Northern Ontario film industry saw record-breaking year in 2015

The Ontario government says the film and television industry contributed $1.5 billion to the province's economy last year.
Janine Oloman with daughter Jasper Green. Janine and her husband Axel Green own a company called Team Green Productions that rents out film equipment. (Samantha Lui/CBC)
The film and TV industry had a record year in 2015 when it came to revenue. A piece of that revenue pie comes to Northern Ontario. The CBC's Samantha Lui spoke with Pierre Bonhomme of Music and Film In Motion about the growth of the industry in the north. 5:09

The Ontario government says the film and television industry contributed $1.5 billion to the province's economy last year.

Much of that income came from several productions shot right here in northern Ontario — and that growth has inspired some to start their own businesses to take advantage of the booming industry.

Janine Oloman and her husband Axel Green are Sudbury-based filmmakers who've just started their own rental company for film equipment called Team Green Productions.

The couple recently purchased a slider, which helps with camera movement. It cost them $10,000.

But for Oloman, the slider is an investment worth making "since film is one of Sudbury's major industries that's booming right now," she said.

"It's definitely a good idea to capitalize on that and that's why we thought of having a rental equipment company."

Pierre Bonhomme, of Music and Film in Motion, says last year was a record-breaking year for the northern Ontario film industry. (Samantha Lui/CBC)

Pierre Bonhomme, who is the crew and skills co-ordinator at Music and Film in Motion in Sudbury, agreed there's been an increase in start-up companies to meet the demands of the entertainment industry.

Having businesses like these in northern Ontario makes it more affordable for filmmakers, who can qualify for grants,

"There has to be a certain amount of money spent in this region to qualify for the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, for example," he continued.

"So the more money that you can spend renting equipment and vehicles and purchasing supplies up here, the better it is for the economy."

Bonhomme predicts there will be more companies established in the north to support film and TV production in the coming years.

"Northern Ontario has also seen a very similar kind of a record-year," he continued.

"We've had over 35 productions — film, television, movies of the week. We've created approximately 315 new jobs in northern Ontario this year, just in 2015."

Bonhomme said the new jobs range from accounting, to hair dressers and set decorators.

Last year also marked the highest number of productions filmed in northern Ontario, he added.


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