The Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s longtime film commissioner says it’s time to pass the torch after more than two decades on the job.
Victoria Weller told Castanet Kamloops after helping the future new hire transition into the film commissioner role, she will be retiring — “at least from this position, anyhow.”
“I turned 65 last year, so that’s certainly part of it. But I just think it's time to move on. It's been 22 years, and I think you need somebody with fresh eyes,” Weller said.
Weller said she believes the TNRD’s film industry has reached a new junction.
In a presentation to the board of directors in early February, Weller said 2021 was the busiest year in decades for film production within the regional district. According to Weller, the film industry contributed about $9 million to the economy last year.
“It's in a good place right now. And I think you need somebody younger, with new eyes and the new generation to look and see what's needed and carry on the torch,” Weller said.
The TNRD has published a job posting for the film commissioner role, with the application closing date set for March 14.
Weller said she anticipates the TNRD will hire someone to fill the role in the next couple of months, after which she will stay on to help with the transition.
“After that, I don't know,” she said.
“I’ve been asked to do some online teaching for film, and help develop some curriculum, so that's kind of fun. And I think I'll still be in the film industry, I just don't know where I'm going to land at this point,” Weller said.
She said much has changed over the past 22 years for the TNRD — which “has grown by leaps and bounds” — and for the film industry.
"Quite a bit [changed], from technology, operations, right down to how you market and also how you facilitate productions,” Weller said.
She said the best part of the job has been getting to know and help people through her work, and her advice for the new film commissioner is to continue to develop those relationships.
“There's so many people that are helpful, or experts, or own property or a house or want to be on a crew, or have children who want to be on a crew or acting. So you want to help and facilitate and share the wealth,” she said.
“I think that's the best part. No day is the same. That's the best thing.”
At a City of Kamloops committee meeting Monday, Sarah Candido, the city’s external relations liaison, publicly thanked Weller for her support.
“She has given her retirement notice for the summer, and she has been invaluable in onboarding me into the role. ... She's helped us figure out education, certification, all that kind of thing. So I just wanted to wish Vicci very, very well in her retirement,” Candido said.
Coun. Dieter Dudy said this news marks a big change for the film commission.
“It’s hard to imagine the film commission without Vicci there. For as long as I know, living here, Vicci has been the one that's been at the helm, so it’s going to be a big, drastic change,” Dudy said.