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The group is working on an annual regional film forum, sector-specific workforce development training and local asset tours for location managers. It is also lobbying for additional incentives and tax credits for shooting outside of the Greater Toronto Area.
Huron County is also collaborating with Ontario Creates, the film production arm of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Cultural Industries.
Recently, a scout with Ontario Creates visited the region to photograph and catalogue potential locations for its digital database.
Sickinger said the county provided a list of 20 sites, but the scout ended up shooting hundreds of spots.
Huron County’s mix of coastlines, forests and quaint villages could prove attractive to filmmakers.
Sickinger said specific spots like the Huron Historic Gaol in Goderich and the airbase in Vanastra were noted as distinct and unique locales.
Hotels and restaurants are already in place to welcome crews of more than 100 people, said Cody Joudry, the county’s director of economic development. And more productions could boost tourism, with people wanting to visit locations they see on the big and small screen.
“Our hotels and restaurants become alive again with all sorts of activity when those productions come into town,” Joudry said. “It’s a great economic boost that bolsters our tourism season.”
St. Thomas recently played host to Jason Mamoa, of Aquaman fame, to film Apple TV’s See and the Netflix series Locke & Key filmed in Port Stanley in October. Another Netflix series, Madam C.J. Walker, starring Octavia Spencer, shot in Stratford last year.
The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada