Local casting agency says Nanaimo has many great locations and is teeming with talent.
A New York City police cruiser in downtown Nanaimo can mean just one thing, it’s ‘lights, camera action’ on an American television series being shot in the Harbour City.
Chesapeake Shores is an original series being shot for the Hallmark Channel staring Jesse Metcalfe (Desperate Housewives) and Victoria’s own Meghan Ory (Intelligence).
It is being shot on locations around Parksville-Qualicum and many New York City locals are being shot in Nanaimo.
It is all a dream come true for local casting director Jacqui Kaese who runs Academy Spotlight.
‘We turned downtown Nanaimo into New York. And there’s that certain little piece of downtown Nanaimo that visually you can just see that you’re immediately transported into New York. Like it’s a fabulous little downtown core” said Kaese, referring to the area around Modern Cafe on Commercial Street where the shooting was taking place.
The shoot is also good for local businesses.
“It’s not only the vibe. Thousands of hotel rooms have been booked, you know, 85 crew members are staying here, their families are visiting, so our restaurants are benefiting, our hotels are benefiting, our locations are benefiting, our stores are benefiting” added Kaese.
Local business owners agree.
“I see the potential. You see a movie come here and they’re doing exciting things. The whole vibe around here. I’ve been outside all day, people asking me what’s this all about? It’s exciting. I’m like I know it’s a movie in Nanaimo” said Greg Badger, owner of Funk Your Fashion.
Over 300 extras are being used in the series, quite different from other productions shot in the area, according to Kaese.
“We’ve seen various little independent feature films, small sections of them being filmed but this is a whole tv series and of course they’re coming back in a couple of weeks time for some more locations in Nanaimo so it really is very exciting” she said.
So far there has been no commitment of a second season from the Hallmark Channel.