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Joint $500K investment hopes to grow diversity in B.C.'s film industry

A 2019 study says the provincial sector's "below-the-line workforce" is less diverse; recruitment platform to be created with goal of more balanced representation.
film camera getty images
Video camera for filmmaking. | Getty Images

Hollywood North is still growing, but are there equal opportunities for all who want to break into the industry?

The B.C. government is set to advocate for a more balanced representation in its film sector by supporting the provincial industry association and a sector agency to create a resource and recruitment platform for all British Columbians with special streams for diverse communities.

A combined $500,000 investment was made official on Thursday (July 22) for the Creative Pathways BC project and plans to launch a website in the fall so locals seeking opportunities across live action, animation, visual effects and post-production work can learn how to get into the media try with new pathways for those from equity-seeking groups with a focus on careers in "below-the-line" roles.

"B.C.’s motion picture industry is known globally for quality, competitiveness and collaboration," said Creative BC CEO Prem Gill in a release.

"We have an opportunity to lead the change, open doors and build back better together. We are so excited to lead this important equity work and to support all people in finding careers across B.C.’s dynamic motion picture industry."

The province is investing $400,000 of the total fund with WarnerMedia Access Canada chipping in the remaining $100,000.


"Below-the-line" jobs typically indicate a creative support role.

According to a 2019 labour study, B.C.'s motion-picture industry grew to a great extent, but there was a less diverse presence among these workers than in B.C.’s overall workforce itself.

This segment of the workforce includes the following positions, which account for roughly 66% of the province's film sector:

  • Artists
  • Technicians
  • Craftspeople
  • Designers
  • Drivers
  • Performers
  • Business managers and support roles for those in creative leadership roles “above-the-line like writers, director and producers

The province added that women made up 34% of below-the-line B.C. workers and 15% were visible minorities compared to 48% and 29% respectively in the general workforce.

The goal of Creative Pathways' new website is to make all job opportunities in B.C.’s full-service film industry more accessible and visible — including jobs below-the-line, above-the-line, and also in animation, visual effects and post-production — so people interested in entering or transferring into the industry can all access quality, local resources and connections to build on their experience career experiences within our province’s large motion picture industry.

“When our storytellers are represented both on screen and behind the camera, it creates authentic and empowered communities,” added Melanie Mark, B.C.'s minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport.

“Our government is going further by connecting equity-seeking groups with behind-the-camera work, like VFX, post-production and animation, so that we have a robust and diverse film and TV workforce for years to come.”

The website is set to offer networking between qualified residents with employers, unions and other industry representatives.

Until it goes live, Creative Pathways BC is currently accepting applications for "Access to Action," a national equity program by WarnerMedia Access Canada.

For more information, you're encouraged to visit the campaign's website.