The BC NDP promised on Friday that if re-elected they would provide $150,000 in funding to help build new film facilities at Camosun College in Victoria.
According to the party, the funding would be used to develop a “business case” for private partners to sign on to the project.
The project itself has been outlined by Camosun as a series of new facilities that would be built on undeveloped land at the college’s Interurban campus.
The project would include:
- two 20,000-square-foot sound stages
- one 15,000-square-foot sound stage
- sound and editing facilities
- production offices
- 20,000 square feet of classrooms
Murray Rankin, the NDP candidate for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, says the proposed policy is a “no-brainer” that he hopes would see all-party support after the election.
“The first step is to make a business case,” said Rankin in an interview with Victoria Buzz.
“The point of [the announcement] today was that nobody has ever said ‘here’s the money we need’ to the industry. Now we’re putting money on the table to get this business case done.”
Rankin says that he has experience working with lawyers and other professionals in the film and television industry and would use those connections to find investors if he is elected as MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head.
The NDP says that last year 384 major productions throughout the province contributed $3.2 billion to the province’s economy.
Rankin says the goal with this project would be to promote the South Island, and Victoria in particular, as a new film and tv hub for production companies.
“We want people to know we have world-class facilities right here,” he said. “We have stunning locations here, but they’re different from the scenery in Vancouver.”
Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes expressed his support for the policy promise, saying local residents and the Island economy are currently “missing out” on the industry.
“The South Island receives just 1% of the $3.4 billion the film industry brings into the province,” Haynes said in a statement.
“It is well-established in the industry that the primary impediment for our region is the total absence of adequate infrastructure for sound stages, production facilities and equipment supply depots, in addition to educational supports.”
The new announcement follows a promise in the NDP platform to re-establish the government-film sector task force to provide recommendations on new visual effects tax credits.