Tuesday marked the start of the 15th Kids International Film Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto and who should show up that morning but the youngest minister in Stephen Harper's cabinet, 35-year-old Canadian Heritage head James Moore.
Moore wasn't there, however, to screen one of the 130 films from 40 countries, but to announce that his ministry is spending millions on a potpourri of youth-oriented projects now and in future. One of the beneficiaries is the kids' fest parent, the Toronto International Film Festival, which was informed, for fiscal year 2012-13, it would be receiving $50,000 toward "the purchase and installation of a new ticketing system."
The investment was hardly a surprise, the announcement more an opportunity of convenience. TIFF, in fact, already received $150,000 last year from Moore, via the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, for what's officially known as the TIFF Ticketing and Accessibility Solution Project. KIFF 2012 is the first major event to use it, although the system, budgeted at about $900,000, isn't expected to be fully operational until December. The system gets another workout May 10-12 on another youth project, the TIFF Next Wave Festival, targeted at the 14-to-18 set.