SUBMITTED BY CHESAPEAKE SHORES                                 The cast from ‘Chesapeake Shores’ pose for a photo in season three of the hit Hallmark series. The cast and crew are now back in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area shooting season four.

SUBMITTED BY CHESAPEAKE SHORES The cast from ‘Chesapeake Shores’ pose for a photo in season three of the hit Hallmark series. The cast and crew are now back in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area shooting season four.

‘Chesapeake Shores’ helps build film crews, business and tourism in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

The local economy has improved thanks to the hit Hallmark series ‘Chesapeake Shores’, and the cast and crew are now back shooting the fourth season in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

“Last year we spent upwards of $5 million locally,” said producer Matt Drake, adding that more than 10,000 room nights were booked in hotels during season three, and the show hired 60 per cent of their crew base locally.

‘Chesapeake Shores’ has been dubbed one of the most-watched original series in Hallmark Channel’s history.

Anne Dodson, executive director of the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce, said having the show filmed in the area has created a marked increase in “film tourism”.

“The show has developed quite a fan base and we’ve had people from as far away as Georgia in the Qualicum Beach Visitor Centre last year asking for directions to popular film locations.” Dodson said the show has helped create jobs within the film industry, and helped create facilities, such as the Vancouver Island Film Studios.

Owner of Vancouver Island Film Studios, Ron Chiovetti, said that he was approached at the end of the show’s first season to provide safe, secure storage for movie props. At the beginning of season two, the crew was struggling to find a good location for a construction shop to build props.

RELATED: Chesapeake Shores to bring more jobs to Parksville Qualicum Beach

Chiovetti decided to build what was needed.

“I decided to build a building designed specifically for this use,” he explained. “We were building additional storage buildings and they suggested that if we built them higher and had the proper clear span structure, they would be interested in having a sound stage to rent for filming.”

In season three, the buildings were complete and ‘Chesapeake Shores’ rented the construction shop and two sound stages. This year, the producers will rent the space again, Chiovetti confirmed.

There is more than three million square feet of studio space in the Vancouver area, Chiovetti added, and until Vancouver Island Film Studios started building its studios, there was nothing on the Island. “Our 30,000 square feet [of studio space] is only one per cent of the total in B.C. but we are off to a great start and we are hoping to attract many more productions to the Island.”

When ‘Chesapeake Shores’ first started filming in the area, it was pretty risky, Drake said. That’s because they didn’t have a crew here, or the infrastructure needed for filming. He said that it has been great to see Vancouver Island Film Studios grow and it’s been very successful for both sides. Crew members at Chesapeake Shores have also developed relationships with local car dealerships, printers, graphic designers and a number of other suppliers, Drake said.

“It’s great to be able to call local vendors up and send the business their way.”

Drake said producers weren’t expecting to base the show entirely in the area, but once they found Qualicum Beach, and were welcomed warmly by the Town and residents, they decided to create a home base in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

“Victoria has beautiful beaches and is a fantastic region, but there was just this quiet, calm, serene feeling in Oceanside,” he said. They have also filmed in Parksville, Nanaimo and surrounding areas, he added, and those regions have also been supportive, but the crew’s “ask” has been the more substantial in Qualicum Beach, he clarified. The show films throughout the District 69 area, including Coombs, Errington and Nanoose Bay.

This year, producers are aiming to hire at least 60 per cent local again, Drake said.

“I think it’s important. The least we can do is give back to the community for all the time and attention, and sometimes delays, we cause. And I think it’s important to build a crew base here and it has certainly helped us.”

Last year, Drake was impressed with North Island College’s TV and Film Crew Training program, which began in 2017, and continues at the college, he noted.

“That was great to see and we were an active participant and supporter of that program. We were able to hire a large number of those people and some are coming back.”

Drake said because ‘Chesapeake Shores’ has helped build a great crew base in the region, the area will be even more appealing for producers and shows considering the area.

“I think it just means hopefully more and more work can land here.”

Drake said there is a lot packed into the fourth season, and he thinks fans are really going to love where the show is heading.

A spinoff ‘Chesapeake Shores’ movie is also in the works. To learn more about that and view highlights from past episodes visit www.hallmarkchannel.com/chesapeake-shores.

By Lissa Alexander

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

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

Just Posted

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Course. (File photo)
Qualicum Beach golf course notified restaurant patron tests positive for COVID-19

Staff to self-monitor until Nov. 28, can continue with daily duties

Toy Drive ‘drive through’ cancelled for Nov. 25. (Courtesy of Tigh-Na-Mara)
Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive drive through cancelled for Nov. 25

Resort will continue to accept donations on behalf of the Society of Organized Services

Windy conditions in Nanaimo’s Lost Lake area. (News Bulletin file photo)
Wind warning issued for the east coast of Vancouver Island

Environment Canada says people ‘should be on the lookout’ for adverse weather conditions

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

The North Island 9-1-1 Corporation (NI911) has supported local residents for 25 years. Black Press file photo
North Island 911 looks to change how they get funding

Three options to be decided upon in early 2021

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Most Read