Lowe’s Canada has granted permission to sub-lease the former RONA building, located at the Cowichan Commons, to Film Cowichan. (File photo)

Old RONA building in Cowichan Commons takes starring role for Film Cowichan

Access to studio space on Vancouver Island is increasingly in demand

The former RONA building in the Cowichan Commons could play a starring role in attracting film to the Valley.

Lowe’s Canada has granted permission to sub-lease the former RONA building to Film Cowichan as a potential production facility prior to the expiry of the company’s lease in September, 2018.

The 73,000 sq. ft. building contains two large warehouse areas, office and boardroom space, a secure parking area and other amenities that make it ideal for major film production companies.

“The former RONA building is an incredible asset for the film industry on Vancouver Island,” said Amy Melmock, manager of Economic Development Cowichan which operates Film Cowichan.

“We heard from industry that there is a lack of production space on the Island and responded by seeking out this opportunity. We’re proud to be connecting the dots in providing economic benefit to the region and to the industry as a whole.”

During the past decade, film production activities large and small have contributed more than $29 million to the regional economy in the Cowichan Valley.

As large-scale film and television activities continue to flourish in the Lower Mainland, access to studio space on Vancouver Island is increasingly in demand.

“This will raise the bar in attracting major productions to our region,” predicted Film Cowichan coordinator Laura Leppard.

“It’s a once in a decade chance to create the type of economic spin-offs and media exposure that major productions provide.”

Film Cowichan operates under the banner of the EDC to promote the region as a film destination and to help local government, business organizations and visiting production companies coordinate film activity in the Cowichan Valley.