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Lights, camera, funding

$7.3 million is flowing from the province to the film and television industry in the north. 

Nearly $2 million is for four projects in the North Bay area. 

Vic Fedeli, Nipissing MPP and Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Minister, says the funding will create jobs and promote economic development in North Bay, Sudbury and surrounding areas.

Leif Bristow, Film Producer, is about to deliver his feature film A Dog Named Valentine, which is getting $500,000.  

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He says dozens of local jobs are created with each production. 

“Our entire grip team were all recent graduates from Canadore.  They weren’t necessarily the people you would’ve gone to in Toronto, but they were local, they were enthusiastic, really well-trained and they stepped onto the set and, boy, would we hire them again,” he says.  

Bristow says about 35 crew members were from North Bay with 55 from the north, along with 100 percent of their background casting.  

He also says COVID-19 created new jobs covering everything from medical to cleaning and testing.  

Alex Lalonde, Chief Operating Officer of Strategem RX, says there are also benefits to the supporting cast of businesses in the community. 

“An industry that helps support a film when we’re shooting in the north, the restaurants, the hotels, the catering companies and the local businesses that help us make it the best experience,” she says. 

Michael McGowan, Filmmaker, says North Bay is a welcoming community. 

“The great thing is you can maximize your film dollars so much better just because you can move around so quickly.  We had to shoot a Vienna concert hall scene and we used the Capitol (Centre) and with a little augmentation you couldn’t tell the difference,” he says. “The community is really film-friendly.  In Toronto, there’s just a lot of places where it’s tough to film and it just seems like in North Bay they’re just so embracing and love the film culture. They make you feel welcome.  It’s a real joy to film up north.” 

“Our government is proud to support the film and television industry in northeastern Ontario, which continues to create good jobs and develop skilled local talent,” says Fedeli.  “As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, helping northern production and post-production projects succeed is more important than ever.”

The following funding is being delivered through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC):

North Bay and area

  • $750,000 for Strategem RX to produce the feature film Lakewood
  • $500,000 for Christmas Films 2020 to produce the feature film Tiny Home Christmas
  • $500,000 for DNV Productions to produce the feature film A Dog Named Valentine
  • $200,000 for Game Theory Films Inc. in North Bay to establish a space for film productions

The rest of the funding goes to nine projects in other areas of the northeast, including Sudbury.

$2.8 million is for Get ‘er Done Productions 6 Inc. to produce season six of the Letterkenny television series. 


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