CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Island Media Arts Cooperative has a new name, a new location and now plenty of space for Islanders to film their own productions.
Now re-branded as Film P.E.I., the group’s new location is fitted with a sound stage and editing suites, which will help to make filming productions more affordable for Islanders, said president Emma Fugate.
“Moving into this space, it’s like night and day,” she said.
The move to the West Royalty Business Park was celebrated with a VIP launch party and an after-party with live performers.
After they received new funding from the province, Fugate said she was glad to see MP Sean Casey and MLA Jordan Brown make an appearance at the opening.
“We were very happy to see them there. We had lots of lights, lots of music, it was awesome,” she said.
The government of Canada, through Innovative Communities Fund, is providing a non-repayable contribution of $118,250 to support infrastructure upgrades and equipment acquisition for the industry hub. The government of Prince Edward Island is leasing the space to the organization and, through Innovation P.E.I. and Regional and Rural Development, is providing $66,920 in non-repayable contributions to support the move into the new space.
Fugate said investing in the film industry is wise for the province as the funding does more than just support Island artists.
“If you look at a credit list at the end of the film, you will see accountants, lawyers and construction workers, electricians, drivers and caterers. So, I see developing a film industry as a huge economic developer for Prince Edward Island,” she said.
“The main thing is to get P.E.I. out into the world and tell our stories.”
Executive director Renee Laprise estimates there are more than 100 people who work in film off-Island, who would set up in this province if the industry were flourishing.
“We want to bring our people home,” she said.
The space will also work as a gathering spot, with workshops and screenings planned in the coming months. She hopes to attract some newcomers as well long-time residents of P.E.I. to the space.
“We’re going to try to do those sorts of things to build audiences in other parts of the community,” she said.
Compiled by Kai Vere