Cut the film commission and roll with economic development was the decision of Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen directors Thursday.
After multiple debates, requests for more information and considering name options, the directors of the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen appear to have settled on a name for an annual fund most likely destined to the Okanagan Film Commission.
The new fund, if it passes electoral approval, will be called the Economic Development Service and will mean a tax requisition of $35,000 annually from the entire region. The cost breakdown for the average household, valued at $320,000, would be just 64 cents a year.
In the past the RDOS has been a strong supporter of the Okanagan Film Commission.
Until this year, directors opted to provide funding to the non-profit society through regional grant in aid. Funding varied from $35,000 to $50,000 a year.
Recently the RDOS grant in aid policy was amended to stop yearly asks from organizations. The policy now states an organization cannot receive more than two regional grants in a four year period and long term funding to non-profits must be determined through the establishment of a service with public assent.
Michael Brydon, director of Area F, was the most outspoken about limiting the name to just Okanagan Film Commission.
He said although the commission, established in 1990, was doing a good job for the area now, there was no guarantee that would continue. “It limits us. I’m whole heartedly in favour of an economic development service but I feel like this is writing a blank check to the film commission,” he said.
Directors had previously debated calling the fund the economic development service and it failed to move forward but at the most recent meeting the fund name was unanimously approved.