Surrounded by Christmas props, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli felt a little bit like Santa Claus as he announced $2 million in funding to support four film projects in the region.
The funding comes through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHFC) goes towards four projects that are being put together through Hideaway Pictures based in North Bay.
David Anselmo, director and producer with Hideaway Pictures, says Hideaway has helped bring more than 50 films and television projects to Northern Ontario within the last decade. He estimates that work has created more than 3 million hours of work for Northern Ontario residents amounting to over 2,000 full-time employment jobs within the North.
"The gross economic impact of these films to the Ontario economy is well over $125 million in direct spending," Anselmo estimates.
Kaitlyn Greenough is the producer for "Jingle Bells Princess." She also graduated from Canadore College's film program only four years ago.
"Being a Canadore graduate, I feel very lucky to be able to live and work in Northern Ontario doing what I love," she said.
"I've learned a lot working under the Hideaway team and look forward to growing the industry further thanks to the support of the NOHFC."
Fedeli hopes it's a provincial gift that keeps on giving to the region.
"Here in the city of North Bay and the riding of Nipissing the taxpayers are getting a great value with this. If you watch any of the movies or television shows you see a lot of North Bay in it; you see a lot of North Bay extras, North Bay actors, and actresses in the productions," said Fedeli.
"The ones who are from out of town are staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants, renting our vehicles, renting facilities. Whether it's Twiggs or the Opera Bakery, that money is staying in the community and circulating in the community."
Other Hideaway projects receiving funding include $500,000 for TV movie "Angel Falls Christmas" and another $500,000 for the TV movie "Great Christmas Switch."