“Creative people are creative. And now they’re showing that creativity in helping others in the community and I’m proud of that. I’m not surprised by that but I’m grateful for that,” says Toronto Mayor John Tory. “They’re giving back in a big way. And that doesn’t surprise me, and that’s why Toronto loves film and why film and TV and digital love Toronto.”
The film and TV industry in Toronto is a $2 billion industry. It employs over 30,000 people in the city and this past year over 1,400 projects were filmed here. When Covid-19 hit, everything shut down almost on instant, leaving a community of creative minds who are used to working as a tight knit group, isolated from each other and from their craft.
But in the midst of concern for when they might resume work again, these creators are rising to challenges that they’ve set for themselves. From prop makers to producers, costume designers to content makers, actors to aspiring filmmakers, they’re demonstrating that despite being separated they still function as a film community, for the greater community. And they’re doing this in a number of ways, including:
- As traditional film festivals were cancelled, a number of online film festivals popped up to encourage the creative spirit in isolation and spread some hope.
- Starline Trailers are making their trailers available to hospitals should they need private rooms for front of line workers or isolations.
- PPEs have been donated by members of all the unions, including thousands of gloves, N95 masks and gowns.
- Costume designers have turned their talent to creating face masks.