Kamloops, BC — April 12, 2022 — The Thompson-Nicola Film Commission (TNFC) is thrilled to announce the hiring of Gareth Smart as Film Commissioner, who will take over for long-time Film Commissioner, Victoria Weller.
“I am looking forward to bringing my passion for film to the Thompson-Nicola region,” Smart said. “My parents told me that if I remembered my schoolwork half as well as I can quote a movie that I would be a ‘Smart’ man.”
Smart previously lived in the area for 10 years, and he has worked in Locations Management in the film industry for many years. In that time, he has worked regularly with the TNFC on film locations. He is also a member of the Directors Guild of Canada and an alumni of Vancouver Film School.
“Living in Cache Creek during this time has provided me with a unique opportunity to not only work on films in the TNRD catchment area, but also on many other productions all over BC. I now look forward to the challenge of another side of film, with the role of Film Commissioner.”
Smart will begin in his role with the TNFC in late April. He will succeed Weller, who will be transitioning into retirement later this spring.
Hired as the first-ever TNFC Film Commissioner in April of 2000, Weller has spent 22 years helping grow the local film industry and attract A-list film productions to the Thompson-Nicola region. The region competes against places all around the globe to attract film productions, including regions of B.C. and Canada, the southwest United States, Mexico, the Middle East, Tibet, Australia, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, and Japan.
“Since I started as Film Commissioner 22 years ago, the film industry has changed and the Film Commission has had to evolve along with it. I feel grateful and blessed that I’ve been able to work at a job I love, with a supportive organization consisting of kind and resourceful staff, and with a supportive, progressive, and trusting Board of Directors,” Weller said.
“I’m so proud of our local filmmakers, crew and actors, who now work professionally creating world-class movies, documentaries and short films. I’m thankful to all TNRD residents, location owners and businesses who have shared their expertise and resources as we worked together to attract and facilitate motion picture productions.”
The TNFC is a full-time, full service of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD), which markets the region worldwide and facilitates all types of motion picture productions. The Film Commissioner is a member of the TNRD Senior Management Team and reports to the CAO.
In 2021, more than $8.5 million was spent in the TNRD region by film production companies, which resulted in about $25 million in induced spending. Production companies spent a combined 329 days filming in the region, making 2021 the busiest year for filming on record in the TNRD.
A number of feature productions have already committed to filming in the Thompson-Nicola region in 2022. Discussion also continue on a proposed film studio in the region, following a Film Studio Feasibility Study that was recently completed and presented to the Board in February of 2022.
Victoria (Vicci) Weller, MA, Film Commissioner
Thompson-Nicola Regional District
Tel.: 250 377-7058