“Jobs of the Future” is a series focusing on career paths, local employment opportunities, programs and success stories that highlight North Bay’s diverse job market.
This is the second of a two-part report highlighting local entrepreneur Ben Farella, owner and president of gd2go and involved in the local film and television industry. Read the first part
“I think gd2go is a perfect example of what can come from good strategic thinking where you look at research that tells you what the trends are and you build a business that has the aesthetic that communicates well with the consumer you’re trying to reach. reach, ”says Farella of the local restaurant that has become one of the go-to places for a healthy and tasty meal in North Bay.
Farella drew this philosophy from his background in marketing and communications, an industry he has been involved in since his early twenties.
“My partner and I bought the Vic Fedeli advertising agency in 1992 and sold it to a state-owned company in the late 90s before buying it in the early 2000s. We started a lot of businesses, as well as fundraising solutions companies that have raised tens of millions of dollars across North America, ”he says.
“I’ve always loved this creativity around marketing and the whole business aspect.”
This led to Farella getting involved in a booming industry in North Bay.
“One of the things that really excites me right now is the film industry here locally,” says Farella.
“The reason I love film and TV in North Bay is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, or you do makeup, or you like any kind of tech around cameras, whatever it is, the There are many diverse employment opportunities for our youth here in North Bay and they have the potential to take up high paying jobs.
Farella says this has the potential to be one, if not the most important, of North Bay’s economic drivers.
“This is an opportunity for us to build a sustainable and growing industry and one that allows us to bring in professionals from other communities who want to live in North Bay and buy houses and buy cars, pay taxes and spend money. money in our stores and restaurants. . It also gives young people the option of not having to leave, or if they are gone, they can come back. “
Farella says he is working on the development of some buildings to accommodate those who work in the industry.
“My partner Bruce Knox and I are building a boutique hotel and flash apartments for the movie community right now. We also consult a number of film projects to help them as a local liaison and welcome them into the community and set them up and whatever they may need.
Farella says that the advantage that North Bay currently has over other places is that the infrastructure is locally developed.
“We have slowly built an industry over the past 20 years and today I feel like we have a one meter advantage over the rest of the communities because we are starting to build the infrastructure and we have a more talented team that can be used locally. Rather than bringing teams in from elsewhere, these production companies save on transportation and accommodation and that makes us a much more viable option as a city.
But he adds that more needs to be done to maintain this momentum.
“We really need to speed up this process and there will be an announcement in the next few months that will really put that forward. For high school students, if you’ve ever wanted to work in the entertainment production industry, there is a clear path to doing so now in North Bay and if there is an opportunity to give them a platform to accelerate their learning and get out of school ready to work on productions, then the sky is the limit for North Bay.
Farella says that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “the demand for entertainment through film and television has never been greater.”
“You can’t even book a studio in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver because they’ve been booked for years, so there’s a really good opportunity there for our city. It’s so exciting to know that we can be Hollywood North here. We also have some really interesting attributes with our physical geography and the small town feel that all of those Christmas movies are looking for. “
He also managed to find a way to integrate his gd2go business into this world of film and television, as gd2go caters to the majority of the projects.
“This combination of marketing, film, television and foodservice dominates what I do today. But I’ve always been motivated by finding a hole and finding a solution for a business opportunity that needs us to help fill those holes, ”says Farella.
“About 99 percent of ideas die in the vineyard because people don’t have the capacity to put things into action. An idea is one thing, but executing and implementing it when it comes to venture capital is another. It just comes down to not being afraid to fail and unfortunately you will fail more than you will succeed. I’ve been involved with 30 companies and I bet about half of them didn’t last longer than a year, but a good chunk of the rest were very successful. I think it just comes down to not being afraid to fail and doing whatever needs to be done to take the next step.