During this year’s TIFF, we celebrated the official launch of the Network of Independent Canadian Exhibitors (NICE) over drinks and snacks. The event would not have been possible without our sponsor Telefilm Canada, to whom we extend sincere thanks.
After so many years apart, we were excited to connect in person at this year’s TIFF. We were joined by old and new friends from across the Canadian film exhibition landscape, as well as indie exhibitors from around the world. Everyone learned about the exciting plans ahead for NICE as we grow into a central voice for (and of) film exhibitors across the country.
The event saw brief speeches from NICE Board Chair Andy Willick and Telefilm Interim Executive Director/CEO Francesca Accinelli. There was great support for the future of film exhibition in Canada.
While at-home streaming and the tightening of theatrical windows have impacted the tradition of movie-going around the world, Canadian independents have survived in the face of complicated access to films and an opaque industry for decades. Today, as the knock-on effects of COVID-19 continue to threaten the existence of many film exhibitors, we face a crucial moment for this important cultural industry. NICE is launching to bring the voice of exhibitors to the table, to share resources and knowledge, and to celebrate the power of showing films to public audiences.
NICE film exhibitors are community-oriented. We provide a meeting space for audiences and present high-quality Canadian and international films. Without these exhibitors, many films, events and productions would never reach their audience. As mainstream viewing habits have changed, the role of film exhibitors has become that of crucial community space; NICE is here to ensure they remain part of Canada’s cultural fabric.