Movie making still humming in Maple Ridge

On pace for average of 50 film productions this year

While increases in Ontario’s tax incentives are tempting more movie-making back east, crews are still spending and shooting in Maple Ridge, helping provide a little shot in the arm to the local economy.

According to film production liaison officer Marg Johnson, Maple Ridge is on track to achieve its annual average of 50 film productions.

She says this October and November there have been nine movies shot here compared to five shot in the same two months last year, with the final year-end tally similar to the previous year.

Next year though, all bets are off.

While there’s a regional tax incentive to shooting in Maple Ridge, the disappearance of the Harmonized Sales Tax this March 31, which provided credits to the industry, could discourage film projects.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen when the HST leaves,” Johnson said.

“Hopefully, it won’t change things but you just don’t know.”

Those productions include the TV series Arctic Air along with the feature Primevil – New World, shot the first half of this year at E-One Moli Energy’s old building in Maple Meadow Business Park.

Three movies also were shot at Maple Ridge municipal hall recently, Carpenter’s Miracle, Jingle Bell Rock and Secret Liaison.

The past few weeks have been busy, says Johnson. “I was juggling about six productions last week in this area so it was a little bit crazy.

“It’s certainly not declining.”

According to the Strategic Economics Initiatives department, Maple Ridge is a “film maker’s dream.”

The district has been used as a setting for everything from New York to the Scottish Highlands, pointing to its winding rural roads, its rustic farm houses, heritage buildings and its versatile urban core as industry attractions.

“They have been using 224th Street a lot lately.”

One day of filming in Maple Ridge is estimated to produce $10,000 in economic benefit to the community.

• Other films shot this year in Maple Ridge:

• Killer Among Us – A feature film starring Tom Cavanagh. Film locations include Iron Mountain Store, Haney Builders Supply, Hammond Church, and the old mill beside Kingfishers Pub.

• Tom, Dick and Harriet – Filming was done at Paliotti’s, Lava Dining and Lounge, and the old Roger’s Video building. Starring Steven Webber (Wings), it is a TV movie about an advertising executive trying to keep up with the times.

• Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade – A feature film was shot at the ACT, Memorial Peace Park, Langley Farm Market, Jim’s Pizza and Sweet Orange Clothing store. It starred Autumn Reeser (Entourage) and was about a couple falling in love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade.