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Provincial dollars flow to local production companies

By Adam Riley Mar 14, 2023 | 5:49 PM

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Five production companies and organizations here in Thunder Bay are tapping into funds through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation to assist them with several projects.

Of the $435,000 available, $119,000 will go towards the production of a feature film by Shebafilms Studios, with a further 28 thousand to hire a 2-D animator and character designer intern.

Shebafilms Studios President Kelly Saxberg says the funding allows them to source talent locally and create a production team in the area to produce media that engages people with the history of the Lakehead.

“This team consists of a diverse group of young artists and historians who can follow their dreams in Thunder Bay instead of having to move out of Northern
Ontario. NOHFC support in assisting us in providing meaningful opportunities to youth today will pay big dividends to our community for years to come.”

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation provides financial assistance to projects across Northern Ontario and is a branch of the Ministry of Northern Development.

Thunder Bay – Atikokan MPP and newly minted Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Northern Development, Kevin Holland, notes investments like this are a key strategy of the Ford government to promote economic development and growth in Thunder Bay.

“These investments demonstrate how, together with our northern partners, we are building strong, vibrant communities and creating real opportunities for the people who live and work in the North.”

Other recipients include:

$108,832 will allow for Blueprints, an audio and music production company, to renovate its new studio and purchase equipment for that space.

$34,999 for Friends of the Finnish Labour Temple to hire a Research TV intern with a further $33,907 to bring onboard a Graphics and Animation intern.

$24,124 and $24,038 which will give Shout Media the ability to hire two Graphic Designer interns.

$62,000 for Pastime Productions to produce A Sobering Story, a documentary geared towards bringing increased awareness to the substance use and mental health issues which plague the area.

Director and Co-Producer Ryan La Via is thankful for the funding noting the impact it will have.

“Because of the assistance from the NOHFC, we will complete the film for distribution in a timely manner.”

A release from the province states since 2018 the NOHFC has provided more than $608 million in funding for 5,070 projects across Northern Ontario.


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