Chesapeake Shores is back filming in Qualicum Beach after work on the TV show was postponed last year due to COVID-19.
The town has indicated council approved the filming this spring with the knowledge that Chesapeake Shores production team is following strict and health protocols.
In a press release, the town indicated the film industry has worked closely with WorkSafe BC, the film unions and provincial and local authorities to ensure a safe return to work strategy.
“A rigid set of safety protocols have been implemented to allow the film production industry to continue in B.C.,” read the release.
“The town is in communication with the production team to ensure they meet those protocols,” the released contined. “All cast and crew are tested prior to starting work and regularly tested throughout the shoot schedule to mitigate the risk of transmission.”
However, the timing of the return of the Hallmark series has raised some concerns among residents.
“Ironic to see all of those out-of-towners filming in front of the COVID testing facility,” said PQB News reader Kim Greig online. “Non-essential travel?”
“I have watched it, mainly to see people and locations I know,” said Angela Price. “I’m not sure bringing all these people into town during a pandemic is a good idea, though.”
The town’s release added: “The safety of our local community is a top priority for the town, and similar to the approach used with other sectors impacted by the pandemic, the town continues to follow the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer when considering new opportunities. As Chesapeake Shores is compliant with provincial health orders, and are working with WorkSafe BC, the town is pleased to welcome their filming in the community. Film production plays a big role and has significant benefits in the local economy, with approximately 65 per cent of the crew, including all background performers, to be Island locals.”
As filming locations have also been flagged in Parksville, Deb Tardiff, the manager of communications with the city, said that after a lengthy shutdown, with efforts by both the film industry and the provincial government, filming productions are allowed in British Columbia again. She said Chesapeake Shores is working under a COVID-19 safety plan, similar to hundreds of productions filming throughout the province and similar to other workplaces, the film crew has rigorous COVID-19 procedures in place to mitigate the risk of transmission.
“With these conditions in place, we are pleased to welcome Chesapeake Shores to Parksville,” said Tardiff.
— NEWS Staff, submitted