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Province Supports Northern Film Production

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Province Supports Northern Film Production

Series Would Showcase Northwestern Ontario's White Otter Castle

ATIKOKAN - The McGuinty government is supporting the emergence of the northern film industry by investing in the development of a film series set in and around Atikokan, Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro announced today on behalf of Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci.

"Our government firmly believes in growing the North's film and television production sector as a means to build the economy and promote the region's unique attractions," said Mauro. "Our beautiful communities and landscapes, along with our wealth of talented technical professionals and performers can provide the film industry with new and exciting production possibilities."

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) is providing $50,000 to the Atikokan Economic Development Corporation to support the preliminary development phase of a production that would be filmed in Atikokan and the surrounding area. The series would be set in the early 1900s and would tell the story of Jimmy McOuat, an ordinary man who built the three-story White Otter Castle out of red pine logs using simple, crude tools. The castle still stands today and is located 64 kilometres north of Atikokan, on the shores of White Otter Lake.

"Taking advantage of the untapped potential of northern communities is important to making the North a more prosperous place in which to live, work and do business," said Bartolucci, who also chairs the NOHFC. "We believe this project will play an important role in the process of building awareness of Northern Ontario within the Canadian film production investment community."

Other McGuinty government initiatives that are supporting northern communities include:

•    A $150,000 investment from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund to develop a northern film industry strategy

•    Improving northern highways by investing more than $1.8 billion over five years in highway expansions and improvements through the Northern Ontario Highways Strategy

•    A $4-million investment to help establish a Bio-Energy Research Centre in Atikokan.

These initiatives are part of the government's Northern Prosperity Plan. It has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.

Laura Blondeau
MNDM - Sudbury
(705) 564-7454    

Michel Lavoie
MNDM - Sudbury
(705) 564-7125



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