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Lights, camera, action! Kitchener approves Film, Music and Interactive Media Office for trial run

570 NEWS - Mark Pare

The film and music industry is getting a boost from the City of Kitchener.

The city has approved the establishment of a Film, Music and Interactive Media office as a two-year trial.

“We want to make sure that if we are investing dollars into something like that, we’re investing them in the right way,” Mayor Berry Vrbanovic tells 570 NEWS.

He says growing the industry was an area identified in their economic development strategy.

“It’s integral, in terms of the potential impact it has on our local economy in itself,” he said, “But it also directly relates with our ability to attract talent into the tech and innovation areas and so this is really a further step in terms of supporting that.”

As for potential impacts, Vrbanovic says they’re hoping those graduating from local colleges and universities will begin their careers in media here.

“What residents hopefully will see is more musicians performing in local venues, thus giving people a variety of musical genres in some of our venues around town,” he said, “Which, again, adds to the quality of life for our residents. They can find those things here, as opposed to perhaps going to Toronto.”

However, he adds Toronto’s industry can play a part because the GTA — “The Film Capital of Canada” according to Vrbanovic — is close by.

“The studios that are overflowing with business and work,” he said, “Our proximity to there certainly I think makes us a viable partner for some of the companies that are looking to grow and expand.”

Vrbanovic goes on to say our location is prime real estate for filmmakers too.

“A lot of great both physical sites and natural sites to showcase,” he said, “Including the Grand River, which is Canada’s heritage river.”

As for cost, the city is allocating $260,000 as a one-time payment for the project, and will base the office out of city hall to start.