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

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

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Nanaimo hospital appears to be contained, says Island Health

Chief medical health officer urges patients to meet scheduled appointments

Beef to the person in the little car who tailgates me with high beams along Kilpatrick and Jingle Pot in the morning and lays on the horn when I turn left onto East Wellington. If following the speed limit is not going to get you where you are going on time please do not take it out on me. May I suggest you leave a bit sooner.
Beefs & Bouquets, Jan. 27

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

(News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 affects student enrolment and funding for Nanaimo school district

More distance-ed students leads to yet-to-be divvied out money, says SD68 secretary-treasurer

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

Cash and drugs allegedly found in a suspect’s possession following an arrest earlier this month in downtown Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
Accused drug dealer arrested in downtown Nanaimo carrying $20,000, fentanyl, crack and meth

Terrance Virus, 39, being held in custody, scheduled to appear in court Feb. 1

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

This coming Thursday, Jan. 28, is Bell Let’s Talk Day, and conversations about mental health would serve many of us well as the pandemic persists. (Zackary Drucker/The Gender Spectrum Collection)
Editorial: Let’s talk about our mental health in a pandemic

Bell Let’s Talk Day is Thursday, Jan. 28

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

A concrete seawall built to prevent erosion on a property on Driftwood Drive on Mudge Island. (Islands Trust image)
Appeal Court says Mudge Island homeowners’ seawall has to go

Court decides right to guard against erosion isn’t a ‘privileged’ property right

B.C. Ferries is in the midst of gathering support from local governments for a plan that would fully electrify Island-class ferries. A pair of hybrid ferries are slated for the Gabriola-downtown Nanaimo ferry route for 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Hybrid vessels just a start as B.C. Ferries works toward fully electric sailings on Gabriola route

Ferry corporation seeking support from local governments for electrification plan

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Most Read