Crews have used Second Avenue in Qualicum Beach (pictured here in front of the old Chamber of Commerce building) to double as the main street for ‘Chesapeake Shores’. (File photo)

Crews have used Second Avenue in Qualicum Beach (pictured here in front of the old Chamber of Commerce building) to double as the main street for ‘Chesapeake Shores’. (File photo)

COVID-19: Vancouver Island film industry to gradually restart

‘Everyone is kind of baby-stepping how it’s going to happen’

The film industry on Vancouver Island is figuring out how to restart amid the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

There are no specific dates on when filming will resume in the area, but Vancouver Island North Film Commission’s Joan Miller said they’re talking to productions to figure it out. One main point, she said, is that no productions have backed out of filming in the area due to COVID-19 – it’s just a matter of having to reschedule and prepare to start things up safely.

“There’s this pent-up demand to want to see production get going from both sides, from employers, from the regions. From studios. But the guidelines have only just been put out… everyone is kind of baby-stepping how it’s going to happen,” said Miller. “So we’re working with people on a regular basis, we’re still providing a lot of location information, but our role is now expanding to assisting and looking for PPE.”

READ MORE: Ladysmith revels in Resident Alien experience

READ MORE: Greater Victoria actor stars in Netflix film The Half of It

The guidelines she’s referring to are for the province’s film industry — WorkSafeBC has released new guidelines to keep sets safe. Companies are allowed to start up again once they have a health and safety plan that meets WorkSafe’s protocols, as well as the one’s set forward by the province. The industry is part of Phase 3 of B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, which lasts from June to September. It’s allowed to operate “under enhanced protocols,” starting with domestic productions in June and July.

It’s an important sector for the mid-Island area. The area has seen success with ‘Chesapeake Shores’ and the influx of jobs associated with it. The series is one of the most-watched original series on the Hallmark Channel and has contributed significantly to the area’s economy — they hire a large percentage of their crew locally.

For now, Miller said VINFC is happy to see the same level of interest from production companies pre-COVID – a good sign.

“I don’t think there’s a magic crystal ball out there that’s going to allow me to say dates,” she said. “We just don’t know..but what is really clear is that Vancouver Island had clearly been establishing itself as a production area and the same type of interest we had before the COVID is still there, so we’re really pleased.”

For more news from the Island and beyond delivered directly to your email inbox, click here.

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Film industryMovies & TVParksvillequalicum beach

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on film production on central and north Vancouver Island, says Vancouver Island North Film Commission. Pictured here, production of TV series Resident Alien in Ladysmith earlier this year. (Black Press file)
Film commissioner says COVID-19 cost central Island $6 million in economic activity

Jurassic World: Dominion, Chesapeake Shores among productions halted due to pandemic, says INFilm

Chelsey Moore’s character Chloe in the upcoming virtual reality game Altdeus: Beyond Chronos. Screengrab
Vancouver Island actress finds success in a virtual world

Black Creek’s Chelsey Moore lends her voice to a new video game set for release in December

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

Artist Daniel Cline discusses his sculpture, Harmony Humpbacks, during the June 20 walking tour of Oak Bay’s 2019 ArtsAlive sculptures. Harmony Humpbacks was purchased by Oak Bay as the 2019 people’s choice winner and is permanently installed at the Beach Drive entrance to Willows Park. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Influx of donated art a ‘fantastic problem to have,’ says Oak Bay mayor

Oak Bay goes from zero to 10 permanent art pieces since 2015

Stephen Laidlaw, prepator with Nanaimo Art Gallery, hangs a photograph of Anna Wong, a B.C. print maker whose works are on display at the gallery. The exhibit opens Friday, Dec. 4, and runs until Feb. 7. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores life work of overlooked B.C. printmaker

‘Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads’ features more than 70 art works and personal belongings

Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus released their first joint album, <em>The Invasion</em>. (Photo courtesy Raymond Knight)
Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus release first joint album

Duo plan elaborate live-streamed CD release for ‘The Invasion’

Next month Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases his solo debut album, ‘Wildlife.’ (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases solo debut album

New record ‘Wildlife’ about taking chances and going through changes

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Back Row Brass Quintet – including trumpeter Mark D’Angelo, tuba player Nick Atkinson and French horn player Karen Hough (from left) – were scheduled to tour the Nanaimo area with Christmas Under the Big Tent, but the concert series has now been cancelled. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Symphony brass quintet’s Christmas concert series cancelled

Performances were to happen at venues in Parksville and Lantzville next month

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, near Shirley. (Contributed - Lee-Ann Ruttan)
New book shines a light on Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Publication examines history, lightkeepers, and volunteer society

Victoria-based guitarist Eric Harper performs at the Port Theatre on Nov. 27. (Photo credit Tatum Duryba)
Classical guitarist to play at the Port Theatre

Eric Harper to play new songs composed during the pandemic

Most Read