Two film crews descend upon Sidney

Plenty of benefit for the community and the Mary Winspear Centre.

Film crews are in Sidney working on a Hallmark love story called Walking the Dog. Site crew were tight-lipped on the subject.

Sidney is the setting for two films being shot over the next few weeks and it’s a big economic benefit, especially for the Mary Winspear Centre.

The first film, which wraps up production in Sidney Nov. 24, is a Hallmark love story titled Walking the Dog.

Being produced by Front Street Pictures, the film crew arrived Nov. 14 and will be shooting in Sidney and the Greater Victoria area over the next week.

The film has been using the Mary Winspear Centre’s parking lot as a jumping off point, with all the crew and actors there, along with their catering truck.

The other movie being shot in Sidney, which the Winspear Centre is more heavily involved in, is a sequel to Pup Star, titled Pup Star 2 — a film take off on American Idol featuring singing dogs. Filmed by Air Bud Entertainment, the Mary Winspear Centre will be home to many of the film’s scenes. Pup Star 2 will be using the centre from Dec. 2 to the 15.

“There’s a huge economic benefit for the Peninsula as a whole,” said Brad Edgett, executive director of the Mary Winspear Centre. “If you look at films or movies or television programs like this, there’s a huge influx of economic benefit and spin-off to the whole Peninsula where they’re shooting.”

Edgett said for the Centre and their business, they’re always looking for recognition and notoriety and trying to get on the map so everybody knows who they are. He said the hard part is getting the film organizations here, as they’re used to staying in Victoria or Vancouver.

“So what we’re hoping is the more work that we do with these organizations, the more they’ll get to understand that we’re a smaller organization specifically, and sometimes that comes with its perks.”

One of the things that attracted Pup Star to Sidney, he continued, is the different types of rooms and different things the centre  can offer them that they can’t get in other locations.

“They’re shooting in the gallery space for a rock ’n roll hall of fame scene. They’re shooting in the theatre. They’re doing some green screen work with cars in the Bodine Hall — so they’re able to do a lot of different things here …”

The activity also raises the Centre’s profile, he said, as not just being a place for theatre performances like concerts and acting, but for a variety of artistic and community endeavours.