Penticton’s Tempest Theater seeks to boost local film industry with training – Summerland Review

Penticton’s Tempest Theater wants to encourage more residents to get involved in the growing local film industry.

With a growing demand for trained and available local actors, the Tempest Theater and Film Society has worked to expand the roster of local talent with classes and events designed to help new and developing actors.

With the pandemic putting many productions on hold and creating backlogs for other locations, production companies have turned to other locations such as the Okanagan to bring in their film and TV shoots.

“In addition to the stunning scenery and variety of locations our region presents, outside production companies are attracted by the tax credits offered to projects that shoot in rural areas and employ local talent and crew,” said the Okanagan Film Commissioner, Jon Summerland. “It’s a significant advantage we have over the usual film centers such as the Lower Mainland, but we have to have the people here to do the job or we’ll lose that opportunity.”

The sudden burst of activity has already impacted the availability of local labor and talent, and Tempest aims to fill any shortages with local training.

Artistic director Kate Twa has experienced this type of accelerated industry growth before and recognizes the challenges and opportunities that come with it.

“I watched the rapid growth of the industry in Vancouver in the 1990s and have ideas on how to encourage and support healthy development here in the valley,” Twa said. “I think it’s going to get busier and busier.”

Through a partnership with Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen and a recent impact grant from the BC Arts Council, Tempest is now able to create a series of professional training sessions for actors. Starting with basic techniques, classes range from a few hours to several days, up to nine days of intensive application. Skills taught include traditional theatrical techniques, script analysis, audition training, and set protocols.

“We offer courses for a full range of students,” Twa said. “Those who want to try something new, improve public speaking, and explore fun techniques to amplify expression and connection, as well as those pursuing a career in acting.”

Anyone interested in training opportunities can visit to learn more.

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film industry

Gladys T. Hensley