Film crews descended on the Lower Mainland again after the initial COVID shutdown. Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are popular backdrops for many movies, TV shows, and commercials. (Malin Jordan/Black Press Media)

Film crews descended on the Lower Mainland again after the initial COVID shutdown. Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are popular backdrops for many movies, TV shows, and commercials. (Malin Jordan/Black Press Media)

13 productions shooting in Maple Ridge this month alone

Maple Ridge was one of the first Lower Mainland municipalities to welcome back film crews

Film and TV production continues ramping up in Maple Ridge, and Pitt Meadows alike.

Inquiries are coming in daily, and dozens of productions are slated to shoot in Maple Ridge in the coming months, according to a new report from that city’s economic development department.

As the film and television industry resumes activity following the COVID-19 shutdown, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows both continue to be a popular filming location.

Maple Ridge, for instance, welcomed 13 productions in September, up from five in the same timeframe last year, said Wendy Dupley, director of economic development.

RELATED: Maple Ridge movie industry almost back to ‘normal’

“When film and television productions were permitted to restart in July, Maple Ridge was one of the first municipalities to welcome back crews with new safety protocols in place,” she said. “We’re proud to have played a part in getting cameras rolling again.”

In July, eight productions were shooting throughout Maple Ridge with a total of 50 shoot days between all projects – a 72 per cent increase year-over-year.

RELATED: Shopping local key to recovery – chamber

The film and television industry is an important economic generator for the city, she explained.

According to the Association of Film Commissioners International, filming in Maple Ridge contributes approximately $20,000 per shoot day to the city’s economy. It also employs more than 1,000 residents, providing more than $55 million in wages in 2019.

With more studio facilities opening locally, the city doesn’t anticipate any reduction in activity over the short term.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming more productions and continuing to live up to our reputation as a helpful, film-friendly location,” Dupley said.

In the meantime, Pitt Meadows is currently reviewing its film policy, and while there are no permits issued yet for October to December, the city has had more than 20 inquiries since July for filming, said communications manager Carolyn Baldridge.

From January to March of this year, the city issued 11 filming permits, compared to 18 in the first quarter of 2019.

Where the numbers showed significant differences were the months of July to September this year – after the COVID-19 shutdown was lifted, Baldridge said.

There were only four permits issued in that three-month period, compared to 22 issued in the same period last year.

RELATED: Maple Ridge a backdrop for latest Netflix romantic comedy

.

________________________

• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Film industryfilmingmaple ridge