B.C. government to spend $11 million to bring Bollywood awards to Vancouver

Premier Christy Clark confirmed at a Vancouver press conference on Tuesday (January 22) that the inaugural 2013 Times of India Film Awards will be held in Metro Vancouver from April 4 to 6.

“The Times of India Film Awards will be seen by hundreds of millions of people in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and Vancouver will be centre stage,” Premier Clark stated. “This is one piece of our government’s outreach efforts in India, opening up new opportunities for trade and investment that will create jobs here at home. This is a tremendous economic opportunity for British Columbia to reach new markets—one that we will take advantage of.”

The province will spend $9.5 million to match funds from the Times of India Group for the new event. An additional $1.5 million will fund various B.C. activities, including the BC-India Global Business Forum. 

The provincial government claims the event is estimated to generate $13 million to $18 million in spending in B.C. from tourism and event production.

The awards ceremony, to be held at BC Place with a potential live audience of 30,000, will be broadcast globally. According to the news release, the ceremony will include performances by Bollywood's biggest stars, including Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, and more. 

The celebrations will include a music event at Pacific Coliseum and Bollywood film screenings across the province. Online voting for popular awards by audience begins February 1 and tickets for the awards begin on February 15. 

The Vancouver press conference included Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour; Iain Black, Vancouver Board of Trade president and CEO; Times of India Group board of directors A.P. Parigi; actress Chitrangada Singh; and choreographer Shiamak Davar.

Another press conference for the awards will be held in Mumbai, India, on January 29.

The announcement of the awards being launched in B.C. arrives on the heels of the provincial government's failed bid to bring the International Indian Film Academy Awards to Vancouver.

The IIFA confirmed in a press release on January 21 that it will not be holding this year's awards in Vancouver. The IIFA awards, which are held in a different city around the world each year, made its first appearance in North America in 2011 when Ontario spent $12 million to bring the IIFA to Toronto. The IIFA Awards has previously been held in cities such as Amsterdam, Singapore, Bangkok, London, Dubai, and Johannesburg. 

However, the TOIFA event announcement also arrives amid concerns about the exclusion of the local film industry from the provincial government's Jobs Plan. The industry responded to the news earlier this month by launching the Save B.C. Film campaign.

A town hall industry forum will be held tonight (January 22) at North Shore Studios to discuss the future of the local motion picture industry.

Comments (20) Add New Comment
An $11 million spend of tax dollars in order to deliver a return of (potentially) $13 million ... a very large portion of which will go to the private sector?

Yep, that's the free-enterprise "we know how to manage dollars" party.

Truly sick, stupid and hyper-political.
Rating: +20
Pat A
Its not the investment for today but the future .Its should have been done long ago.
Rating: -4
James Blatchford
..'our government's outreach efforts in India' ....does this mean more telemarketer calls from Mumbai? I need my air ducts cleaned again this week..NOT!
Rating: +14
Jeannie Scott
Do people realize that this award event has never been held before? We are spending $11 million for an event with no credibility or track record.

Rating: +21
Jeannie Scott
There is now a thread of a website on this awards show http://www.toifa.com/about-toifa/ . Take a look. There is very little there other than promotional material about "holiday amongst the stars" and a tour that includes Victoria sites. This is clearly the first year of the event. There is no information about films. Apparently the voting will be done through the Internet stating next week. The only sponsor is the Government of BC.

I truly hope someone proves me wrong on this.
Rating: +13
youtube has a video which shows mega superstar shah rukh khan confirming he will attend this show April 6 in vAncouver Canada. This is so exciting. I and my family will travel from here in Baja Sur Mexico to see him as we were going to visit relatives in Oregon this year and Vancouver is not that far away. My daughter and I can not wait as he is so beloved by us both.
Rating: -23
Does any believe for a second that Maria's comment above is from a real person? It smacks of ill-informed social media strategy.
Rating: +12
With all due respect to Maria, I don't think that the citizens of BC should pay $11 million for an event so that she can have an opportunity to travel from Portland to see her favourite beloved star. At least she is honest in pointing out that this has nothing to do with films and everything to do with vote getting.
Rating: +21
I wonder if any Indian film producers are planning to film their next project in North America. If so, they will most likely avoid doing it here, despite our climate, great number of experienced, but underemployed film crews, the Beautiful BC locations and a large Indian community.
No, they will go to Ontario where the rupee goes further - their accountants will insist upon it.
Thanks, Ms. Clark for sticking it to BC's film community so that a few airlines and tour operators can get fat.
- one of BC's 25,000 film craftsmen & women
P.S. We'll see you at the polls May 14!
Rating: -9
Liberals see you at the polls!!!

Buh BYE!
Rating: -8
It' funny how we are using a different country as a reason to stand up to our government! It is sad that Canada with it's high $ doesn't meant anything specially in BC,looking at the high living cost we need more trade and international investments. I think we can learn a thing or two from the worlds largest democracy's India and China. Until 300 years ago they were still controlling 80% the worlds GDP. So please my fellow Canadians you think you are saving BCFILM? with that 10 million? not really, looking at the response almost everyone has had on this Bollywood award issue, I being a DOP,encourage international markets and exposure. Oh, and this city has been dead as we haven't had anything since the Olympics on a global scale.. Protest, and Vancouver or BC will be forgotten in the mist for the coming years... Encourage trade and we will stand out as a culturally diverse and welcoming Province along with being beautiful and EXPENSIVE.
Rating: -1
the truth
you idiots are retarded, these awards are going to be amazing and put vancouver on the map, if you want to be stingy then we can just hoard money and be unknown in the world cuz thats obviously what you want. throw more money at the nhl why don't you, because that's doing a lot of good
Rating: 0
rofl "the truth"

"these awards are going to be amazing and put vancouver on the map"

funniest stuff I have read in days, nice work
Rating: +1
Oh BC!

they are already selling toifa vancouver packages with the discover British columbia, Canada campaign....the stars that are going to perform will attract $1500 a ticket crowd to vancouver no matter what the award name. If people could fly from London, Miami and Houston to see Shahrukh Khan in toronto during IIFA, then Vancouver is an easy sell....but some regressive mindsets will never change given the history of BC politics they will find something or someone to pick on.
Rating: +6
who pays for star travel and stay?
Rating: +10
This is a bad idea. A first time event. We failed in the bid for the real IIFA Awards. Now we the tax payers have to pay to have a pseudo awards show.. Come on!,,
Rating: +8
hollywood/bollywood admirer
hey! so what? these are humans too just like hollywood stars- cool it! Let others enjoy the show if you dont want to .Dream come true for some people who cant make a trip to India. We all have some mentors, admirers-esp actors! Sharukh and Ranbir? live in peace, be happy for today-there may be no tomorrow.Its tourism for BC. Hope there are many more ethnic events to bring more money for our province. Good work BC Govt-Bravo!
Rating: +3
In response to James Blatchford, it never surprises me with the level of ignorance of people like you. You likely know nothing about India or it's economy but feel perfectly justified in making a comment that stereo-types Indian people based on your limited information. Grow up, it's 2013!
Rating: +4
See the growth of Vancouver in the last 7 years... this also really boost the economy. As we see immigrants play a vital role in the development of canada
Rating: +7
BC Actor
Bollywood doesn't need help. The mafia in India handles any 'help' it may need.

This government is organized crime in office.

Save BC Films!
Rating: +6
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