Nordicity is assessing the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) economic and human capital impact

Nordicity participated in the Whistler Film Festival between November 29th and December 3rd through a variety of content and industry events, meeting filmmakers from across Canada and the world. Notably, four out of five films presented at this year’s event were Canadian films with A Colony taking home three awards, including the Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature Film.  

In addition to the films being presented over the course of the four-day festival, an industry-focused content summit was heldSimilar to 2017, the summit included significant programming on women in the film industry. This yearWomen on Top: Making Media Equitable series featured a keynote speech from Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Geena explained the research her organization is doing, especially on the positive impact that can be generated for young girls when they see women in with leading film roles 

While each presenter took different approaches to the research, the findings were widely agreed upon here is a long way to go in order to make media equitable, and now there is important data to prove itFor example, according to a Women in View report to be released in 2019, women are only receiving 20% of all funding from Telefilm Canada, despite recent commitments to get to gender parity by 2020 (as have the CMF, CBC and NFB). As one speaker expressed, continuing to increase female participation in the Canadian film sector will increase international market attractiveness to create movies in Canada.  

The content summit also included a variety of programming aimed at providing skill-building opportunities for (mainly young) filmmakers in important areas such as learning the art of pitching ideas, and digital and international distribution tips. There were also numerous opportunities to form important partnerships and collaborations between filmmakers and industry leaders.  

The activity and energy throughout the village made it clear that the WFF creates significant economic impact on the Whistler community. However, WFF’s dedication to “furthering the art of film by providing programs that focus on the discovery, development and promotion of new talent” also creates significant human capital impacts. Nordicity looks forward to working with the festival in the coming months to better understand and quantify contributions, both to the local community but also to the growth of the broader Canadian film.  The work will be analysis will be done by developing and analyzing an online survey targeting both public attendees of the film festival as well as industry participants.    

For more information about the project, or Nordicity work in Western Canada, please contact Chad Rickaby at 

Nordicity is a leading international consulting firm providing private and public-sector clients with solutions for Economic Analysis, Strategy and Business, and Policy and Regulation across four priority sectors: arts, culture and heritage; digital and creative media; information and communication technologies (ICTs) and innovation; and, telecommunications and spectrum. With offices in Ottawa (HQ), Toronto, Vancouver and London, UK Nordicity is ideally placed to assist our clients to succeed in the rapidly evolving global markets.