Thousands vie for a chance to showcase their talent 

When industry veteran and national talent agent Carla Brown turned her eyes on the expanding film industry in the Okanagan Valley, she knew that opportunities abound. 

“We like to refer it as the Hub of Hollywood North,” says Brown, who has been at the head of Calgary’s Platinum Talent Management for decades. “The summer of 2020 is full of productions filming in this iconic setting and we’re so excited to build an incredible talent roster.”

Brown teamed up with local talent manager, Brenda Connell, to form the new BookIT Talent Agency based in Kelowna. In late June, the duo put out their first call for auditions to actors of all ages and ethnicities. 

And then came the calls, by the thousands. 

“We’re overwhelmed by the volume of response to our auditions; it’s so exciting to see the wide range of talent. We will make sure the Okanagan Valley is ready for the film and television industry to explode.”

With thousands reaching out to them, the BookIt Talent auditions held this past weekend at the Film Factory in downtown Kelowna quickly morphed from two to four days. 

“With Covid, we need to put the health and safety of local actors and our staff as our priority,” says Brown. “We’re already working on a second audition in the next couple of weeks. There is just too much talent here to not give everyone a chance to show us their stuff.” 

More than 2,500 rising stars vied for a spot on the weekend auditions. The venue could only welcome a limited number of actors per session, and Brown and Connell put in extra hours to evaluate the talent of more than 350 local actors over four days.  

In June, BC’s film industry was given the go-ahead to restart production following WorkSafeBC new health guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Top photo: BookIt Talent Agency’s Brenda Connell and Carla Brown don facemasks for auditions this past weekend in Kelowna.

Auditions this past weekend took place at Kelowna’s film factory.