Mayor’s plan will keep film industry an economic generator

Mayor Sam Sullivan today launched the Task Force on the Film Industry, a new initiative aimed at supporting Vancouver’s film industry and improving its connection with local neighbourhoods.
The Mayor and Councillor Elizabeth Ball were joined by leaders in the film industry, business groups and community organizations to kick off the Task Force on the set of Amped, a television pilot produced by Vancouver’s Brightlight Pictures, for Fox 21 and Spike.

“Film and television productions offer a significant economic and cultural benefit to our City and we must ensure that Vancouver remains one of the most sought-after locations for filming,” said Mayor Sullivan. “This Task Force stems from City Councillors’ commitment to economic development, and our strategy to create a more competitive business climate in Vancouver.”
The Mayor’s Task Force will report to City Council in early 2007 on ways the City can support the film industry through:

  • A co-operative, sustainable and integrated approach from all City Departments, including Park Board, to facilitate better service to the industry;
  • A review of current film production practices, guidelines and costs/fees;
  • A review of opportunities to secure production and location facilities for the film industry;
  • Initiatives to reduce impacts of film activity on business and residential neighbourhoods, schools and parks.

The Task Force will also recommend ways in which the City and Mayor’s Office can promote Vancouver to the international film industry. “As Mayor, I want to let the world know that the City of Vancouver is not only a fantastic place to invest; we welcome film and television productions in our City,” Mayor Sullivan added.
The Mayor has appointed Vancouver entrepreneur Shawn Williamson, CEO of Brightlight Pictures, to chair the Task Force. Members include representatives from various industry associations, neighbourhood organizations, a business improvement society, the Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver Park Board, a location manager and an independent film producer.
“The broad community and industry representation on this Task Force will enable us to develop recommendations around areas of interest to both the industry and to local neighbourhoods,” said Councillor Ball. “This is also a wonderful opportunity for Council to encourage the creation of additional jobs for highly-skilled artisans, craftspeople, technicians and artists who work in film and television production.”
“As an entrepreneur and film producer, I know Vancouver has the potential to become an even bigger player internationally,” said Williamson. “This is an industry that is sensitive to the needs of local communities in which we operate, and I am thrilled to be working with the Mayor and Councillor Ball, along with members of the industry and the community, to ensure that film and television productions will survive and thrive in this City.”
The Mayor’s Task Force on the Film Industry is the latest policy initiative supported by the Mayor’s Office over the past six months, in addition to EcoDensity, new Economic Development Guiding Principles, and the upcoming Public Disorder initiative.