Regions of BC Celebrate Film Skills Training

June 03 2021

CAMPBELL RIVER, BC – North Island College, in partnership with Vancouver Island North Film Commission, is pleased to announce the completion of four micro-credentialed film skills training programs developed and delivered digitally to participants throughout British Columbia.

A culturally diverse group of 116 participants from Northern B.C., Caribou-Chilcotin, Thompson-Nicola, Columbia-Shuswap, the Okanagan and Vancouver Island recently completed three Production Assistant training sessions. In addition, 25 people completed Craft Service training, which is related to food service. Student graduated with their motion picture orientation tickets and multiple certifications required to work as entry-level crews.

WorkBC predicts the motion picture and sound recording industry to be one of B.C.’s fastest growing employers, with an estimate of 10,500 job openings between 2015 and 2025. With more and more productions looking to film throughout the province, the partners’ vision for this training is to support the growth of locally accessible skilled crew through short term industry standard accessible training.

“As the previous Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, I understood we needed more trained crews outside of the Lower Mainland to meet demand. Now as minister responsible for the creative sector, I am so pleased to see this initiative come to fruition,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Congratulations to all this year’s graduates. I hope to see you working on film sets across B.C. soon.”

“The ability to call upon a core group of trained professionals will have a tremendous impact in attracting productions to film in the regions of BC,” said Joan Miller, Film Commissioner for the Vancouver Island North Film Commission, and President of the Regional Film Commissions Association of BC. “We have long believed in the impact on economic diversification and job creation that film skills training can bring to the rural and remote communities of British Columbia.”

“Creative BC is excited to welcome more British Columbians into the motion picture industry workforce,” said Marnie Gee, B.C. Film Commissioner and Director of Production Services. This industry has grown in B.C. over 40 years, and especially in the last five years, including in the regions. We need local skilled crew and the creative support that graduates of this program will deliver throughout the regions is crucial to successful production.”

“It was an unbelievably rich learning experience; so full of professional instruction, guidance and skill enhancement opportunities,” said Adam Karolewski, recent program graduate. “It certainly cannot be compared with anything else in film production education available in B.C., if not in all of Canada. It was micro in duration, but definitely it was epic as a learning opportunity.”

The successful launch of the timely Motion Picture Micro-credentials builds off North Island College’s industry-based programming designed to serve the much-valued film industry, according to Cheryl O’Connell, North Island College Dean, Faculty of Trades and Technical Programs.

“Through the development and delivery of practical skills training, the collective team of college staff and industry partners united to establish programming directly aligned with labour market demands,” said O’Connell. “This initiative exudes a precedent-setting model for regional capacity development. We are proud to be celebrating not only the launch of the programming, but most importantly, the accomplishments of the program graduates as they become active members of a vibrant sector. This is a sector that offers diverse employment opportunities, contributes to regional business, and fuels infrastructure development, while positively contributing to economic recovery.”

Funding for the tuition-free programs was provided by the Province of British Columbia’s Community Workforce Recovery Program and the Canada, British Columbia Workforce Development Agreements.

For more information, contact:

Joan Miller

Film Commissioner

Vancouver Island North Film Commission

T: 250.287-2772

Cheryl O’Connell

Dean, Faculty of Trades and Technical Programs

North Island College

T: 250.923-9721