preliminary approval to INFilm’s funding request.

Sheryl Armstrong, RDN Nanaimo director, said the service provided by INFilm is valuable, even though she was originally unsure of the commission.

“I remember when you first came to council, I was kind of skeptical, but not anymore because I think the work is amazing now,” said Armstrong.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Young musicians to gather in Nanaimo for West Coast Youth Fiddle Summit

Fiddlers from B.C., Alberta and the Yukon to participate in second annual event

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Incentivize safer driving

We are effectively just socializing the cost of road accidents here, says letter writer

Lantzville opts against forming social media committee

Committee would have helped district council develop policy on social media behaviour

Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary has been fundraising for 120 years

Hospital auxiliary president says group pioneered Wi-Fi at hospitals on Island

Gabriola Island community bus sees 100,000th rider

Gabriola Environmentally Responsible Trans-Island Express celebrated milestone Jan. 25

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Opioid crisis to blame for shorter life expectancy in B.C. men, says Stats Can

Opioid crisis held responsible for declining life expectancy

Earthquake on top of highway closure a wake up call for Island’s West Coast

“When someone says, ‘Be prepared for 72 hours,’ that means exactly that: be prepared.”

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Taxi association asks B.C. Supreme Court to stop Uber, Lyft from operating

Petition alleges Passenger Transportation Board did not take taxis into account

Majority of Canadian boards had no female members in 2016 and 2017: StatCan

Statistics Canada says 18.1 per cent of director seats were held by women in 2017

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Most Read