The largest ever City of Toronto business mission to Los Angeles increased the profile and attractiveness of Toronto to both new and established production companies in Los Angeles.
“We demonstrated our commitment as a unified industry and reinforced to all that Toronto can deliver as a premier production location,” said Mayor John Tory.
Mayor Tory and Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee, were part of a delegation of 22 Toronto companies and organizations to Los Angeles to build upon the record investment in Toronto by Los Angeles-based production companies, which exceeded $800 million in 2016.
“This mission helped solidify strong annual production investments in the city,” said Councillor Thompson. “We are confident that we will again be above the $1.5 billion mark in 2016, thanks in part to investments from our clients based in the United States.”
The mission consisted of five hosted events with influential decision makers from across the Los Angeles screen production spectrum as well as meetings with companies such as Annapurna Pictures, CBS All Access and Netflix.
The City of Toronto’s interaction with Los Angeles companies was strengthened by the presentation of the City’s five-point plan (http://ow.ly/8xoY3088p8D) for improving Toronto’s screen-based infrastructure, customer service and labour force development which was endorsed by City Council in June 2016.
Toronto has one of the largest screen-based (film, television, commercials and animation) industries in North America, employing 30,000 people. For the sixth consecutive year, this important sector has contributed more than $1 billion to Toronto’s economy.
The Los Angeles business mission was a collaborative public and private sector initiative supported by Toronto’s community of screen-based service providers.
“We are proud of Mayor Tory’s commitment to the film industry in Toronto and excited to participate in his mission to LA. This important mission provided us with the opportunity to announce Revival XP, an investment in a new studio, for the production of music videos, TV commercials and virtual reality,”
– Mitchell Goldhar, chairman of the board of SmartREIT and the owner of Revival 629 Film Studios
“Pinewood Toronto Studios is proud to be part of this important mission to LA. Sponsors from all parts of the film industry came together to support our mayor and his team in delivering a powerful message that Toronto is uniquely positioned to provide the best possible experience for film and television. Our clients felt that this mission demonstrated that Toronto is committed to delivering world class service and develop our film industry in purposeful way. The feedback was extremely positive and definitely provided us a leg up when dealing with our clients.” – Blake Steels, president of Pinewood Toronto Studios
“The amount of content being created in the world is at an all-time high and this mission with Mayor Tory has allowed the collective production community of Toronto and local government to reaffirm our commitment to being the best location in the world for production, post-production and visual effects. Mayor Tory and his team are incredibly effective at delivering this message, in addition to bringing the local community together to present one common goal which is to continue to grow this business for the city of Toronto.” – Nick Iannelli, senior vice president of post-production at Deluxe Toronto
“The L.A. mission has been a huge success for the Film and Television Industry in Toronto. Mayor Tory’s speeches were candid and well received by the L.A. community as he shared his findings from his visit last year and the initiatives that were undertaken to resolve issues such as maintaining stable tax credits, ease of production process and physical space within the city. It was proud and inspiring to feel that both government and industry continued to remain vested in the community’s success – as is evidenced by the size of the delegation that collaboratively represented production from prep to post. I would like to thank the City’s mission team of Mayor Tory, Councillor Thompson, Vic Gupta, Michele Alosinac, Zaib Shaikh and Amara Nwogu for their continuing support and unwavering dedication.” – Neishaw Ali, president of SPINVFX
“It was not uncommon to hear that in an industry with long timelines for projects, Toronto is hugely attractive because of its current political stability. As members of the delegation, it was incredible to see people come together with competing interests to support this mission and more importantly, the City of Toronto. Even the LA community were wildly impressed by the guest turnout. It was such a pleasure to watch Mayor Tory connect to the different audiences over the course of the mission. He has an astute understanding of the film and television industry in Toronto and its impact on the city in terms of investments, employment, creativity, education, community and all the people that support it. He is committed to the long-term game, knowing we need to continue to build and support this incredible network. His straightforward and unaffected approach was well-received by attendees. Our industry and the mission delegates couldn’t have asked for a better salesperson.” – Julie Cowan, president of re-lo TO Ltd.
“Connecting the film and media industry in Toronto with L.A. makes so much sense. This mission was great for promoting our amazing crews and facilities and the abundant creative talent and energy at all levels. There is much more to selling a location; it is about becoming a vital partner in a sustainable global industry. At Ryerson FCAD we have students that are passionate, creative and innovative. It was really important for me to be part of this mission to help pave the way for our graduates. It is terrific to have a Mayor and a City team that are focused on the future as well as the present and who believe in the importance of this sector.” – Charles Falzon, dean of the faculty of communication and design at Ryerson University.
“This mission has been an important platform to highlight the unique partnership of Canadian universities involved in the industry. The development of our pioneering academic programming and cutting-edge research in new entertainment media is focused on educating the next generation of talent that will support the thriving creative ecosystem of the film and television industry in Toronto.” – Shawn Brixey, dean of York University school of the arts, media, performance and design.
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