Thanks to geocaching, the Thompson-Nicola Film Commission’s (TNFC) new film commissioner, Terri Hadwin, is no stranger to a large part of the region, and she says she’s looking forward to getting to know the rest of the area.
Hadwin was Chief Operating Officer of Gold Country Communities Society in Cache Creek from 2012 to 2018, and during that time worked with Marcie Down on phase two of the society’s GeoTour, which saw 72 geocaches placed in the western half of the TNRD’s vast area.
“I ended up visiting the majority of the sites to make sure they were suitable and so I could talk about them, and speak from experience if people asked about them,” says Hadwin.
“As film commissioner there’s a lot of ‘What’s this location like?’ so it dovetailed nicely.”
Hadwin replaces longtime film commissioner Victoria Weller, who originated the position in 2000 and retired earlier this year. Her initial replacement, Gareth Smart, left after a few weeks in the position, and Hadwin was recently named as the new film commissioner.
After leaving Gold Country, Hadwin struck out on her own for a year before being named the executive director of the Kamloops Arts Council (KAC) in 2019. She served on the film commission’s board, and since 2021 has been the TNRD’s grant and research assistant.
She feels that her experience with the KAC lends itself really well to the film commissioner role.
“I was allied with a lot of other groups, such as the BC Alliance of Arts and Culture, where I was the secretary for two years. I learned a lot about what’s happening in the creative industry, which covers every spectrum of the arts. It gave me a lot of resources for touching base with others and knowing where to look for information.
“I’ve also been building relationships within Kamloops. [The KAC’s annual] Art Exposed gave me the opportunity to meet with artists throughout the region, and there have been lots of learning opportunities through previous roles I’ve had that will help me with this one. They’ve helped with knowledge of what’s happening in the area and throughout the province.”
Film activity in the TNRD in 2022 follows a record year of filming in 2021, where more than $8.5 million was spent in TNRD communities by film production companies, which resulted in about $25 million in induced spending. Hadwin says that even with COVID, 2020 and 2021 were the busiest years for filming the TNRD has seen, and she things that momentum will continue.
“We’re getting lots of everything, but the bread-and-butter thing we’re getting the most of right now are movies of the week, which are similar to the Hallmark productions.”
When the TNRD created the film commissioner role in 2000 it was a relatively new thing. Now there are eight regional areas in the province that fall under the umbrella of the BC Film Commission, so it is becoming more commonplace, but Hadwin feels that the TNRD has an advantage.
“We’re fortunate to have had it going for so long. We have a really great foundation and resources, while other regions are just getting started.”
Since starting her new position, Hadwin says she seems to have spent half her time on the road, showing sites that have been identified as potential production areas.
“I was in the Heffley Creek/Pinantan area on July 21, and in Ashcroft and Savona, showing people what the areas look like in the hope that we can get them to come back.
“I know what’s going on in the town centre, and also on the side streets, the hiking trails, the access roads. That goes well with what this new position will be about, and I’m looking forward to learning more about the TNRD, especially the eastern side, which I haven’t had as much exposure to.”