A Place To Call Home

Submitted ByBay of Quinte Regional marketing Board

Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board, in partnership with the Cities of Belleville and Quinte West, created a documentary about immigration in our community, titled A Place to Call Home. Shot and produced by award-winning Canadian filmmakers Tess Girard and Ryan Noth, the documentary tells the story of New Canadians attending Loyola School of Adult & Continuing Education as they make their new life in Canada.

Viewing link:

Purpose of Projects

  • To create a video tool that will:
    1. Help attract other New Canadians by showing them the benefits of living in the Quinte region from the perspective of the community, its opportunities and its people
    2. Raise awareness among the local population about the level of immigration occurring in the community, the advantages of immigration and the realities the New Canadians making a home in our region are facing as they learn a new language, a new culture, and often, escape life-threatening situations
      1. The documentary premiered at Belleville Downtown DocFest in March 2020 to over 500 viewers, including some of the New Canadian families featured in the film:

Effectiveness of Meeting Objectives

  • The film was produced on time and on budget and tells the story we had hoped to tell
  • It resonated so much with the Belleville DocFest audiences that it won the Best Local Film Award

Challenges & Changes Made

1) The Loyola College is part of the Algonquin-Lakeshore Catholic District School Board and many of the New Canadians studying there came from conflict situations where they had previously lived. Some of them could not be featured on camera out of fear they could be found online and tracked down. Therefore, obtaining permissions was a difficult challenge. There were multiple scenes that had to be cut, including one that was in the final draft of the film. We had to re-assess the storyline and make changes, but ultimately we were still able to come out with a strong final product

2) The premiere of the documentary in Belleville was the weekend before Ontario went on high alert for COVID-19 in March. Therefore, our further screening plans have been severely interrupted. Our original plan was to screen the film at festivals and link in with the federal and provincial immigration ministries. Unfortunately, these plans are on hold for now. However, we recently posted the video to YouTube and are making plans to distribute it online from there.

Target Audiences

  • Our primary target is New Canadians who have already moved to Canada, making a life here (primarily in Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal) and beginning to think about moving to a more rural area to save money and have a higher quality of life
  • Our secondary audience is local Quinte residents to raise awareness about the advantages of immigration for our community and tell the story of the people who have chosen to live here