Up Ahead in 2021: A Stronger, Healthier Production Industry in BC

May 11, 2021
Posted by: Leslie Wootton

MPPIA was founded on the ideal that BC’s production industry is stronger when we move together, whether we’re harnessing an opportunity or trouble shooting a crisis. This proved especially true in the year behind us and it’s not over yet — but there are encouraging signs that we’ll soon be able to live and work a little more freely.  In the meantime, we are immeasurably  grateful that together our industry found a safe way forward last year, playing an early role in BC’s ongoing economic recovery from the global pandemic.

With MPPIA’s new fiscal year just underway (April 1), we’ve embarked on our annual period of planning and membership renewal:  It’s a good time to review some of the achievements of a particularly unique 2020, and make plans to build on this work in the year ahead.

The adversity that confronted us in 2020 was the catalyst for one of  the most profound industry mobilizations in our collective history.  In spite of the sprawling nature of our business, we were able to come together in numbers like never before — to communicate, problem solve and strategize through to our safe return to work in fall 2020.

Industry Engagement + Townhall Panels

Since May 2020 (to March 31, 2021), MPPIA hosted six industry town hall panels covering timely subject matter that reached more than 30,000 across the industry:

Workforce Development + Equity & Inclusion

In summer 2020 MPPIA undertook a collaboration with Creative BC to accelerate measurable progress in the BC motion picture production sector’s movement  for more fair and equitable access to our industry. The “Creative Pathways” initiative was developed to inform and guide the work of the MPPIA Equity & Inclusion Committee, and to set the stage for action to be led by industry leaders across the spectrum of  production.  Creative Pathways ‘2.0’ is now in the works, and will see strategies unfold across industry employer and labour organizations alike, with guidance from a newly formed Advisory Group led by Creative BC.  At the same time, MPPIA’s Equity & Inclusion Committee  began delivering prioritized educational programming, starting with a Decolonization Training Series launched in Feb. 2021, Decolonization with Kim Haxton . This Series will continue to unfold in three 2-part sessions through 2021.

Community & Government Engagement

In 2020-21, a tidal wave of demand for guidance and solutions during the global health crisis proved how truly vital our ongoing work together is, and underscored the value of our strong collaboration with our community and government partners. To acknowledge this collaboration MPPIA’s Motion Picture Community Initiative (MPCI) produced a ‘Public Service Announcement’ message of appreciation with ‘A Very BC Production’, which launched last month and has had more than 1,000 views to date. With a cue from this project’s sentiment, we lifted off our Association’s ‘new year’ leading the annual celebration of BC’s creative sector with Provincial Government partners and Creative BC. Creative Industries Week 2021 came together in the ‘BC Creates Virtually: Growing Forward’ Showcase, demonstrating the creativity, adaptability and resiliency in BC’s creative economy.

The extraordinary circumstances of 2020, inspired a deeper evaluation of our business culture, which led to positive steps for  healthier, more balanced workplaces for all of us.  We expect to continue building on this work, with on-going priorities of community engagement, environmental sustainability, workforce development, and equity and inclusion across the industry production community.

MPPIA’s work is carried out on a lean budget of member dues and contributions, and volunteer industry collaboration led by a committed  Board of Directors and a small support team. Together we work to fulfill a broad and varied mandate on behalf of thousands of industry stakeholders. Please continue to support and participate in this work through 2021-22 — renew your MPPIA membership or join us for the first time to contribute to our efforts.

I look forward to working with you.

Peter Leitch, Chair