Vancouver Island University intends to lend a hand to a pilot project intended to foster a better climate for the film industry on the Island.
Vancouver Island North Film Commission is leading the project and says the overall goal is to create an environment that will attract productions to the Island to be filmed on time and within budget. However, a training partnership with entities, including the university, trade unions and the Industrial Training Authority, will also be needed.
Joan Miller, film commissioner, said there are tradespeople on the Island who have necessary skills, but require knowledge of how their skills transfer over to the industry. Someone may be a good electrician, but they may not be knowledgeable on the film industry, she said.
“We’re looking at how to get them some training, just so they understand our industry, and some work experience, so that they become an accessible work force that can help fill the demand. This in turn will help us keep production here longer or allow production to look outside and say … we can take our core crew, but we can pick up what we need by utilizing people that live in the area,” said Miller.
Miller said the commission completed a report and is in discussions, bringing all the players together at the same table.
Susan Allen, VIU manager for professional development and training, said the university and North Island College, another stakeholder, have courses necessary to provide training for the project. In the case of VIU, Allen said it’s just a matter of packaging them into what the commission needs.
“We already have a certificate in business management or we have a technical theatre program,” said Allen.