Local parks to close as ‘popular TV series’ films in Sooke

Local parks to close as 'popular TV series' films in Sooke

The District of Sooke is rolling out the red carpet for a “popular” television series set to film at a pair of local parks this month as several other productions flock to south Vancouver Island.

Ed MacGregor Park and Whiffin Spit will both be closed to the public on Saturday, April 29 — the former from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the latter from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to the district.

“Sooke will be the scene for at least one episode of a popular TV series,” the district said in a notice Friday, noting the parks’ parking lots, as well as the Rotary Pier and Sooke Marine Boardwalk, will also be closed. 

“The public is invited to enjoy Sooke’s other waterfront park spaces, including Ella Beach and Billings Spit, during the one-day closure,” states the notice.

“Crews will also be conducting filming by drone, in accordance with Transport Canada regulations, and handheld cameras on Friday, April 28; the public can expect such filming in areas throughout Sooke.”

The name of the series, however, is still under wraps.

District officials say they’re keen to enhance the local economy and support businesses in the area, and engaging with the film industry “provides a prime mechanism” to do that.

“The district has been working closely with the production company to balance the community impact and accommodate production needs, and thanks residents for their understanding as we welcome this opportunity for Sooke,” they said.

CHEK News spoke with the Vancouver Island South Film Commission’s Kathleen Gilbert last month as the SYFY series “Resident Alien” was filming in Ladysmith. At the time, the film commissioner reflected on the year so far and what was ahead for the local industry.

“It hasn’t been outrageously slow, but probably a little slower than the last couple of years, for sure, and we’re not quite sure what’s causing that,” Gilbert said in an interview March 29.

“We expect that the summer and moving into fall, I don’t think it’s going to be outrageously busy, but it should be fairly steady.”

While she predicts this year’s direct spending — the amount of money TV and film producers fork out at local businesses — will be a “fairly significant” $50 million, it’s less than 2021’s record-breaking $60 million.

The film commission lists what’s in production on its website, and along with “Resident Alien,” the feature “In the Blink of an Eye,” the first season of the new media series “Under The Bridge,” the second season of “Reginald The Vampire” and the TV movie “Young Aurora Teagarden Mysteries” are currently shooting or about to shoot in the region.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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