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

ICET provides Qualicum Beach with $250K for East Village project

Town expects revitalization plan to attract more developments

COVID-19: Garage sales should follow mass gathering guidelines

City has received variety of queries on the issue

Parksville’s ‘Support Local’ parade celebrates businesses

Approximately 30 vehicles turn out for event

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach man stages concerts for charity out of his garage

Larry MacDougall says reception from neighbours has been heartening

COVID-19: Parksville bowling lanes open, but booking required

Owner implements safety measures to protect staff, bowlers

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Most Read