B.C.’s creative industries have announced a new initiative aimed at sharing the sector’s story.
BC Creates is being announced in Victoria this evening as part of Creative Industries Week.
Liz Shorten of the Canadian Media Production Association, BC Producers’ Branch, described the effort as a collaborative communications initiative backed by film and television, digital entertainment, music, and magazine and book publishing industry associations.
“It’s a celebration of the various parts of the creative economy,” she told the Straight by phone today (April 28).
Shorten said many British Columbians don’t know about the economic impact of the province’s creative sector.
“There’s 85,000 skilled jobs across the province working in the creative industries, and they generate at least $4 billion in annual GDP, and when you compare that to sectors of the economy like mining and agriculture and forestry, we’re actually on par with those other sectors,” she said.
“And I think in British Columbia, people recognize those resource-based sectors and see them as…pillars of the B.C. economy, and we’re just trying to raise up our hands and say hey, alongside those industries, this industry has grown and actually has this kind of economic impact.”
She noted that a lot of those jobs are well-paying and are filled by young people.
“We think it’s a positive story to tell in terms of how this sector can contribute to a diversified economy in B.C.,” she said.
After launching the event this evening, Shorten said industry representatives will also make a presentation at the B.C. Legislature tomorrow.
The initiative will then be introduced in Vancouver on Wednesday (April 29) as part of Canadian Film Day.
The Vancouver International Film Festival Society is screening six Canadian films to mark the occasion, in addition to hosting a reception where X-files creator Chris Carter will be recognized for his contribution to B.C.’s creative industries.
Shorten said there will be more events to come under the BC Creates banner.
“This is industry saying we’re stepping up and we want to showcase the great stories that we have to tell, and we’re going to do that hopefully across the province in a variety of music events, and film and television events, and magazine and book publishing events," she said.
"So we’re in this for the long haul."