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.