Film crews had set up a staging area for an ABC TV pilot, fronted by Kevin Costner, at the Wholesale Club on Main St. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

Film crews had set up a staging area for an ABC TV pilot, fronted by Kevin Costner, at the Wholesale Club on Main St. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

Lights, camera, action! Filming ramping up in South Okanagan

Costner’s pilot filmed in Penticton, other ‘movies of the week’ filming now

As the slate of productions expands in the South Okanagan, with three projects shooting right now, the Okanagan is becoming a filming destination, said Jon Summerland, Okanagan Film Commissioner.

“One of the productions filming right now is the ABC pilot National Parks, with big names associated to it. This is a bright star in our region,” said Summerland.

“A pilot of this magnitude is putting this region on the path to a long format television series that would employ hundreds of people over a long period of time, and we are super excited about this prospect.”

The National Parks production, fronted by Hollywood superstar Kevin Costner, was filming in Skaha Bluff two weeks ago and had their staging area set up at the Wholesale Club and beside Lakeside Resort.

“We are also lucky for production companies, like Reel One Entertainment, who are shooting so many films in the Okanagan,” he said.

Already in 2021, Reel One, currently filming their sixth ‘Movie of the Week’, Home For Christmas, has, since January, already shot Christmas Au Pair, Love Song For Noel, Waiting For Christmas, Home For My Heart, and Falling For Christmas.

“Reel One producers Gilles Laplante and Costa Vassos are contributing substantially to building this region’s recognition that we are benefiting from. They are also hiring and training so many local young people in the process. Big kudos go to Reel One for producing so many films and being major contributors to the growth of this region,” he said.

Last summer, several made-for-TV Christmas specials were filmed in Summerland.

The 2021 film and television production schedule keeps expanding with new projects, new companies coming to film in the South Okanagan. This is going to continue to be a great year of growth and expansion, said Summerland.

READ MORE: Filming takes over Skaha Bluffs

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