Move crews filming on the roof of a Bernard Avenue building in downtown Kelowna last year. In June the city will host the Movie Theatre Association of Canada’s annual gathering. (Alistair Waters-Capital News)

Lights! Camera! Gather!—Movie folks heading to Okanagan

Kelowna will host the Movie Theatre Association of Canada’s annual gathering in June

The Okanagan Valley will feature prominently when movie industry and studio executives descend on Kelowna for their annual conference June 4 to 6.

ShowCanada 2019, produced by the Movie Theatre Association of Canada, is an annual gathering for representatives of all sectors of the film industry from Canada and the US. Delegates from film exhibition and distribution gather for an opportunity to network, screen movies and upcoming product, attend seminars and celebrate the magic of movie-viewing.

This year will mark the first time Kelowna will host the event.

“Our delegates look forward to experiencing new parts of Canada and our American delegates get particularly excited as we often bring them to locations they would not normally see,” said Nuria Bronfman, executive director of MTAC about the selection of Kelowna as this year’s host city.

She said Kelowna appears to be a popular draw as this year’s event has garnered a huge level of interest.

“Partly because we’ve never hosted here but also because Kelowna and the Okanagan have such a thriving film community,” said Bronfman. “We’ve had amazing local support and look forward to introducing our delegates to this beautiful city and, of course, to all the fabulous wine.”

READ MORE: Movie-making in Kelowna

The 2019 conference will feature several Kelowna locals and lots of Okanagan flavour. Highlights will include:

• Ashley Ramsey, founder and CEO of Kelowna-based Yeti Farm Creative, and John Delaney, editor-in-chief of Komixstream who will participate in a panel featuring innovative content creators

• A keynote address Kelowna own “Dragon” Lane Merrifield, who in addition to appearing in the CBC program Dragon’s Den is the co-founder and CEO of FreshGrade. He was also a co-founder of Club Penguin, a phenomenally popular interactive kids game on the Internet that was sold to Disney.

• Chef Chris Shaften will join forces with the Delta Kitchen to present a five-course wine-paired opening night dinner

• Multi-platinum singer-songwriter Andrew Allen will appear at the opening night cocktail party and after- party

• The conference will close with an evening at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in West Kelowna.

Regular features at the annual conference including studio presentations, an awards celebration honouring the best in theatre promotion, a trade show and a “state of the industry” panel.

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