Okanagan film industry brought almost $50 million to the region in 2020 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan film industry brought almost $50 million to the region in 2020

Image Credit: Submitted/Regional District of Central Okanagan
February 11, 2021 - 6:30 AM

Even though COVID-19 caused a slowdown in film production last year, the Okanagan Film Commission was still able to secure two dozen shoots worth $48.8 million to the local economy, according to the film commissioner.

That figure is included in a report going to a Regional District of Central Okanagan committee tomorrow, Feb. 11.

“The South Okanagan set an industry standard by being in the forefront of safe production and hence became the first region in Canada to 'go to camera’ during COVID,” the report by Film Commissioner Jon Summerland states.

A slate of Movies of the Week for Hallmark and Lifetime were booked in 2020 and shooting will run into 2021.

Two reality shows and a number of movies are also in the works for this year.

The economic impact of movie, TV and commercial shoots can range from $25,000 to $100,000 U.S. a day, the report states.

The biggest shoot was for a movie called 'Dangerous', at $11 million. Yetifarm had an $8 million economic impact and 'A Change of Pace' was valued at $4.5 million.

The commission serves the Okanagan, Similkameen and Boundary regions and is largely funded by local governments.

Of its $283,000 proposed budget for this year, $150,000 is to come from the Central Okanagan, $45,000 from the Okanagan Similkameen and $44,000 from the North Okanagan regional districts.

The commission does much more than scout locations for production companies, Summerland said in the report. It also helps connect producers with crews, vehicles and office space among others.

“Often the OFC (Okanagan Film Commission) is the middleman, the agent, the fixer,” Summerland wrote.

There are regional tax incentives that give credits for shooting outside the Lower Mainland which are tacked onto provincial tax incentives.

And, given the ongoing concerns about COVID, the commission is encouraging filmmakers to write scripts with outdoor locations rather than on stages or in studios, the report states.

Here are some of the film shoots that had the greatest economic impact in the region in 2020.

  • $11 million – Dangerous
  • $8 million – Yetifarm
  • $4.5 million – A Change of Pace
  • $2.2 million – Claire
  • $2 million – 12 Tweets of Christmas
  • $2 million – Bardel
  • $1.75 million – The UnKnown (BlomKamp)
  • $1.5 million – Vintage Hearts
  • $1.5 million – For Fetter or for Worse
  • $1.5 million – Under A Lovers Moon
  • $1.5 million – A Christmas to Savour
  • $1.5 million – Love On The Vine
  • $1.5 million – Shot at Love
  • $1.5 million – Romance at Crystal Cove
  • $1.5 million – Snatched from Mommy
  • $1.5 million – The Angel Tree
  • $1.5 million – YULE BLOG

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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