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Municipalities working together to support filming in Mountain View County region

Towns of Didsbury, Sundre and Mountain View County developing technology-based initiative to entice more film productions in the region
MVT Pipe Nation production-pipeline 2
If the partnership forged among the towns of Didsbury and Sundre as well as Mountain View County to develop a technology-based initiative to draw more film productions in the region succeeds, residents might be seeing more TV and movie crews shooting stories in the area. File photo/MVP Staff

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — County reeve Angela Aalbers says a new initiative between the municipality and the towns of Didsbury and Sundre aimed at developing the local technology industry will hopefully lead to expanded film production activity in the district.

The project was recently approved for a $44,000 grant.

“The funding for this project will help establish a database and create a tool that makes marketing Mountain View region to national and international film production companies easier,” said Aalbers said in a release from the partner municipalities.

“Mountain View County ouncil and administration are supportive of these innovative Economic Development initiatives, particularly ones undertaken in collaboration with our regional partners, and that emphasize our regional advantages.”

Didsbury Economic Development, Sundre Economic Development and Mountain View County Economic Development were recently approved by the federal government for CanExport Community Investments - Foreign Direct Investment contribution funding. 

The joint regional project will focus on developing the local technology industry.

Specifically the project will establish a searchable photo-video library, database and mapping of locations, as well as a list of resources, fees, and film guidelines summarized under a regional, comprehensive website that will also include a translation tool, the release states.

“The funding will assist with the initial steps required to develop tools intended to attract the technology savvy talent and IT companies needed to establish Mountain View region as an international production environment.”

The new interactive website will “increase awareness of the opportunities within our region to international markets, not only the US, but also countries that have co-production agreements with Canada, such as the UK, India, China, Australia, and other European countries.”

The website will also ensure “potential production companies have all the necessary information required when researching the Mountain View region as a filming destination, and provide the opportunities available not only in the related tech market, but value-added businesses as well. 

“We are aiming to attract technology companies and talent needed to grow our burgeoning film industry.”

The joint venture should help to increase the opportunities for film and TV investment in our region, says Didsbury mayor Rhonda Hunter.

“Didsbury loves the film industry and all it brings to Didsbury’s character and appeal,” said Hunter. “This collaborative project will provide yet more reasons for IT talent and tech business to invest and grow in our welcoming and film-friendly town and region. 

“Diversifying economic development and attracting the tech industry through this regional partnership is truly promising for our continued growth and success with the film production industry.”

Richard Warnock is Sundre’s mayor. He calls the project a good initiative.

“Sundre welcomes collaboration with our regional neighbours. This is the kind of project that cannot be done alone and will benefit all those involved. We welcome the film and TV industry and the tech companies that serve it,” Warnock said.

The project is an important step in establishing the Mountain View region in the international market, the municipalities said.

“Ultimately, it will assist our economy by supporting job creation, business attraction and retention, and other spin-off opportunities. The project will also support the development of local value-added businesses that cater to the filming industry, and help expand capacity in the related technology sector.

“The greater vision is to build a robust technology and film production industry in the Mountain View region, by developing a brand that caters to the foundation and eventual establishment of a regional film commission with a high regard for the technology sector. 

“It is anticipated that the possible Film Commission will be led by the three collaborating economic development offices of the region.”