Jon Summerland with the Okanagan Film Commission shares the success of 2017 with Regional District of North Okanagan directors Wednesday in Coldstream. (Erin Christie/Morning Star)

Region takes a leading role in film

Okanagan Film Commission shines in 2017

The Okanagan continues to shine under the film industry spotlight.

Okanagan Film Commission’s Jon Summerland said the region has seen a $30,221,500 return on its $229,000 investment in British Columbia’s growing motion picture industry.

“B.C.’s motion picture industry is growing at a contribution of $2.6 billion annually,” he told the Regional District of North Okanagan Wednesday night.

That growth includes physical production, VFX and animation.

In regards to job growth, Summerland said employment in B.C.’s motion picture industry has reached 54.9 per cent, and has been at its highest over the past five years.

And he doesn’t see it declining anytime soon.

Summerland is forecasting the arrival of two more studios – an animation studio, and a live action/animation studio, this year.

While 2017 was strong year, it did have its challenges.

“The X-Files and Supergirl couldn’t see past the smoke,” he said referring to the 2017 wildfires.

Both high-profile shows were filming in the province over the spring and summer season, but were forced to relocate.

Summerland also added that the new soundstage is slated to open soon and up to “industry standards,” and production companies are already showing interest.

His longterm goal for the commission is to bring a Netflix series to film permanently in the area.

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