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B.C. film and TV industry looks for workers ahead of potential record-setting year

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WATCH: The Vancouver Economic Commission says the local industry will spend more than $4 billion this year. As Nadia Stewart reports, the industry says they can't hire experienced workers fast enough.

Ahead of what could be another record-breaking year for production, B.C.’s film and TV industry is looking for workers to help meet the demand.

That’s what fuelled Saturday’s Vancouver Digital Entertainment job fair, which saw dozens of production and animation studios set up at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

WATCH: How to land a job in the entertainment industry

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Fortunately, with 3,000 people showing up to compete for about 400 jobs, the demand for work in graphic design, animation, video game development, and film and television is as high as ever.

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“Without the talent, you can’t get the job done,” the Vancouver Economic Commission’s executive director of media and entertainment Nancy Basi said.

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“The tax credits are great and it’s a great incentive, but you have to have the talent.”

The Vancouver Economic Commission predicts the local industry will generate $4 billion this year — and that doesn’t include the economic spinoff sectors like tourism will see.

WATCH: (Aired March 23) Julia Foy reports on the impending end of long-running B.C. production ‘Supernatural’

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Competition can be stiff, but the hope is locally trained talent can make their mark here: in the city they call home.

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“We want locals to build their careers here and grow the industry,” she said.

READ MORE: Vancouver animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

That local industry is now getting more notice than ever. Vancouver Film School graduates were responsible for the groundbreaking animation behind Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, which won this year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar.

While the work done out of Vancouver’s Sony Pictures Imageworks studios on that film marks a high point for the animation industry, Vancouver Economic Commission CEO Catherine Warren said new technologies are the wave of the future.

READ MORE: B.C. leads the way in film and TV production in Canada: report

“These entrepreneurial and smaller companies in things like [virtual reality], [augmented reality] and e-sports, that are really keeping our city thriving in the creative and technical economy,” she said.
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According to a report released by the Canadian Media Producers Association, B.C. is home to 40 per cent of Canada’s film and television production, followed by Ontario and Quebec.