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

Chemical analysis may provide clues to cause of huge Red Deer industrial fire

Fire on April 17 caused $9 million in damage to oil and gas industrial building

New loonie reason to celebrate and educate: central Alberta LGBTQ community

The new LGBTQ2 loonie is a conversation starter and a reason to… Continue reading

C & E Trail property owner wants to use land as RV storage yard

Red Deer city council gives initial approval

Indigenous cultural centre needed in Red Deer

Urban Aboriginal Voices Society hosts annual community gathering

Red Deer youth recognized for his compassion

Blackfalds man dies after vehicle collision

MISSING: Joshua Arthur Sanford

37-year-old Ponoka man last seen on Tuesday morning

Inspired by a galaxy far, far away, these ‘Star Wars’ mementos could be yours forever

CHICAGO —The stuff of “Star Wars” —and there is unfortunately no better… Continue reading

Shoppers Drug Mart launches second online medical pot portal in Alberta

TORONTO — Medical cannabis users in Alberta can now get their therapeutic… Continue reading

Oh, yes! Nurse, Raptors look to finish series with Magic

DENVER — In response to an early call, Toronto coach Nick Nurse… Continue reading

Delay of game calls, goalie interference top worst rules for NHLers: survey

The pace and excitement of 3-on-3 overtime isn’t just a thrill for… Continue reading

Avengers get epic send-off at ‘Endgame’ world premiere

LOS ANGELES — There were more than a few sniffles from the… Continue reading

Writers’ Trust launches program pairing rising writers with established mentors

TORONTO — The Writers’ Trust has launched a program that gives five… Continue reading

Family: A potpourri of Easter egg hunts, music and politics

The election is a thing of the past. Albertans have spoken. They… Continue reading

Most Read