North Bay’s ban on fake snow causes concern
The City of North Bay is still dealing with reaction from a ban it has placed on the chemical used in artificial snow.
There's been some public outcry about possibly losing film business.
On Monday, the city and some local film people were doing their best to reassure everyone that North Bay will still see plenty of film production despite the new rule.
It's not the real white stuff we see falling from the sky in winter, but it does have a real effect on the ecosystem.
Phos Chek, a chemical used to create fake snow, was banned earlier this month by the City of North Bay, after it was heavily investigated and found to be lethal to trout living in lakes around the community.
“It wasn't somebody just sitting in their office thinking ‘I’ve got nothing better to do, let's just, you know, start picking on somebody.’ It was based on the fact that we've got burned vegetation down at the waterfront that caused it. They did their due diligence, they spoke with a consultant, they spoke with different members of the environmental community and we're not the only one standing behind it.” said North Bay City Councillor Tanya Vrebosch.
But banning of the product caused major concern around the community that film productions would leave altogether and even sparked an online petition that drew in nearly 1,000 supporters.
Now, filmmakers and city officials are coming together to let the community know that the film industry in North Bay will not be affected by the change.
“There's so many alternatives to using artificial snow. I talked to so many producers and they're not concerned about this. It's a matter of convenience. If this didn't work, if they ultimately discover it's not going to be useful, they'll find something else.” said Jim Calarco, of North Star Talent.
“If the community comes in, like North Bay, and says the product doesn't fit our community, it's my job as producers, whether I live here or I'm from here, to come up with alternatives. That's the essence of the film and television business. Every single day you show up on set, nothing necessarily goes as planned, you're always making changes.” said Derek Diorio, the director of Hard Rock Medical.
This past year, five of the 16 projects filmed in the city used Phos Chek before the ban was put in place.
Sudbury and Sault St. Marie are also looking at banning the chemical from being used.