Tourism Vaughan hosted a familiarization tour for film industry leaders as a final event to the Vaughan International Film Festival’s (VFF) 11th year. This tour aimed to showcase the growth and development of the City of Vaughan – specifically within the film, arts and culture sector – and to collaborate on insights and learnings with industry sector professionals to further progress Vaughan’s positioning as a destination for film and entertainment. As a key emerging sector in Vaughan and one of the fastest-growing sectors globally, creative industries create employment and income opportunities, promote innovation and contribute to community well-being.
The event was attended by film industry experts located in Los Angeles and Toronto:
o Mark Lanza, President of the Motion Picture Sound Editors and Recipient of the Industry Trailblazers Award at VFF;
o Michaelangelo Masangkay, Program Director at the Toronto Film School and Owner of Top Drone Inc.;
o Kevin Huhn, Manager of Student Engagement and Community at the Toronto Film School;
o Jax Guillen, Art Director, Illustrator and Filmmaker; and,
o Sergio Di Zio, Actor (Flashpoint, TV Series) and Producer.
The tour showcased four locations that were focused on enhancing our creative industry in Vaughan: St. Elizabeth Catholic High School, The Studios at Assembly Park, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and Kleinburg Village.
In addition, Vaughan’s creative corridor and additional film sites were highlighted, including the Kortright Centre for Conservation, Kleinburg Studios, Boyd Conservation Park, City Hall, and Canada’s Wonderland.
As Tourism Vaughan and Economic Development remain committed to workforce development, upskilling and job creation for Vaughan residents and businesses, the familiarization tour provided an opportunity to promote the benefit of two programs that could greatly support the tourism, film and arts sectors.
• Talent City Vaughan is a funding program designed to support workforce development within the city of Vaughan. The program provides funds for eligible non-profit community and social service organizations to host training programs for Vaughan residents or employees of Vaughan-based businesses. Programs can involve a wide range of micro-credentials, up-skilling and re-skilling programs that will allow Vaughan residents or employees of Vaughan based-businesses to meet the needs of the city’s growing economy.
• The Better Your Business program is designed to increase awareness of the resources available to help Vaughan’s business community improve their processes, practices and policies and ensure they are socially and environmentally responsible. Working together with entrepreneurs, the Better Your Business program will guide businesses on their journey to implement and maintain these practices to create a more sustainable city.
As a result of the familiarization tour, insight into the needs of production teams when filming in a new location was provided, specifically a desire for a film-specific, dedicated information centre that includes location opportunities, tax incentives, the permitting process and visitation support. The details have assisted in new project efforts to better the process for future film productions. In addition, Tourism Vaughan will work and coordinate with the Toronto Film School to seek additional opportunities to support workforce development within the creative industries to make Vaughan a world-class destination for film, arts and culture.