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CERB extension welcomed by B.C. film industry

Last Updated Jun 16, 2020 at 11:09 am PDT

FILE - Silhouette of a production in progress on a white stage. (iStock photo)
Summary

Many in B.C. TV and film industry are currently receiving the CERB, says location manager

Domestic film production is part of Phase 3 of re-opening B.C.'s economy

The B.C. government has given the green-light for filming to resume in B.C.’s production sector

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) — The extension of Canadian Emergency Response Benefit is welcome news for many in the B.C. film industry waiting to go back to work.

Mary-Jo Beirnes has worked as a locations manager in various film and TV productions shot in Vancouver and said Tuesday almost everyone she knows in the industry is currently receiving the benefit.

“A lot of these studios and networks paid their full-time crew for a couple of weeks once we were shut down back in March, which was quite surprising and generous. But, obviously, that didn’t last the whole time. So people are now reliant on the CERB,” she added.

“It made it possible for people to stay in the industry and to wait for their jobs to come back instead of having to go and work somewhere else. Normally your back-up plan would be the service industry and all of those jobs have been decimated, as well.”

Beirnes said there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel as plans are being put in place for productions to eventually resume.

Domestic film production is part of Phase 3 of re-opening B.C.’s economy — which is supposed to happen this month.

 

The B.C. government has given the green-light for filming to resume in B.C.’s production sector, but with restrictions on the size of shoots due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

The multi-billion dollar movie and TV industry in B.C., which relies on American workers, has also been affected by border restrictions and quarantine orders.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced Tuesday the border closure has been extended to July 21.