Toronto Toasts Getting Its Production Mojo Back


Revived fortunes for the Toronto film and TV production scene has the industry gathering at the new William F. White Centre on June 23 for a celebration led by Hollywood director Norman Jewison and "Chicago" producer Don Carmody.

TORONTO – Having got its mojo back when its comes to wooing Hollywood film and TV shoots, Toronto is throwing a party.

Hollywood director Norman Jewison and producer Don Carmody, who brought the Oscar-winning Chicago to Toronto, are to headline a June 23 tribute to the city’s revived fortunes at the new $20 million William F. White Centre.

“Big stories and little stories; there’s so much going on here right now,” Jewison said as Toronto plays host to big-budget shoots like Columbia’s remake of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie Total Recall and ABC/Global's Rookie Blue.

Canada’s biggest city successfully fended off challenges like the Canadian dollar's rise against the U.S. greenback, and stiff competition from film tax credits in southern U.S. states, to return as a production destination for Hollywood.

Also attending the William F. White bash are local politicians like James Moore, the federal heritage minister, and Ontario cultural minister Michael Chan, whose generous film tax credits have been key to enticing Hollywood production back to Toronto after a 2008 slump.

The new William F. White Centre on Islington Avenue is also part of a soundstage expansion westwards in Toronto away from the city’s waterfront, where old studio space was shuttered during the economic recession.

“Our celebration responds directly to the renewed spirit and revitalization of Toronto’s production industry,” Paul Bronfman, chairman and CEO of Comweb Group and William F. White International, said ahead of the June 23 Toronto tribute.