Government rolls out $3M for 2009 TIFF

by W. Andrew Powell

2009 Toronto International Film Festival

2009 Toronto International Film Festival

Roll out the red carpets, film lovers around the world are going to get an invitation to Toronto this year. That’s thanks to a $3 million grant from the Government of Canada to help promote the 34th annual Toronto International Film Festival.

Peter Kent, Canada’s minister of state of foreign affairs, was on hand to make the announcement with the film festival group this week, which was obviously happy for the support.

“We are very thankful to Minister [Diane] Ablonczy and the Government of Canada for this investment in our Festival and our city,” said Piers Handling, director and CEO of TIFF. “For 10 days every September, the vibrancy of the city and the Festival make Toronto the international destination for film lovers and industry alike.”

Aimed at bringing in more out-of-town visitors, and improving the festival, there was also reported confirmation at the press conference that the festival has no intention of scaling back in the face of tough economic times.

“Toronto and all it has to offer has been a significant factor in TIFF’s success,” said Cameron Bailey, co-director of TIFF. “We know that our attendees love coming to experience Toronto. This funding will allow us to improve the customer experience and promote the rich culture of our host city, all while showcasing the importance of film.”

In total, the Canadian government awarded grants to seven other festivals and events through its Marquee Tourism Events Program. Other recipients include the Calgary Stampede, Shaw Festival, Stratford’s Shakespeare Festival, and the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

The 2009 TIFF runs from September 10 to 19. Stay tuned to The GATE for ongoing coverage of the festival.

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