Don’t Miss CUFFED – It’d Be a Crime

On the weekend of March 11 to 13 criminal minds from all corners of the country will descend upon Granville Island. Some of them specialize in constructing alibis for murders, while others take great pains in weaving intricate forms of blackmail, revenge or the silencing of secrets forever. No two think alike, but they all share at least one thing in common: they would love to meet you.

Later this month CUFFED: The International Crime Writers Festival will welcome 20 of today’s hottest crime fiction talent to Performance Works and the Granville Island Hotel. For three days some of the genre’s best-known Canadian talent will tell audiences how they craft relatable villains, ambiguous anti-heroes and tell richly dark stories of human failings that seem all-too-believable – and indeed, might also draw upon disquieting facts.

The lineup of assembled talent is impressive: Linwood Barclay (his novel “No Time For Goodbye” has been translated into nearly 30 languages), Gail Bowen (creator of the Joanne Kibourn book series), Terry Gould (investigative journalist and non-fiction author), C.C. Humphreys (creator of the French Executioner and the Jack Absolute series) and B.C.’s Owen Laukkanen (“The Professionals”) are just five of the 20 authors that will be speaking at CUFFED. Crime reporter Kim Bolan, who’s known for her coverage of the criminal underbelly in “The Vancouver Sun”, will also be a featured speaker and guest at CUFFED.

Ian Rankin CUFFED festival

Scottish crime author Ian Rankin created the character of Inspector Rebus and is a supporter of CUFFED. Rankin’s Rebus is one of the genre’s best-selling sleuths, appearing in more than a dozen bestselling novels and has also been adapted into television.

With a Little Help from Scotland’s Criminal Mastermind

While this is the inaugural launch of the CUFFED festival, it’s already got an internationally heavyweight champion behind it. Scottish author Ian Rankin, creator of one of today’s most popular fictional detectives (Inspector Rebus), helped raise funds for CUFFED’s launch from an event put on last year.

“Readers realize that along with a compelling narrative, crime fiction says important things about the state of the modern world and asks tough moral questions, making us think about our societies, our institutions and ourselves,” said Rankin. “Crime Fiction Festivals are springing up over the globe and I am positive CUFFED will prove to be one of the jewels in this crown – especially with Alma Lee in charge.”

Alma Lee is the Producer of CUFFED and the former Artistic Director of the Vancouver International Writers Festival. It was during her time spent at that organization Lee first saw growing appetite from audiences eager to explore the nuances of crime fiction. “When Lonnie Propas (CUFFED’s Artistic Director) approached me to help him produce a ‘genre’ festival it seemed like a good idea,” Lee explains. “When we decided to go forward we got nothing but highly positive response from everyone we spoke to – publishers, writers and readers all of which made us confident that we could pull it off.”

With votes in confidence from Ian Rankin – as well as letters of support from other influential crime fiction writers like Louise Penny and Quintin Jardine – the CUFFED team are hopeful that this will be the first of many more CUFFED festivals to come. Chances are good that they won’t be dead wrong.


Visit the CUFFED website:

Purchase tickets for the venues.

Deadpool Movie Is a Hit, Both at the Box Office & for B.C.’s Economy

Ryan Reynolds made the Deadpool movie in his hometown of Vancouver.

This weekend’s release of Deadpool shattered all box office expectations, creating a new record for a February movie release with $135 million dollars. It also forged a new record for the highest-opening for an R-rated film, beating 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded by more than $40 million dollars.

Filmed in various locations in the Lower Mainland, Deadpool also gives our local film production industry another win: the movie injected $40 million dollars into B.C.’s economy for the 58 days it shot here. Over 2,000 crew members, local actors and extras were employed, giving these trained workers $19 million in wages.

“Vancouver continues to be an attractive and competitive production hub, with outstanding scenery,” commented David Starke, Executive Vice President, Physical Production for Twentieth Century Fox. “We were thrilled to shoot in B.C. where we had access to some of the best cast and crew, and a variety of locations that provided the ideal backdrop for so many of the movie’s most exciting scenes.”

Starke may be referring to the climactic car chase and gunfight sequence that was filmed on downtown Vancouver’s Georgia Street Viaduct. In April 2015 the Deadpool production shot on the Viaduct, with the roadway closed to traffic for 10 days. The sequence is one of the movie’s longest ones, showing off the False Creek waterfront and skyline of Vancouver as the red-and-black costumed superhero squares off against armed bad guys.

deadpool georgia viaduct

Deadpool faces bad guys on Vancouver’s Georgia Viaduct.

Facts & Figures from Deadpool’s Bottom Line

“I have seen firsthand the enormous positive impact that productions like Deadpool have had on our city,” said Gregor Robertson, Vancouver’s Mayor. “Film and television production continues to be a billion dollar industry here, and it is a growing contributor to Vancouver’s nation-leading economic growth.”

The Mayor makes an important point. Vancouver and B.C. have earned the nickname “Hollywood North” for the hundreds of movie and television productions that have filmed in our backyard. But when you take a closer look at the dollar impact, you’ll begin to see how this creative sector helps pump tens of millions of dollars into our economy.

For example, on just the Deadpool production alone:

  • The crew spent nearly $815,000 on hotel rooms, catering and food costs
  • Nearly $780,000 was spent on truck & car rentals, plus additional transportation costs
  • North of $735,000 went to construction costs on the movie
  • And more than $1 million was earmarked on location costs


The Reynolds Connection

While B.C.’s reputation for highly experienced crews helped, let’s not forget that local boy-made-good Ryan Reynolds also played a huge part in getting Deadpool to the big screen. Reynolds had first originated the merc with a mouth character in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which had some pick-up photography shot at UBC. While that movie’s version of the character wasn’t what Reynolds had hoped for, his belief in giving Deadpool a second screen chance and getting back to the comic book roots of the hero have now paid off.

“I got to push it to my hometown…really so I could see my mom,” the actor recently told etalk about why he fought to get his movie made where his roots are. “But Vancouver has some of the best production facilities in the world and I really wanted to be in Vancouver and be home.”

$15 Million Dollar B.C. Music Fund Created

Premier Christy Clark and Michael Bublé at the announcement of the creation of the B.C. Music Fund.

Big news for B.C.’s music sector! The provincial government has announced the creation of a $15 million dollar B.C. Music Fund. This fund will help promote and facilitate British Columbia’s music sector across all regions of the province, stimulate more jobs for musicians and those working in the industry, and bring more celebration to the diverse musical talent native to our home province.

“B.C. is one of Canada’s leading centres for music with talented musicians in every corner of the province,” Premier Christy Clark said at the announcement of the B.C. Music Fund, on February 11, 2016. “Our record labels, recording studios, concert venues and music festivals draw people from all over the province, the country and the world. Music develops culture, promotes talent and diversifies our strong and growing economy.”

Creative BC will administer the $15 million dollar fund. It’s anticipated that the fund will touch upon every aspect of music that’s performed, recorded and created in B.C. Examples of how the new Music Fund could be used include creation of new live music venues, bringing musical acts on tour throughout British Columbia, strategic development to grow the music industry, and allowing more musical acts more access to record their work to be enjoyed by national and international listeners.

“You guys know that my story is not unlike many others who have had the privilege of building a career in music. For me, it happened right here in British Columbia,” said Michael Bublé, the Burnaby-born singer who is now known throughout the world. “Thanks to you Premier, people who want to pursue a music career here will be able to do so, and not have to leave home.”

In addition to Bublé, many other musical superstars have emerged from B.C. Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams, Carly Rae Jepsen, Nelly Furtado, David Foster, Diana Krall and Art Bergmann are just some of our notable musicians. As well, there are the bands like 54-40, Hedley, The Dave Matthews Band, Spirit of the West, Loverboy, D.O.A. and many others who hail from here.

B.C.’s music industry is an important creative catalyst, from live acts performing in venues to sound engineers working inside one of the 123 recording studios that can be found in our province. B.C. music is also a draw for tourism dollars, with local festivals attracting tens of thousands of visitors per year.

“British Columbia has become a hub for creation and innovation and we are so fortunate to have such a wealth of creative talent here in our province,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. “Our music industry contributes to the cultural fabric of our province as well as attracting talent to our growing technology and tourism sectors helping to diversify our strong economy.”

We eagerly await to see what new opportunities and music talent emerge from the B.C. Music Fund.

Vancouver Now the Top Dog in Special Visual Effects

On Wednesday, July 8 the new world headquarters of Sony Pictures Imageworks held its grand opening celebration. Centrally located in downtown Vancouver, the 74,000 square foot facility now employs 700 full-time digital animators and special visual effects artists, making the city tops in the world for workers in this industry.

Premier Christy Clark and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson attended the opening and took the opportunity to speak about the growing presence of B.C. as a visual effects powerhouse. According to the latest information released by the Vancouver Economic Commission, B.C.’s largest city is now the world’s biggest hub for animation and special visual effects. The latest estimates peg over 5,000 people as being employed by local animation and effects studios.

“B.C. is thriving because we have a diverse economy and diverse markets – and tech is leading the way,” said Premier Christy Clark at the opening. “With a highly skilled talent base, attractive lifestyle and business climate, B.C. is increasingly a global destination for digital media giants.”

Imageworks is busy creating the computer generated animation for Hotel Transylvania 2, featuring the voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and Steve Buscemi. They are also working on crafting special effects for next summer’s superhero film Suicide Squad and the reboot of Ghostbusters starring Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. Special effects for the next Spider-Man movie will also be done at the Vancouver facility.

Reboot Returns to Airwaves as The Guardian Code

Reboot The Guardian Code

Reboot, one of the first-ever computer generated television shows is returning to television, and it’s being rebooted in its home province of BC.

Corus Entertainment has ordered 26 episodes of Reboot: The Guardian Code, a follow-up to the pioneering CG childrens program that was first broadcast more than 20 years ago.

With its new and updated graphics, the new Reboot returns viewers back inside the digital realm where sprites and other code creations live inside your computer. Whenever a user plays a computer game the characters must also take part in the action and play along.

The original show ran for 48 episodes and was broadcast in 84 countries, including on ABC’s Saturday morning line-up of programming. It broke new ground for using computer graphics, which back then (one year before the first Toy Story movie debuted in theaters) was still untested ground for entertainment.

The Guardian Code will feature four new characters sworn to protect both the world in cyberspace and the one we live in. The Vancouver-based computer animation and visual effects company Rainmaker Entertainment will code the show, with its expected broadcast date sometime in 2016.

Rainmaker was also the original creator of the first Reboot via its production company Mainframe. “Technology is ever-changing and Reboot: The Guardian Code will utilize the very technology inherent in the concept of the show—and prevalent in kids’ everyday lives…empowering kids with the tools and confidence to chart their own course in a world that is increasingly dependent on and powered by technological knowledge,” said Rainmaker president Michael Hefferon.


BC Creates Presents Inaugural Spark of Creativity Award

Last evening at Science World, the top 25 most innovative companies in British Columbia gathered to celebrate their achievements in creativity, entrepreneurship and technology at the NEXTBC 2015 Awards & Showcase Gala.

The Spark of Creativity Award at NEXTBC 2015.

The Spark of Creativity Award at NEXTBC 2015.

Seated inside the Omnimax Theatre, over 400 guests watched as the winners were revealed. BC Creates was there to recognize a project that raised the bar on creativity, ingenuity and telling a story on the internet.

Agentic Commnications was the first-ever recipient of the Spark of Creativity Award for their work on the High-Muck-a-Muck website. The interactive portal allows visitors to learn what it was like for Chinese immigrants coming to BC in the early part of the 20th century. By playing with a lottery card that represents the real-life luck of the draw system that was used to decide which immigrants could come to Canada, you can reveal videos and oral histories about the people behind the statistics. Poems by Canadian laureate Fred Wah are also included on the site to further enhance the emotional journey of the Chinese immigrants.

The Spark of Creativity Award recognizes an exceptional achievement by a BC individual, company or organization for its creative work in the past twelve months. Factors that go into the judges’ decision include the originality of the work, its appeal to include a wide audience, accessibility and approach to using technology while not overlooking the importance of human connection.

Sylvia Skene from BC Magazines presents the Spark of Creativity Award at NEXTBC 2015.

Sylvia Skene from BC Magazines presents the Spark of Creativity Award at NEXTBC 2015.

Presenting the award on behalf of BC Creates was Sylvia Skene, Executive Director of the Magazine Association of BC.

“This award strives to celebrate and tell the story of British Columbia’s vibrant creative industries,” Sylvia explained.  “These industries, of which many of you are a part, generate at least 4 billion in annual GDP and support 85 thousand skilled jobs in BC, matching our mining, agriculture and forestry sectors. Through BC Creates, we can collectively demonstrate British Columbia’s proud history of creative excellence and our exciting future potential.”

Nicola Harwood, the High-Muck-a-Muck creative lead, accepted the award on behalf of the Agentic team.

Industry to Honour X-Files Creator Chris Carter

‘BC Creates’ is Introduced as Screen Production Community
Joins VIFF Industry to Honour X-Files Creator Chris Carter
Province of British Columbia Proclaims “Creative Industries Week” April 27-May 4

Vancouver, BC – As part of Creative Industries Week in BC (April 27 – May 4), BC’s screen production community is joining VIFF Industry to pay tribute to one of the Province’s pivotal industry builders, X-Files creator Chris Carter.

Canadian Film Day on April 29 is the platform for the special gathering hosted by VIFF Industry. The screen production community, joined by colleagues from across music, digital media and book & magazine publishing, will recognize Carter’s contribution to BC’s industry evolution, with five seasons of ground breaking X-Files. The series helped to put British Columbia on the map as a production centre and also served as a local talent incubator and career launch for many BC production professionals.

A new communications initiative, ‘BC Creates’ – led by BC’s creative industry stakeholders across screen, music, digital media and book & magazine publishing – is also being introduced at the event to celebrate British Columbia’s evolution into one of North America’s dynamic creative industry hubs.

“When the X-Files came to BC in 1993 it marked an important milestone in the development of BC’s production industry. We’ve since built a remarkable creative economy that collectively represents $4 billion in annual GDP and more than 85,000 jobs,” said Motion Picture Production Industry Association Chair Peter Leitch. “We are delighted to honour Chris Carter’s contribution to BC’s creative industries, as we launch the BC Creates initiative – he has played an important role in this market and continues to do so, particularly with the exciting news that the X-Files is circling back to Vancouver this summer for six more episodes,” Leitch added.

Under the banner BC Creates, creative industry stakeholders – from across film & television, music, digital media & technology, and book & magazine publishing – are working together to share the story of the economic, social and cultural contributions at the heart of BC’s creative economy.

BC Creates is poised to build in social media and online with @bccreates, #bccreates, Facebook, as well as through trade and special events, and traditional media.

BC Creates is a branded communications initiative established by creative industry stakeholders to celebrate and engage British Columbia in the story of the Province’s vibrant creative economy.

For more information contact:
Leslie Wootton Motion Picture Production Industry Assn. of BC

BC Takes Spotlight in “Tomorrowland” Media Campaign From Disney

Toronto, ON – April 29, 2015 – British Columbia is being shown some love in a new out-of-home media campaign from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada for the upcoming feature film “Tomorrowland.” Directed by Brad Bird and starring George Clooney, “Tomorrowland” is a riveting mystery adventure about a jaded scientist and an optimistic teen who embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space. It opens in theatres on May 22, 2015.

Beginning this week, outdoor ads promoting the film will be tagged with “Proudly Filmed in Beautiful B.C.” messaging. The custom creative will appear on map stands, bus kings and transit shelters in various locations across the Greater Vancouver area. “Tomorrowland” was shot in eight different B.C. cities, including Enderby, Armstrong, Richmond, Surrey, Burnaby, Delta and Langley, with principal photography kicking off in Vancouver in August 2013. UBC, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, Museum of Vancouver and the Vancouver Academy of Music are just a few of the landmarks that served as locations for the film.

“While it’s certainly not unique for a film to be shot in B.C., this is the first time that the province has been recognized in ad creative for the important role it played in the production,” said Greg Mason, vice-president of marketing for Walt Disney Studios Canada. “We’re proud that one of our biggest releases of the year was shot on Canadian soil and this was our way of conveying that pride and saluting the province and the members of the local film industry who were involved with the production.”

Images of the B.C. out-of-home ad creative can be downloaded at the following link:

About the film:

From Disney comes two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland,” a riveting mystery adventure starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them— forever.

Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.

The film also stars Hugh Laurie as brilliant scientist David Nix, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Robinson. “Tomorrowland” is produced by Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird and Jeffrey Chernov and directed by Brad Bird, with John Walker, Bernard Bellew, Jeff Jensen and Brigham Taylor serving as executive producers. “Tomorrowland” opens in theatres on May 22, 2015.

Media contact:
Barb Matheson
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada

BC Creative Industry Leaders Introduce ‘BC Creates’

BC Creative Industry Leaders Introduce ‘BC Creates’
Province of British Columbia Proclaims “Creative Industries Week” April 27-May 4

Victoria, BC – BC’s creative industry leaders are gathering in Victoria with partners in business, community and Government to celebrate Creative Industries Week (April 27-May 4). A special reception and creative industries showcase take place April 28-29 to introduce ‘BC Creates’, a collaborative communications initiative established to tell the story of the Province’s creative economy.

Internationally renowned artists, actor/writer Brent Butt and musician Sarah McLachlan, join The Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, along with representatives from across Government and BC’s creative industries to launch the
BC Creates initiative at the April 28 event.

“Together in BC we have built a remarkable creative economy that collectively represents $4 billion in annual GDP and more than 85,000 jobs,” said Music BC Executive Director Bob D’Eith. “It’s an inspiration to have acclaimed representatives like Sarah McLachlan and Brent Butt with us to celebrate the accomplishments of BC’s creative industries. With a continued collaboration between industry and Government, this Province holds exciting potential for future generations of British Columbians,” D’Eith added.

Under the banner BC Creates, creative industry stakeholders – from across film & television, music, digital media & technology, and book & magazine publishing – are working together to share the story of the economic, social and cultural contributions at the heart of BC’s creative economy.

“With decades of growth across British Columbia’s creative industries it’s time for us to make the connections that reveal the scope and impact of our talent driven economic engine,” said Liz Shorten of the Canadian Media Production Association, BC Producers’ Branch. Shorten continued, “Tens of thousands of British Columbians contribute to our creative industries – together we have a great story to tell with BC Creates.”

The April 28 introduction of the BC Creates message paves the way for an April 29 creative industries showcase at the BC Legislature with representatives from BC’s film & television and music production sectors providing a behind the scenes look at the talent, technology and expertise driving BC’s creative economy. Part of Creative Industries Week in BC, the event takes place in the Rotunda at the BC Legislature with scheduled performances and interactive sector demonstrations.

BC Creates is poised to build in social media and online with @bccreates, #bccreates, Facebook, as well as through trade and special events, and traditional media.

BC Creates is a branded communications initiative established by creative industry stakeholders to celebrate and engage British Columbia in the story of the Province’s vibrant creative economy.

For more information contact:

Liz Shorten
Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) – BC Producers’ Branch

Bob D’Eith
Music BC Industry Association

Leslie Wootton
Motion Picture Production Industry Assn. of BC