CBC News has obtained a breakdown of some of what the Ontario government paid for when it spent $12 million to bring the International Indian Film Academy Awards and festival to Toronto this summer.
According to documents obtained through a freedom of information request, a preliminary accounting of expenditures lists a total of $10.5 million that was paid to Wizcraft International Entertainment, a promotion and events company based in Mumbai, India.
That included $5.1 million for the actual production of the awards show and various IIFA events.
Another $5.2 million was spent on travel visas, airfare, ground transportation, hotel bills and other associated costs.
The Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture also spent another $1.5 million on costs related to the film festival, including a business forum, advertising and a segment of the awards show that featured a video about Ontario that was introduced by Dalton McGuinty.
The Ontario government lobbied aggressively to get the international gala to Toronto and had earlier said it would pitch in the required $12 million in funding.
However, this is a detailed glimpse into how money was spent.
Some specific expenses included:
- $87,470 for artist fees for IIFAA events.
- $63,480 for set construction in India.
- $35,528.33 for shipping set requirements to Toronto.
In a letter along with the documents, the Ontario government said a full accounting of expenditures, including those of Wizcraft, is expected shortly.
The IIFA is an annual celebration of Indian film and music. Its first-ever North American stop was in Toronto between June 23 and 25 drew roughly 40,000 visitors, according to government figures.
Tickets for the Toronto event that went on sale in January sold out in less than 10 minutes.