The Network of Independent Canadian Exhibitors (NICE) is encouraged to see enhanced support of the film exhibition sector this year with Telefilm’s Theatrical Exhibition Program.
At the close of a tough year for NICE members, the Theatrical Exhibition Program shares the right message: indie cinemas are a crucial part of the cultural framework necessary to share Canadian stories with Canadian audiences. Supporting the continued growth of a Canadian theatrical audience requires funding, which is exactly what Telefilm is providing with this important program.
“The day-to-day operation of a cinema includes all sorts of costs you might not think of,” says Wendy Huot, owner of The Screening Room in Kingston, ON, and NICE board member. “This year’s fund will help us replace our broken popcorn machine, acquire a new ‘computer brain’ for a decade-old projector, and support upgrades to our sound system that will make us more flexible for the future. Plus, we’ll continue to pay down our COVID debt and are happily giving larger-than-originally-planned Christmas bonuses to the staff. We are very grateful to Telefilm for this much-needed breathing room.”
The activity of developing a local audience, building trust in your film programming with your community and creating a physical space for them to come together is crucial for the longevity and vitality of Canadian film.
Many NICE members have struggled through 2022 due to a lack of access to film, punishing restrictions on film runs, reduced government funding and the slow return of audiences. NICE has always held that it is much easier and more affordable to maintain current venues than to re-start an industry once it has closed its doors. This year’s program has arrived in perfect time and will support many outstanding venues (and their hardworking staff) across the country.