The City of Brantford Economic Development and Tourism Department is pleased to welcome film productions back to the city after a brief interruption in the industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents and business owners have been gracious in welcoming these visitors back to Brantford throughout the summer and can expect to see even more film crews within the community this fall.
Since June, Brantford has welcomed a number of productions, including TV series Murdoch Mysteries, Mayday, and Departure resulting in 13 days of filming, 5 weeks of set preparations, and local budgets estimated to be in excess of $120,000. City staff work closely with productions to ensure their filming runs as seamlessly as possible, and connect cast and crew with nearby local businesses to support their shopping, dining, entertainment and accommodation needs.
“While it is very exciting for residents and business owners to see a film production when it’s in town, we urge residents not to visit these sites,” says Kara Davey, Arts & Culture Development Officer for the City of Brantford. “Congregating at a film location disrupts the flow of the productions and jeopardizes the safety of cast and crew who are working hard to mitigate the risks of the virus.”
For most film and TV productions, cast and crew members are required to perform daily self-screenings at home, by using an online self-assessment, prior to coming to work. There is a check-in process every morning, complete with screenings, upon arrival to the site. Most productions have indicated a rigorous testing policy, which includes testing the whole crew twice a week at minimum. Cast members who are not from Ontario are required to isolate for 14 days upon their arrival to the province and are tested before they begin filming. Coloured bracelets worn on set are indicative of members who have passed the screening test. All of these precautions have contributed towards safe and healthy work sites in Brantford.
The City of Brantford has seen a significant influx in the amount of requests from production companies over the last few years because of our location, natural assets, simplified permit process, and exceptional customer service.
“The City is excited to host returning productions and welcome new ones as Brantford increasingly becomes a destination for film,” says Kevin Dekok, Economic Development Officer, City of Brantford. “Since the reopening, a growing number of medium and large productions are shooting here. As we move forward, we remain committed to providing exceptional customer service to productions while balancing the safety and the needs of Brantford residents and businesses.”
City staff have been working hard to establish Brantford as a film-friendly community. Filming brings a host of economic opportunities for the City of Brantford, including increased tourism receipts and visibility within the province.
The film industry in Ontario resumed work as part of Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan in June 2020. Film productions work within Section 21, a working document to provide resources, best practices and information to help keep workers and communities safe and healthy during COVID-19. These protocols were developed in cooperation with the relevant unions, guilds and various levels of government, and have been endorsed by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. The full document can be viewed on the filmsafety.ca website.
It’s important to note that film productions are treated as a work site and do not adhere to the private gathering sizes. Film productions can include 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, not including staff. All staff members are required to wear masks and physically distance six feet or two metres wherever possible.
Upcoming Film Notices can be viewed on the City of Brantford website to inform the public of any road closures or disruptions for specific filming projects. For more information about filming in Brantford, please visit advantagebrantford.ca or contact a City of Brantford staff film liaison by phone at 519-751-9900 or e-mail at email@example.com.