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Christmas in March: Prince George hosts film production

Actress Laura Mitchell, on location at the Otway Nordic Centre in Prince George, during the filming of “A Great North Christmas.” City of Prince George photo

As filming of a Christmas movie begins in Prince George, the community stands to be highlighted both on-screen and in the credits.

A Great North Christmas is a story about a woman from Los Angeles who is given a trip to Canada over the holidays to escape her hectic lifestyle. She arrives in Prince George, experiences winter activities for the first time, and gets to know the community and local residents. More than a dozen places in and around Prince George are locations for the film, including the Otway Nordic Centre, downtown, Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park, local businesses, and Cottonwood Island Nature Park.

“Along with our cast, Prince George is definitely a star of this film,” said James Douglas, the film’s director, in a news release. “The entire production is being filmed around Prince George and the immediate area, and locals will recognize a number of P.G. landmarks in the film. But the best representation of Prince George is through the people involved with this production: more than 100 local people are part of the cast, our crew, volunteers, and suppliers. Prince George is on screen but it’s also in the DNA of this production.”

The film is being directed by James Douglas (A Doctor’s Case) and produced by Norm Coyne (A Doctor’s Case/Wicked Ways) from Barker Street Cinemas. Local executive producers are Cameron and Tammy Thun.

Prince George’s first film commissioner, Sara Shaak, is also involved with the production as an executive producer.

“Working with Sara to bring a production home to Prince George has been the highlight of this production for me,” said Clint Fraser, CEO of the Northern BC Tourism and Film Office, which currently serves as the Film Commissioner for the region. “Twenty years ago, Sara saw the potential of this region as a film location and the foundation she helped build is why we’re here today, seeing this production in Prince George.” 

“On behalf of council, I want to extend my congratulations and my appreciation to everyone who is making this production possible,” said Mayor Hall. “Often the places where filming takes place are a ‘stand-in’ for another community but this film will specifically refer to Prince George in the script. The viewers will actually know that the beautiful place they’re seeing is Prince George. This production will enhance future opportunities in the film industry for our city.”

Previous productions filmed at least partially in Prince George include The Doctor’s Case (2017), Hello Destroyer (2016), Dreamcatcher (2003), and Reindeer Games (2000).

“I’m excited to see the gems of our community showcased in this film,” said Tourism Prince George CEO, Tracey McBride. “This production will create further awareness of Prince George as a unique destination with fantastic cultural and urban amenities, close to nature, and serving as a basecamp for exploration in this amazing part of British Columbia.”

Filming for A Great North Christmas is expected to continue until mid-March. Residents are requested to not gather at film locations in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions.

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