Summerland is about to be a Christmas town in the middle of summer, as production crews roll into town to start filming for a TV movie for the network Lifetime Family.
The movie, titled ‘The Christmas Yule Log’, is set during the Christmas holidays in New Mexico.
“(The production company) has been really looking for that small town downtown area,” Summerland’s chief administrative officer Anthony Haddad said.
“They’ll be filming in our downtown area, Victoria Street, Main Street, the baptist church, and the Kettle Valley station, as well as a few other private properties around the municipality.”
He added it will be a busy time in downtown Summerland, but filming is set to take place after business hours to minimize the impact on local businesses, with larger road closures scheduled for overnight shoots.
“They’re still having ongoing discussions with businesses… but from the sound of things, there’s a lot of support from businesses to promote our awesome downtown.”
During the Monday, July 20 council meeting, Counc. Doug Holmes said filming has increased all across the Okanagan throughout the summer, which he said may have something to do with filmmakers and production companies feeling safer in the area than in the U.S. as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
“We look forward to more of this happening in the community. Filming has increased throughout the Okanagan in general, so we can expect more of this happening in Summerland as well,” Haddad said.
He said this is a wonderful opportunity to shine the spotlight on the district and promote what Summerland has to offer.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the fantastic community we have downtown.”
“There are lots of opportunities for some exciting activities downtown. We have a beautiful character that exists there and a fantastic business community. So the opportunity to showcase the businesses is certainly great,” he said.
Haddad said the production company will be following provincial guidelines when it comes to COVID-19 safety.
“They’re responsible for putting together those safety plans and implementing them as they work in our town.”
Filming is scheduled from July 27 to 31. Residents are welcome to watch crews work, but Haddad said they must do so from a safe distance.