Province pilots TV and Film Crew Training at NIC

MARCH 30, 2017 – NIC will receive nearly $500,000 to develop TV and film crew training programs in Port Alberni and Campbell River, BC Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, Michelle Stilwell announced today.

Stillwell, who is also the MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, made the announcement on behalf of Shirley Bond, BC’s Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training at NIC’s Campbell River campus.

“The Film and Television industry is booming in BC, with $2 billion in production spending here in the province, and many productions filming right here on Vancouver Island,” said Minister Stilwell. “This growing sector of our economy provides job opportunities for locals as well as economic benefits for the communities within our region. The training programs that will be piloted in Campbell River and Port Alberni by North Island College will provide more of our residents with the skills needed to work in the industry, which will in turn attract more production companies to film here in the future.”

The Vancouver Island North Film Commission (INfilm) was instrumental to the program’s development. The organization provides liaison and location services to film, television, commercial and media companies filming in communities from Nanaimo north.

“We’ve been thinking about this for a long time,” said Film Commissioner Joan Miller. “This year, with Vancouver bursting at the seams and the low Canadian dollar, everything just lined up. We’ve got great locations and facilities on Vancouver Island and, with a stable crew base, we’ll have the capacity to do a lot more filming here.”

WorkBC predicts the motion picture and sound recording industry to be one of BC’s fastest growing employers, with an estimated 10,500 job openings between 2015 and 2025. Vancouver is already the third largest TV and film production centre in North America, with more than $2 billion in direct spending in 2015 and 25,000 direct and indirect jobs in the motion picture industry. Miller predicts much of the growth will happen outside of established centres.  

NIC received $488,750 to develop curriculum and pilot delivery of TV and Film Production Crew Training programs, which includes two streams – one for production assistants and one for trades students.

The production assistant stream is geared towards First Nations students, who will receive a motion picture orientation ticket and the certifications required to work as entry-level production, location or office assistants.

The trades specialization stream will equip carpentry, plumbing and electrical journey persons, apprentices and students in trade foundation programs with the skills to work in set design and lighting. Once complete, they graduate with diverse skills to move between the construction and creative industries.

“This announcement will have a great impact on economic diversification, job creation and skills and training in our community and region,” said Colleen Evans, President and CEO of the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce, which has long advocated on behalf of NIC and industry to prepare local residents for work in BC’s highly skilled and growing digital media industry. “The industry is a significant economic driver in BC and we are eager to see local solutions developed.” 

The first group of 20 to 30 NIC students is expected to start in late September 2017. Once the programs are established, NIC will share its learning with other BC colleges to support the film sector province wide.

“We want to thank Joan Miller for her vision and determination in developing this project for North Island students and communities,” said NIC President John Bowman. “We’re excited about working together to diversify the economy in the North Island region.”

He also thanked Minister Shirley Bond for her continued support.

“We appreciate Minister Bond’s vision and commitment to making Labour Market Partnership funds accessible to colleges and creative industries on Vancouver Island,” Bowman said.

Funding for the program is provided by the Canada-BC Labour Market Development Agreement, as part of Sector Market Labour Management Partnership.

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