Friday, February 23, 2024

Victoria film commissioner responsible for prolific industry growth announces retirement


After 13 years at the helm of the Vancouver Island South Film & Media Commission (VISFMC), the esteemed Kathleen Gilbert has announced she is going into retirement from her role as film commissioner. 

She took the reins from the founder of the VISFMC in 2010 and took the organization from a $6 million operation to a $60 million one by 2022. 

Gilbert was the longest running film commissioner, but before that she was working with her ‘boots on the ground’ for 18 years as a location manager among other roles.

She will be forever recognized for bringing the film industry on Vancouver Island into the spotlight by bringing such productions as Netflix series Maid, Fox’s 10-part mystery series Gracepoint and Disney’s Descendants to the island.

Another feather in her cap that has tremendously helped the island’s film scene was the additional 6% in distant location provincial film tax credits she secured for producers as an incentive to film on Vancouver Island. 


“I have enjoyed my position as Film Commissioner more than words could express,” Gilbert said in a farewell statement.

“I have had the pleasure of working with so many amazing people over the last 13 years.”

“I have been blessed with a devoted and loyal staff and a hard-working board of directors, all of whom have made my job so enjoyable. I look forward to continuing to support the growth of the film industry in Victoria and the commission in whatever ways that I can.”

VISFMC Board President Don Enright says that to all she’s ever worked with, she was always “Caring, decent, ever competent and kind, and very much the kind of colleague who, when she leaves, will be widely and sorely missed.”

As of Thursday, December 7th, the VISFMC is officially on the hunt for someone special to fill the former film commissioner’s enormous shoes. 

Gilbert says she will use her retirement to do some travelling and spend some more time with her family.

Curtis Blandy

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