Toronto film fest to maintain its scope despite recession

The Toronto International Film Festival says it won’t be scaling back because of the recession.

TORONTO — The Toronto International Film Festival says it won’t be scaling back because of the recession.

Festival director Piers Handling says the same number of titles will unspool when the annual movie marathon gets underway in September.

“We want to present the same size festival,” Handling said Monday following an elaborate press conference to announce federal funds for TIFF and other cultural events.

“We’re obviously being sensitive to the climate out there …but we have no plans to make the festival smaller.

“We think it feels very comfortable this year — it’s still a relatively cheap ticket for the audience to come to the festival that’s important for us to keep it still accessible.”

The assurance came as Peter Kent, minister of state of foreign affairs, announced a $3-million boost for the film festival. The cash is part of Ottawa’s marquee tourism events program, designed to pump $100 million into various festivals and attractions.

Other funding recipients include the Calgary Stampede, the Edmonton Fringe Festival, the Shaw and Stratford theatre festivals and the Montreal jazz festival.

The Stratford festival recently announced it was putting 30 performances on hold due to slumping ticket sales in the economic downturn.

Kent said the government believes tourism is a key driver of the Canadian economy, and noted it contributes about two per cent annually to the GDP.

“Tourism has been one of the fastest growing industries in the world,” Kent said as dozens of film industry guests noshed on popcorn and mini-cupcakes while sipping wine at the media event, held in a window-panelled ballroom at the top of a downtown hotel.

“Further expansion of Canada’s tourism brand can increase tourism export revenues at home and provide stimulus to the economy at a very critical time.

“Given the global economic uncertainty, now is the time to act to strengthen our investment.”

TIFF runs Sept. 10 to 19.

On the Net:

www.tiff09.ca

Just Posted

Rural transit service rolled out

2A South Regional Transit will link Innisfail and Penhold with Red Deer

Some Red Deer waste collection schedules change due to holiday season

Tuesday collections will be moved for two weeks

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional… Continue reading

Red Deer Airport’s prospects are looking up for 2019

Ultra-low-cost passenger service is on the horizon

Funding down for Red Deer Christmas charities

Food hampers and toys for children going out to those in need

Alberta’s Sundial starts shipping to AGLC this week

Sundial’s Rocky View facility has received the green light from Health Canada… Continue reading

Penny Marshall dead at 75, best known as TV’s Laverne and director of ‘Big,’ ‘A League of Their Own’

Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ’70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley”… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Most Read