The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)

Province announces $150,000 investment into movie studio study at Camosun College

South Island NDP candidates promised funding to develop business plan during 2020 election

Saanich is $150,000 closer to calling “Action!” on a film studio at Camosun College.

On Saturday (April 10), the province announced it would be following through on its campaign promise to fund a feasibility study for a proposed film studio and training facility at the college’s Interurban campus – near the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence.

READ ALSO: Saanich calls for lights, camera, government funding for movie studio construction

Before the snap election in October, South Island NDP candidates Murray Rankin for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, Lana Popham for Saanich South and Rob Fleming for Victoria-Swan Lake announced that a re-elected NDP government would contribute to a business study for the film studio.

“We have the skilled people and the stunning locations to attract international productions to the South Island. The only thing holding us back is that we don’t have the competitive sound stages,” Rankin said at the time.

Following the funding announcement, Rankin, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, emphasized that the investment is the first step towards determining just how local post-secondary students and the region would benefit from a film studio.

READ ALSO: Saanich mayor holds B.C. NDP to campaign promise to fund movie studio study

Popham added that the investment could help Camosun make its sound stage plans a reality and attract international productions while training the next generation of T.V. and movie industry workers.

The concept of bringing a movie studio to the region isn’t new.

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes noted it’s been a “three-year journey of active work” from various stakeholders – Camosun College specifically has been in talks with potential partners since 2019 towards bringing a training facility and sound stages to the campus.

In March 2020, Saanich council approves the establishment of a movie studio in the Capital Regional District, citing the economic advantages and job creation.

READ ALSO: Proposed Saanich studio part of a larger push to capture Hollywood dollars

Sherri Bell, president of Camosun, noted that bringing this infrastructure to the campus would provide educational opportunities ranging from carpentry and electrical programs to industry skills training programs such as digital animation.

“I’m just delighted we’ve gotten this far,” Haynes told Black Press Media on April 9. “This is the location on the South Island” for production companies as the region’s mild climate permits year-round filming and members of the industry “have already expressed strong interest.”

The $150,000 investment will go towards developing a business plan and design concept with community consultation, followed by requests for proposals from the private sector to construct the multi-million dollar facility, Haynes explained. Camosun will also be establishing an advisory committee to assist with the planning process.

He added that the province has also committed to spending just under $2 million to construct a new road off Interurban Road to the proposed studio site in an effort to “off-cycle” increased traffic related to productions as Saanich residents expressed concerns.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of SaanichFilm industryProvincial Government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A fire destroyed a commercial building on Idlemore Road early Tuesday. The fire is under investigation. (Kenn Mount photo)
UPDATED: Early morning fire destroys new Sooke distillery

Firefighters still investigating cause of Island Shiners Distillery blaze early Tuesday

Oak Bay Police Department briefs for May 3 to 9. (Black Press Media file photo)
Copper wire stolen after Oak Bay construction site targeted twice by thieves

Cop briefs include pair of impounded cars, swiped back medication

The Capital Regional District hopes to be a national leader in zero waste and the circular economy, but getting there will take curbing construction waste and addressing challenges brought on by the region’s growth. Pictured is the Hartland landfill. (Black Press Media file photo)
CRD aims to be zero waste national leader, reduce enough to curb landfill expansion

Capital Region will have to reduce major waste sources: construction, organics from apartments

Langford Fire Rescue (Black Press Media file photo)
Langford looks to strike out on its own for emergency fire dispatch services

Mayor Stew Young says the city is large enough to negotiate solo

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Search continues for Saanich man Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

Support from community, police keeps his mother hopeful

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Condemned building of the Twin Gables Motel in Crofton is not safe and yet a teen has been climbing around on the roof while others were ripping the siding off the building. (Photo submitted)
Destructive behaviour by teens wreaking havoc on Island community

Crofton residents becoming fed up with the constant vandalism and fires

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Drug users were shut out of Vancouver’s decriminalization proposal, critics say, demanding redo

The coalition is asking the city to raise the proposed drug thresholds from a 3-day supply

David and Julie Kaplan with their children Estelle and Justin. (Special to The News)
COVID-19 border closure stops B.C. family’s cross-country move

Maple Ridge couple, two kids, turned away at New Brunswick border

Kelowna RCMP precinct. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna RCMP reviewing rough arrest after video shared on social media

The video shows an officer punching a man while arresting him for allegedly driving a stolen car

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
B.C. to provide three days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

(Pixabay)
B.C. doctors could face consequences for spreading COVID misinformation: college

College says doctors have a higher level of responsibility to not spread incorrect information

The seasonal Search and Rescue program will run between May to September. ( File photo/Canadian Coast Guard)
North Vancouver Island Coast Guard Inshore Rescue Program ready to relaunch

Teams have protocols in place to ensure COVID-19 safety while providing marine safety net

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

Most Read