Re-Opening the Okanagan

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CAT’s Digital Filmmaking program is happy to hear that production is reopening in the valley.

There has been some good news for the local film industry as The Canada Press and Castanet.net have reported that the film industry is on line to reopen for business.

WorkSafe BC has released new health and safety guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, which will ensure appropriate social distancing on set, and include guideline on everything from costumes and make up protocols, to transportation and catering.

Creative B.C. (a provincial organization that supports a range of creative industries) is leading a group that will release a guide in mid-June for film for production companies to follow.

According to WorkSafe BC, film and tv production companies will be allowed to start working once they have a COVID-19 safety plan in place that satisfies these protocols, as well as the provincial health officer’s orders.

Okanagan Film Commissioner, Jon Summerland, told Castanet, “filming will begin slowly later in June and all productions will be using proper health and safety protocols.”

“With the easing of restriction around the Covid-19 pandemic and social isolation rules imposed from the provincial government, we are now seeing an increase in activity in the film industry, most notably right here in our backyard, the Okanangan,” says Victor Poirier, Department Head of Digital Filmmaking.

“All indications are that with the easing of these regulations we could see an incredible boom in the local and regional film industries, with alumni working on sets at all capacities. Actsafe has also given the go ahead to resume the Motion Picture Industry Orientation courses which are held right here at The Centre for Arts and Technology, that coupled with an ever increasing number of Digital Film alumni places our school right at the center of a very exciting period in the local film industry.”

Actsafe has also given the go ahead to resume the Motion Picture Industry Orientation courses which are held right here at The Centre for Arts and Technology, that coupled with an ever increasing number of Digital Film alumni places our school right at the center of a very exciting period in the local film industry.

Victor Poirier, Department Head -Digital Filmmaking, Centre for Arts and Technology

According to Summerland, there is a pent up demand to shoot in the Okanagan; “the Okanagan Film Commission has been receiving extensive interest from filmmakers to come to our region to film, in fact with elevated expanded interest as we have more space for social distancing than in a lot of urban centres.”

Students filming on Knox Mountain, Kelowna
CAT Digital FIlmmaking students practicing their craft on Knox Mountain
CAT Digital FIlmmaking students getting ready to film.
CAT Digital FIlmmaking students getting ready to film.

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