B.C. earmarks $150K for film studio study at Camosun College

The B.C. government has officially committed $150,000 to research the development of an on-campus film studio at Camosun College's Interurban campus.

Last year, the B.C. NDP said it would provide the funding to Camosun if it were re-elected in the provincial election. On Saturday, the provincial government announced that it would be following through on that campaign promise.

"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 in a statement Saturday.

"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," he said.

The study would also look at how a local film studio could provide training for island workers and Camosun students.

The province believes that a film studio could be an asset for both workers in the industry, and for trades students – such as carpenters, electricians, and plumbers – who could be involved in building the facility.

After the $150,000 study is complete, Camosun will review the findings and determine what the next steps will be, according to the province.

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn't slowed down the TV and film industry on Vancouver Island. Victoria is currently hosting a movie production starring Peter Dinklage and Shirley MacLaine, among others, and the island was recently home to Netflix TV series called Maid.

"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," said Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South, on Saturday.

"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," she said.

No timeline for when the study would be complete was announced Saturday.