By Charlotte Anketell and Julia Grabowska
With all eyes on the big screens during the Toronto International Film Festival, local Toronto businesses are watching their profits grow, data suggests.
A study done by the market research company TNS Canada between April 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013 says TIFF brought in approximately $189 million to the local economy.
Shane Gerard, senior coordinator for Economic Development and Culture for the city of Toronto told Humber News he lives in the area where TIFF events are taking place and businesses look busier than usual.
“The presence of the festival is having a positive impact on the number of customers that they’re getting versus what would be happening on a regular day,” said Gerard.
Almost 50 bars and restaurants in Toronto like The Drake Hotel, and Thompson Hotel have extended their hours for the past week, says blogTO. Much of the action has to do with late night after parties.
“There are some venues that apply for extensions on their alcohol licence to remain open until four o’clock in the morning,” says Gerard. “Those are actually voted on by city council, because it’s a special permit that needs to be authorized.”
When it comes to looking at money generated for the city, media is another factor.
Jeff Vespa has been the official photographer for the festival since 2006, and he has a history of shooting high profile events such as the Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
“It helps my business because it is such a high profile position,” says Vespa. “All the talent has to go through my studio in order to go to the press conferences, so I see everyone.”
Apart from the glitz and celebrity buzz that TIFF brings to Toronto, Vespa says that the spotlight is not only on the stars but also on the city itself.
“It shines a light on the culture of the city and the country as a whole. It is one of the most prestigious festivals in the world and is an important launchpad for Oscar movies,” says Vespa.