More than a decade after taking over the Vancouver Island South Film & Media Commission, Kathleen Gilbert will retire from her role as film commissioner.
Gilbert took over the reins of the non-profit in 2010 and went on to become the longest running film commissioner, helping to promote the capital region’s locations, skills and incentives.
Previously, Gilbert had worked for 18 years on a variety of different film productions before taking over the position vacated by the late Brian Small, who founded what would become the Vancouver Island South Film & Media Commission in 1974.
“I have enjoyed my position as film commissioner more than words could express. I have had the pleasure of working with so many amazing people over the last 13 years,” she said in a release Thursday. ”
“I have been blessed with a devoted and loyal staff and a hard-working board of directors, all of whom have made my job so enjoyable. I look forward to continuing to support the growth of
the film industry in Victoria and the commission in whatever ways that I can,” she said.
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Under her leadership, the commission has been able to attract and facilitate film and television production in the CRD, including Victoria, Sidney, Saanich and Oak Bay.
The VISFMC has seen a large growth in the film industry locally, with spending growing from $6 million in 2010 to $60 million in 2022. Gilbert has also helped rebuild the local crew database and attract developers in the hopes of creating a local state-of-the-art studio, the commission says.
Gilbert also facilitated the production of shows such as Netflix’s Maid, the Fox mystery series Gracepoint and Disney’s Descendants.
“And she’s done it all without abusing, humiliating or jumping up and down. That counts for something in the picture business,” said board president Don Enright.
VISFMC will start the search for a new commissioner immediately. Gilbert will wrap up her tenure as film commissioner next spring.