Ontario gets new film advisory panel to help boost the growing industry

Feb 13 2020, 8:10 am

Ontario’s film and television industry continues to grow and is now getting an added boost to spur the industry on even further.

The provincial government is establishing a new Ministers’ Film and Television Advisory Panel to provide expertise on how the industry can continue to grow in the province.

In 2018, Ontario’s film and television production hit $1.96 million with Toronto accounting for a large percentage of productions in the province.

In 2017, the city made $1.8 billion from productions, making it the third consecutive year that film, television, digital, and commercial production investments in Toronto contributed more than $1.5 billion to the city’s economy.

The plan was first announced in the 2019 Ontario Budget and will have Jim Mirkopoulos, the Vice President of Cinespace Film Studios, as chair of the panel providing the government with advice on trends, challenges, and opportunities facing the industry.

“It is a privilege to act as chair on the Ministers’ Film and Television Advisory Panel,” Mirkopoulos said in a release. “The panel members and I look forward to working with the government. Working together, we can advance this important industry to enhance both its economic impact and profile for everyone’s benefit.”

Christina Jennings, the founder and CEO of Shaftesbury, will serve as vice chair.

The panel will also report to the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, and the Minister of Finance.

“Ontario’s film and television industry creates jobs and contributes to local economies in communities across our province,” Rod Phillips, the Minister of Finance said. “Our government looks forward to receiving the panel’s recommendations on how to support this sector’s continued competitiveness and deliver maximum value for Ontario.”

According to the Ontario government, in 2018, film and television production was up from 2017 by almost 19%, and the number of jobs also increased by 4,300.

There was almost an equitable balance between domestic and foreign film and television production in 2018, with just over $1 billion in foreign production spending and almost $850 million in domestic production spending in Ontario.

Some notable foreign features and shows filmed in the province were, It Chapter Two, Shazam!, Star Trek: Discovery, The Umbrella Academy and The Handmaid’s Tale.

There are also many Ontario TV shows currently selling in the US and global markets like Workin’ Moms, Kim’s Convenience, Letterkenny, and Cardinal.