Sudbury

Northern Ontario's film industry needs more skilled workers, group says

Rob Riselli with Music and Film in Motion says the film industry in northern Ontario is clamouring for more skilled workers.

Music and Film in Motion says 26 productions have set up shop in region since January alone

Northern Ontario Film Studios has been leasing the old Barrydowne Arena from the city since 2012. The company has been one of the hubs for film production in northern Ontario. (Northern Ontario Film Studios)

Rob Riselli with Music and Film in Motion says the film industry in northern Ontario is clamouring for more skilled workers.

From January to July 1, Riselli says 26 shows have either been filmed or are currently in production in northern Ontario. 

Ten of those are getting underway in North Bay, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie. The industry also received a $13 million boost from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. 

But Riselli says despite the infusion, the lack of workers is holding the sector back.

"I think we need to reach out, to not just the university and college kids but to the high school kids who are thinking about it at the ages of 15 or 16," Riselli said.

Riselli estimates about 5,000 workers are currently employed by the sector in northern Ontario. He thinks there's no sign of it slowing down, either.

"They tabled, I think, about ten projects for $13 million or so and that bodes well," he said. "And there will be more announcements over the coming weeks, so that's looking very, very good."

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