Monday April 12, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
Camosun College is embarking on a new journey into the film industry, from a training perspective.
A provincial government investment of $150,000 will aid Camosun College in the exploration of educational opportunities for students in the B.C. film industry and the potential development of an on-campus film studio, as announced this past weekend in a release from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.
“The investment from the B.C. government allows the college to further explore the feasibility of a film studio and sound stage at our Interurban campus and the exciting educational possibilities it could create for students,” says Camosun College president Sherri Bell.
Educational opportunities could include carpentry and electrical programs for trades students; new diploma and certificate programs such as digital animation; and, skills training programs for people in the industry.
Back-ending a possible south Island film studio:
“This funding is a great first step in determining how students at Camosun College could benefit from a new film studio on the south Island through unique skills training opportunities,” said Murray Rankin, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head.
“Our region has stunning locations and skilled people, and I’m pleased to see this investment in exploring the potential benefits to students of competitive sound stages.”
The south Vancouver Island region includes a wide range of opportunities for the camera lens including city and rural, mountain and stream, forest and field, industry and leisure. The generally mild weather year-round is also an attractive aspect of production for film crews.
There is a palpable excitement among municipalities in the region for hosting the film crews that make short-stay of the Greater Victoria area during film shoots. In recent weeks that included in Langford and Colwood in the west shore. Other shoots for film and TV have happened throughout the region over the years, from Oak Bay to Sooke.
Construction of a film studio could provide invaluable local hands-on training opportunities for Camosun students, particularly in the construction and skilled trades – carpenters, electricians and plumbers.
In addition, local trades could bid on contracts and businesses that provide support services during construction, such as excavation and hauling and delivery services.
Advisory committee to build a plan:
The college is setting up an advisory committee that will assist with the planning process for the potential development of an on-campus film studio.
Upon completion of planning work, Camosun will evaluate the results of the plan to determine the best next steps.
It’s welcome news for politicians:
“A film studio at Camosun Interurban would benefit the local economy, creating new jobs and new customers for local businesses in Saanich South and the whole south Island,” says Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South. “This investment could help Camosun achieve its goal of developing sound stages that can attract international productions and train the next generation of people who do the amazing work behind the scenes of the movie and TV industry.”
“This investment moves us closer to a future when the south Island can host the kind of major international film productions that require multiple sound stages – and it may lead to new jobs for young people who want to pursue careers in the creative sector,” says Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake. ” I’m very excited to see what Camosun College will do next as it pursues this new vision for the south Island.”
The Mayor of the District of Saanich, Fred Haynes, is pleased about the province’s investment. “By working together, we can capture the opportunity to bring more big-budget movies and TV shows produced right here in Saanich and create the essential infrastructure for a successful creative industry on the south Island at large.”