Film industry continues to grow in Grande Prairie area

By Justine Kelsie
April 13, 2018 - 4:12am

Some new developments within the Peace Region Independent Media Arts Association (PRIMAA) are a sign that the film industry continues to grow in the Grande Prairie area.

The organization recently obtained affordable rental space downtown where they will be starting to offer gear rentals.

Board member Chris Beauchamp says both of those have been goals of the group since starting up five years ago.

“We are excited we will have it up and running this month in time for some groups to rent for the Frantic 48 challenges this month. Our focus for getting the rental program off the ground was on basic film equipment like lighting and grip gear. This will help local producers elevate the quality of their productions,” said Beauchamp following a Tuesday presentation to a city committee.

As the organization grows, a need for a paid Executive Director position also grows.

“We are a volunteer board. There is about nine of us and a group of keen local volunteers that help make all of (our events) happen. One of the things we have realized as part of our plan for being sustainable is having a fulltime staff member would allow us to do a lot more.”

Beauchamp says it isn’t going to happen in the immediate future, but the organization will be looking at funding sources.

Although the group has locked down space, they wouldn't turn down a performing arts centre. A proposed facility has been in the works since 2016 which would see Montrose Cultural Centre house a multi-functioning building used for theatre, film, and other media.

According to Beauchamp, PRIMAA helps to develop an “ecosystem for arts and media culture”.

“One of the things we realized early on in the founding of our organization is how important it is for our community and youth in our community to know that there is a wider world out there. There are opportunities in arts and not just the oil field, not that there is anything wrong with that (industry). The organization grew out of the Reel Shorts Film Festival and the work that Terry Scerbak has done.”

The Peace Region is now home to four established production companies. Two of them have put their names in for a grant from Telus StoryHive. The recipients will hear who got the money by May 3.

Sign up for the Frantic 48 challenges are open now and Beauchamp welcomes the public to contact PRIMAA for more details.

County starts final budget talks Thursday

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