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

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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.

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DavidH

Jan 22, 2013 at 3:49pm

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.

Pat A

Jan 22, 2013 at 5:20pm

Its not the investment for today but the future .Its should have been done long ago.

James Blatchford

Jan 22, 2013 at 9:37pm

..'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!

Jeannie Scott

Jan 23, 2013 at 11:02am

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.

Jeannie Scott

Jan 23, 2013 at 12:41pm

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.

Maria

Jan 23, 2013 at 8:35pm

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.

Really?

Jan 24, 2013 at 10:11am

Does any believe for a second that Maria's comment above is from a real person? It smacks of ill-informed social media strategy.

Coquitlamgirl

Jan 24, 2013 at 5:17pm

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.

ChrisB

Jan 24, 2013 at 8:21pm

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!

Buckster

Jan 25, 2013 at 11:21am

Liberals see you at the polls!!!

Buh BYE!

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