NFB gives reporters a sneak peek at its production facilities before landmark move

Click to play video: 'National Film Board holds open house before moving' National Film Board holds open house before moving
WATCH: For the first time in 30 years, the public will get the chance on Sunday to tour the National Film Board's headquarters in Saint-Laurent. As Global's Billy Shields reports, the board is moving out of the area to new digs in 2019 – Sep 26, 2018

Reporters got a sneak peek at the National Film Board’s headquarters in advance of a public open house the agency is set to host. It will likely be one of the last times people will take a look inside the board’s 60-year-old home before the board moves downtown.

The board’s current home, which is along Highway 40, is being upgraded to a new $125-million site on Bleury Street in the Quartier des Spectacles.

The original was put there because the board needed space on the fringes of town, it was close to a major highway, and at the time, it was far from a population centre at a time when film used dangerous chemicals in production.

“Basically, we’re rebuilding everything in our new building, a building of the 21st century,” said Claude Joli-Coeur, the board’s chairperson.

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The $125-million site at the Quartier des Spectacles fits among the tall buildings downtown, with an edgy steel-and-glass appearance. But moving in from the low-slung current headquarters will be bittersweet, producer Kat Boulu told Global News.

“Personally, what I’ll miss about this place is that I feel the history every day. I feel that this is the birthplace of documentary, and since I work in the documentary studio, it feeds me and the people I work with every day,” she said. The board is especially proud of being a “one-stop-shop” for film production while being a non-commercial organization.

The NFB is scheduled to move into its new downtown Montreal location in May of 2019.

The public open house of the Ville St-Laurent location will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30. It will be the first open house held at the board in about 30 years.

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