KAWARTHA LAKES-The City of Kawartha Lakes could soon be on the big screen.
This week council passed the recommendation to establish a Film and Television Office in Kawartha Lakes and will send a letter of support for the South Eastern Ontario Production Acceleration Fund, to encourage the province for more film production incentives.
“A Film and Television Office will help Kawartha Lakes tap into the growing economic impact of the film industry in Ontario and more details on its development will come soon.” according to the City.
Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan spearheaded the campaign to bring the bright lights to the City in January 2021.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the City of Kawartha Lakes to showcase the natural beauty of the area while creating jobs and opportunities for local residents,” Seymour-Fagan told Kawartha 411 News.
The City hired a consulting company to look into the feasibility of the idea.
SKH Consulting was the successful consultant and the study was completed between May and September 2021.
SKH Consulting was asked to “assess the City’s film and television capacity and appetite, offer recommendations for delivering Film Friendliness for all-scale domestic and
international productions; and, recommend a package of Policy tools, which implemented together, would ensure formal inclusion of film + television production activity in the scope of work across all departments, agencies, boards and commissions.”
The study included a review of internal reports, the City of Kawartha Lakes Strategic and Master Plans, one-on-one interviews with over 40 department and municipal services leads, Trillium Lakelands District School Board, Parks Canada: Trent- Severn Waterway, Director’s Guild of Canada (DGC) Locations Caucus, Ontario Film Commissioner, comprehensive driving of/through the municipality, and benchmarking with neighbouring communities.
The study concluded that Kawartha Lakes has an opportunity, and the capacity, to transform into a Film Friendly jurisdiction that attracts production, delivering employment and job training, community outreach, and private sector capital. It revealed that the film and television industry is an excellent fit for the economic development plans of Kawartha Lakes.
To establish the Film and Television Office, the following steps were recommended. Timelines for these steps is included:
- Listing public and privately owned properties on Ontario Creates beginning in Q1, 2022.
- Establish the framework for an industry advisory function – composition/structure, guidelines, Terms of Reference, Q2, 2022.
- Establish the Management Directive and Standard Operating Procedures for a Film office in KL Q2, 2022.
- Establish a permit IT Master Permitting process created Q3, 2022.
- Collect data, track and analyze findings to inform future plans starting in Q4, 2022.
- Webpage for external information Q4, 2022.
- Develop and execute a marketing and awareness program (incl. Ontario film
office) Q1, 2023.
- Film infrastructure investment attraction (hard and soft initiatives e.g. Education,
partnership with Fleming College, Broadband, overnight accommodation, identification of municipal land for studio production) beginning in 2023.
The Kawartha Lakes Film + Television Office is proposed to become a function of the Economic Development Division and will be incorporated in existing work plans.