Ontario Nurturing Creative Industries in Thunder Bay

Posted on March 14, 2023

THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government is providing more than $435,000 through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to eight creative industries development projects in Thunder Bay. This investment will create jobs, expand company operations, and support film and music production in the Northwest.

“Our government continues to make targeted investments, which support economic development and growth right here in Thunder Bay,” said Kevin Holland, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Northern Development and MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan. “These investments demonstrate how, together with our northern partners, we are building strong, vibrant communities and creating real opportunities for the people who live and work in the North.”

The NOHFC is funding the following projects:

  • $119,000 for Shebafilms Studios to produce the feature film Mr. Noah And The Second Flood, and $28,256 to hire a 2D Animator and Character Designer Intern
  • $108,832 for Blueprints – an audio and music production company – to renovate its new studio and purchase equipment
  • $62,000 for Pastime Productions to produce the documentary A Sobering Story
  • $34,999 for Friends of the Finnish Labour Temple – a non-profit organization that celebrates and promotes the history and cultural legacy of Finnish immigration to Canada – to hire a Research TV intern, and $33,907 to hire a Graphics and Animation Intern
  • $24,124 and $24,038 for Shout Media – a full-service marketing agency – to hire two Graphic Designer Interns.

“Supporting internships and local businesses creates jobs, keeps the North competitive and current, and attracts new investment,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development. “Our government is helping companies thrive and fostering employment and skills development in the creative industries in Thunder Bay and across Northern Ontario.”

The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects – big and small, rural and urban – that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $608 million in 5,070 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.93 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 8,100 jobs.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North.

Additional Resources


“NOHFC funding has provided us with the ability to build a production team in Thunder Bay to produce a variety of media projects that engage people with the history of the Lakehead. This team consists of a diverse group of young artists and historians who can follow their dreams in Thunder Bay instead of having to move out of Northern Ontario. NOHFC support in assisting us in providing meaningful opportunities to youth today will pay big dividends to our community for years to come.” – Kelly Saxberg, President, Shebafilms Studios

“On behalf of the entire A Sobering Story team, I would like to thank the NOHFC for believing in our project, and for the financial support. Our documentary aims to bring awareness to the substance use and mental health issues plaguing our area. Because of the assistance from the NOHFC, we will complete the film for distribution in a timely manner.” – Ryan La Via, Co-Producer and Director, Pastime Productions

Media Contacts

Erika Robson, Minister’s Office -- 416-450-1309 -- erika.robson@ontario.ca

Media Desk, Communications Branch -- mediadesk.ndm@ontario.ca