From May 9th – 10th, Toronto Mayor John Tory lead the annual film and television business mission to Los Angeles along with the city’s screen-based industry leaders. SpinVFX was a mission sponsor, and was a key member of the delegation, playing an active role in planning the most significant components of his visit. “I am proud of Mayor Tory’s unwavering support for our screen-based ecosystem in Toronto by joining us for the third consecutive year in L.A. to look our clients in the eye and candidly share our progress on community engagement, infrastructure, our challenges and celebrate our successes,” says SpinVFX President, Neishaw Ali.
Mayor Tory was also joined by Chair of the former Toronto Film, Television & Digital Media Board and Councillor, Paula Fletcher, as well as Councillor Michael Thompson, Chair of the Economic & Community Development Committee for the City. The three leaders met with Apple, Netflix, Entertainment One, and HBO (who wouldn’t reveal any secrets from the Game of Thrones finale!)
The second day of the mission began with the always dynamic MPA Breakfast with executives from major L.A. film studios who were eager to discuss the future of Toronto’s studio infrastructure and capacity to take on more productions. Mayor Tory was able to deliver the affirming message that studio expansions are adding half a million square feet of studio space imminently. He re-confirmed diversity and workforce development as a top priority in all areas of film production from skilled labour to post-production. With nearly $2B in film, television, digital and commercial production in 2018 alone, the entire delegation easily showed Toronto to be a top-tier destination for content creation.
The night concluded with a reception in downtown L.A. which saw over 200 local industry leaders from every corner of the sector come together to celebrate the ongoing partnership between our two great film cities. The Mayor’s rousing speech was flanked by a brand new xoTO community trailer, which captured the incredible work that Toronto’s film and television sector has delivered over the past year.
As we reflect on the previous year and embark on even bigger projects in 2019, SpinVFX is proud to be part of such a talented and dedicated stakeholder community, and to have the advocacy and leadership of Mayor Tory, Councillor Fletcher and Councillor Thompson.