B.C. film industry taps funding to boost diversity in sector where only 15% are visible minorities

posted on August 10, 2021

By Tyler Orton | Business in Vancouver | July 22, 2021

B.C.’s $2.8-billion film industry is attempting to take a leading role in boosting equity within its ranks amid a persistent lack of diversity compared with the provincial workforce at large.

The newly launched Creative Pathways BC program will be tapping $500,000 in funding from two sources: the province ($400,000) and WarnerMedia Access Canada ($100,000).

The initiative led by Creative BC, the non-profit agency charged with promoting the sector, will see a new website deployed to “welcome all British Columbians into the industry and offer special streams for people from equity-seeking groups,” according to a Thursday statement from the province.

A December 2019 labour market information report from Creative BC revealed 34% of below-the-line workers such as lighting technicians, camera operators, prop masters, hair stylists and makeup artists on the West Coast were women, compared with 48% of the province’s total workforce.

The gap persists among visible minorities, who represent 15% of below-the-line workers in the film sector compared with 29% of B.C.’s workforce.

The new website — the first aspect of the initiative to be announced — will “highlight career opportunities for everyone above-the-line in creative leadership roles, within animation, VFX and post-production roles, and in creative support roles where below-the-line crew build careers across tech, trade, business and the arts,” the province said.

Read more