Business On Camera Shares How They Grew Amid COVID-19
These are uncertain times, and the effects of COVID-19 are being felt in every home across our country. Tensions are high, morale is low, and people are frightened. Many families are experiencing stress from loss of livelihood and income and are uncertain of what the future will hold.
It’s in these times that we are encouraged and motivated by success. We’ve heard countless stories of businesses that are struggling, even giving up and throwing in the towel. In our industry, media and communication industry, the stories are dire.
Hearing stories of companies that are persevering in this environment keeps us all moving forward. One of those is a company we are excited to be working closely with, Business on Camera (BOC), an innovative and leading communications firm in Calgary. Their business is celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2020, right in the middle of a pandemic.
Graham McGinn, Creative Director Business on Camera
“We’ve doubled our staff and doubled the square footage in our office which is located on the Beltline at Work Nicer Roxbury,” says Graham McGinn, Creative Director at BOC.
“We are currently executing on a variety of exciting initiatives including supporting Todayville to launch a new and unique digital media platform in the city. We are really excited about a major project that involves developing an international multilingual communications strategy for an award-winning technology based energy company developing clean, scalable, baseload energy.”
The support of the Alberta Government’s Alberta Multimedia Development Fund, administered by Alberta Culture has played a key role in BOC’s growth.
“Our WeMaple documentary series pushes boundaries in energy storytelling. We’ve created “micro-consumption” short format videos that are then compiled together to create full 22 minute episodes,” states Matt Keay, CEO, Business on Camera. “The project examines the energy conversation in a completely new way; both the approach to the project, as well as how we’re distributing it.
We are eternally grateful for the support we’ve received from the Alberta Government, as well as the ATB Branch for Arts & Culture, which provides bridge financing against these government grants.”
Since 2010, Business on Camera has produced sixteen documentaries. Matt says these projects have generated approximately $3.5 million dollars of economic activity, including employment and freelance work that benefited more that 250 people and 55,000 man-hours. They received the “Spirit of Activism Award” from the Colorado Environmental Film Festival for a documentary film called Pipeline Wars. That moment 6 years ago started the company’s exploration of this polarizing social issue.
Matt Keay holding Occulus Quest preparing for a Virtual Reality Sales Tour
“If you’re a creative artist with an entrepreneurial mindset,” says Mr. Keay, “the province provides perfect conditions to create jobs and tell Alberta’s stories. In regards to the Spirit of Activism Award, it was funny because we were advocating for balanced discussion, that made us activists I guess as far at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival was concerned.”
The company’s WeMaple brand is about inspiring and engaging a new generation of Canadians and creating a global consciousness and began with six documentary films that are currently available on Telus Optik TV and the stories are also being showcased on Todayville. One example in partnership with Calgary Arts Development explored how “Calgarians Live Creative Lives,” another captures Shambhala’s 20th Anniversary.
Keay says the project took a nearly two-year hiatus.
“We faced multiple challenges from multiple areas including financing, compliance, team, and all the mental health and addiction issues that sometimes come along with entrepreneurship. But, from the ocean to the prairies to the Rocky Mountains, the sun always rises again. Things will get better, and until they do, we have each other. We are Canadians, we are True North tough, and we will weather the storm together. Hold on, Canada. Better days are on their way.”