B.C. film fund to pitch locations

The B.C. Film Commission and its regional agencies are building up their library of film locations in an effort to maintain B.C.'s $1 billion film and television industry.

Hatley Castle near Victoria became familiar to movie-goers around the world as a location for the X-Men movie series.

VICTORIA – Do you need a castle for your super-hero action movie? Rolling ranch land for a western?

The B.C. Film Commission and its regional agencies around the province are building up their library of film locations in an effort to maintain B.C.’s $1 billion film and television industry. The provincial government contributed $275,000 to that effort Wednesday, to be shared by film and tourism organizations around the province.

Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Ida Chong made the announcement at the Vancouver Island landmark Hatley Castle, which gained fame as a location for the X-Men movie franchise.

B.C. Film Commissioner Susan Croome said if B.C.’s spectacular scenery and movie expertise were presented as a movie, it could be called “Float Planes, Boats and Snowmobiles.”

B.C. has become the third largest film and television production centre in North America, behind only Los Angeles and New York. About 25,000 people work in the B.C. industry.

Peter Leitch, chair of the Motion Picture Industry Association of B.C., said the funds will help local people supply information and pictures for producers matching scripts with possible locations. But as president of North Shore Studios, he is more concerned with the U.S. currency exchange rate and the fate of B.C.’s harmonized sales tax.

Leitch has also served as co-chair of the Smart Tax Alliance, campaigning for people to keep the HST and the sales tax recovery it provides to production companies. B.C. already provides between $130 million and $200 million in refundable tax credits to the film and TV industry to match Ontario’s credits, and losing the HST credits would return the advantage to Ontario for Hollywood movies and TV, he said.

The B.C. government’s new fund is distributed as follows:

B.C. Film Commission: $25,000

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism: $15,000

Columbia Shuswap Regional District: $15,000

Fraser Valley Regional District: $10,000

Greater Victoria Film Commission: $40,000

Kootenay Columbia Film: $30,000

Okanagan Film Commission: $30,000

Northern B.C. Tourism Association: $30,000

Whistler and Squamish municipalities: $10,000

Thompson-Nicola Film Commission: $30,000

Town of Gibsons: $10,000

Vancouver Island North Film Commission: $30,000

Just Posted

Palumbo nets win in KIJHL debut with Golden Rockets

Female goalie believed to be league’s first to play a full game and win

Mt. Begbie Brewing opens new tasting room

Following a record breaking year and a number of awards, Mt. Begbie Brewing opens a new tasting room

Mamas for Mamas founder survives with new lease on life

Kelowna’s Shannon Christensen escaped a dangerous situation and lived to tell about it

BC Liberal leadership hopeful Michael Lee stops in Revelstoke

Lee’s visit comes less than a week before the BC Liberal’s final leadership debate

Accused Shuswap drug smuggler pleads not guilty in U.S. court

Colin Martin continues to fight allegations relating to cross-border drug smuggling operation

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

PHOTOS: Revy Stomp transforms community centre

On Saturday night the Selkirk Saddle Club proved it’s far more than just a one-trick pony

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Tychonik continues scoring run

Vees chalk up another win with Pink in the Rink

PHOTOS: Rail Jam at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

On Saturday night RMR held a killer rail jam at the base of the ski hill

Most Read