A group of film and television industry representatives from Vancouver were given the grand tour of the Okanagan Thursday, with the hopes of bringing work from the Coast.
Jon Summerland, Okanagan Film Commissioner, took the group of 20 industry men and woman around Kelowna and Vernon, stopping at several studios, facilities and local businesses.
“We’re trying to get a sense of the production capabilities here in the Okanagan, specifically Kelowna and Vernon, and see if we can help facilitate more work up here,” said Liz Shorten, vice-president of Canadian Media Producers Association and one of the tour members.
Shorten says while she would never say the Vancouver film scene is “full,” shooting in the Okanagan can take pressure off the very busy Vancouver film industry.
“To know there’s capacity up here is invaluable,” she said.
The group toured through Kelowna’s Film Factory near Richter Street and Gaston Avenue, a film studio run by Kelly Veltri and Jeff Myers for over three years.
“To have them come through is a great honour,” said Veltri. “They all seemed to like what we’re doing and those are the kind of people who in the future, the Okanagan film crew, they’re going to be dealing with them.”
The men, who have both been in the Okanagan film scene for over 15 years, say they’ve seen significant growth locally since they first began.
“Last year, I worked on five feature films alone, while running (The Film Factory), so next year who knows,” said Veltri.
Last summer, Wesley Snipes was in Vernon filming The Recall, a feature film produced by Minds Eye Entertainment, and in November, Nicolas Cage was in Osoyoos filming The Humanity Bureau.