These Ontario Cities Have Their Own Mini TIFF And Here’s What Happened

With so many exciting events in Toronto, it’s common for people in other cities to feel a little left out. That’s why OLG rolled up the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and set up a number of marquees to surprise three lucky Ontario cities with a movie premiere.

TIFF on Tour was inspired by community spirit and the fact that while some people come from all over the world to attend TIFF, not everyone can. Even people in Toronto struggled to get tickets to shows this year!

You probably know that OLG’s profits go straight back to the people of Ontario through healthcare, education, and more. But they also sponsor numerous cultural events and with TIFF on Tour they wanted to celebrate the province’s film and arts community.

The three cities on the tour were chosen based on their ties to the film being shown, their vibrant arts communities and their iconic theaters.

Thanks to OLG

For example, the Aron Theater in Campbellford had been struggling for a few years and this event breathed new life into it. Three nights of glitz, glamor and buttery popcorn supported Ontario’s movie community and brought people together for a fun night out.

Narcity Canada spoke to Tony Bitonti, Director of Media Relations at OLG, to find out how it all went — and whether more cities will be surprised next year.

This interview has been abbreviated and edited for clarity.

OLG posted hundreds of free tickets to the Campbellford, North Bay and Windsor communities. Upon arrival, movie buffs were treated to the whole red carpet experience.

And according to Bitonti, they loved it. “We invited them to step on the red carpet […] And I’m telling you, when they were in front of those cameras, they lit up.”

Thanks to OLG

Guests were inundated with questions about who wore them — Levis was a common answer — then were treated to free popcorn, movie snacks, and bevvies.

north of normal,which premiered to small audiences just a week earlier, was the perfect film for the occasion — some scenes were even shot in North Bay, and several extras from the film came to the event at the Capitol Center.

In addition, the eight-year-old North of Normal star is from Windsor. Her parents, relatives and neighbors applauded as she appeared on their hometown screen.

That’s movie magic: bringing people together. And when OLG decided to bring the world famous festival throughout the province, everyone could feel like a star. Which is pretty cute, honestly.

Thanks to OLG

Reflecting on the event, Bitonti said, “It’s really about giving back to those communities and enabling us to share their stories.”

OLG is always looking for the next biggest activation – and they’re already planning events for next year. The team will evaluate the first TIFF on Tour’s success (Bitonti calls it a big one) before announcing a possible return for next year.

So hang in there – you’ll just have to wait before you can brag about getting a TIFF on Tour ticket stuck. In the meantime, why not treat yourself and some friends to a night out at your local theater?

To learn more about OLG, visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Youtube.

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