North Bay’s film industry will be receiving a $5.5 million investment from the Ontario government through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHF). 

David Anselmo, President of Hideaway Pictures – a North Bay production company which is receiving $4.5 million from the investment – says that the film and television industry will be a thriving one in the near future after halting activities during the early stages of the pandemic.

“The wonderful thing about the film industry is that it rebounds fairly quickly. We set up shop, we’re like a carnival troupe and we get going pretty quick. So when the provincial government opened up the region to allow us to start filming again, the industry as a whole has bounced back,” Anselmo said at the announcement. 

And since productions have been given the go-ahead to resume, Anselmo says it will lead to a boom in new content. 

“It’s moving quite quickly now in the province and around North America because the content that’s been needed in the past six months hasn’t been there. I believe that in the next year and a half, we’re going to see an influx of more productions happening all over the place because of that six-month gap,” he said.

Vic Fedeli, Nipissing MPP says that this newest investment is part of his government’s dedication to a growing industry in the area. 

“We’ve built an industry here from scratch so it’s critical for the province of Ontario to continue to support the film sector,” Fedeli said. 

North Bay has seen rapid growth in the economic impact of the film industry. 2019 saw $46 million brought into the city through the industry, nearly quadrupling the input from 2018 ($13 million).

The money from the investment will be dispersed to five different production companies in the area. Hideaway Pictures is the company currently filming the movie, Too Close for Christmas, which has transformed Jack Burrows Place in front of the North Bay Museum into a winter wonderland. 

The other investments are:

  • $500,000 for HP Christmas D Productions Inc. to produce, in and around North Bay, the television movie Too Close For Christmas.
  • $462,628 for Mythic Trips Entertainment Corp. to produce, in and around North Bay, the feature film Flee The Light.
  • $122,457 for Post Production North in North Bay to expand its current service offerings to include digital descriptive video. Digital descriptive video is the vocal description of the action and visuals taking place in between dialogue in a movie or television show.

Productions taking place in the area must adhere to both local and provincial health guidelines, which include enhanced cleaning measures of sets, maintaining a safe distance, and face masks for all crew members. 

Anselmo estimates that his production company alone has spent “tens of millions of dollars” into the North Bay economy in the past year.