Mayor John Tory and Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee, will join a delegation of 22 Toronto companies and organizations to Los Angeles from January 23 to 25 to build upon the record investment in Toronto by Los Angeles-based production companies, which exceeded $800 million in 2016.
“Toronto’s film and television sector is a growing source of jobs and economic growth. Last year was a year of record investment by Los Angeles companies in our city,” said Mayor Tory. “I am joining the Toronto film and television community to personally thank them for their confidence in us and to offer our efforts to attract more of these productions to our city that will have a long-term financial benefit for Toronto.”
Drawing on the experiences and insight gained from the City’s Los Angeles business mission in 2016, a delegation twice the size of the one from 2016 will return to strengthen new and established screen industry partnerships. The delegation will reinforce Toronto as a film-friendly destination that brings prosperity and jobs to their and to our city’s investors, production teams and residents.
Toronto’s interactions with Los Angeles companies will be strengthened by the presentation of the City’s new five-point plan (https://ow.ly/8xoY3088p8D) for improving Toronto’s screen-based infrastructure, customer service and labour force development that was endorsed by City Council in June.
The delegation will be hosting four industry events for business representatives in the film, television and post-production sectors. One of those events will include a presentation by special guest Director X (Julien Lutz), an award-winning music video and film director from Toronto. The delegation will also tour Toronto-based SIM Group’s recently opened Los Angeles production hub.
“When I started MR. X 16 years ago, I had a small team of eight people and a big vision of what this company had the potential to be. With the help of the City of Toronto in cultivating a film friendly environment, it has been possible to attract the biggest studios in the world to our city,” said Dennis Berardi, founder and president of MR. X Inc. “Today, MR. X employs 300 world-class artists and technicians. Initiatives like the L.A. mission are imperative in ensuring that productions continue to come to our city where we have some of the best infrastructure and crews in the world both in traditional production and digital animation/visual effects production.”
“In the last five years, Take 5 has been involved in over 200 episodes of primetime dramatic television produced in Toronto. Each one of our productions has been partially financed and supported through relationships with Los Angeles based studios and distributors,” said John Weber, President and CEO, Take 5 Productions. “As competition for film and television production remains internationally competitive, we view the mission as an opportunity to showcase the value propositions of producing in Toronto. We are excited to be sponsoring and joining Mayor Tory and the City of Toronto on this valuable trade mission to Los Angeles.”
“Our screen industry community has unified to finance this mission and support our mayor because he understands the economic impact and the job creation associated with our $1.5 billion industry,” said Jim Mirkopoulos, Vice-President, Cinespace Film Studios. “For a mayor to travel and visit our clients twice in two years – first to thank them and get feedback, then to update them on our progress – that’s a tremendous show of support by our City’s leadership for our industry’s 30,000 jobs, and our clients will not soon forget this high level of engagement and appreciation.”
In 2016, Toronto was chosen for the production of CBS’s new Star Trek: Discovery television series, the first time a Star Trek series is being filmed outside of the United States. Last year, The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios selected Toronto to film the television series ratings hit Designated Survivor. These series, alongside many other productions, have made 2016 an exceptional year for foreign investment in the city.
Toronto has one of the largest screen-based (film, television, commercials, animation) industries in North America, employing 30,000 people. For the fifth consecutive year, this important sector has contributed more than $1 billion to Toronto’s economy. In 2015, on-location filming investment in Toronto achieved a second record-breaking year and exceeded $1.5 billion for the first time, with a total investment of $1.55 billion.
The Los Angeles business mission is a collaborative public and private sector initiative supported by Toronto’s community of screen-based service providers. The full delegation and detailed itinerary will be provided upon request.
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