2020 has been a wild year with lots of upheaval and uncertainty. However, as this unpredictable year draws to a close, one thing we feel certain about is that production in Ontario made a remarkable recovery thanks in large part to our Membership’s commitment to safety and adherence to COVID 19 protocols. With the GTA reaching max capacity by late summer, many productions began to truly embrace the range of stellar locations available in our province.
Did you know some of your favourite TV shows use cities all across the province as their backdrop?
Over the last few years Letterkenny, Castle In The Ground, The Silencing, Indian Horse and more have all used Sudbury to create their worlds. In 2019, there were 13 film and television productions in Greater Sudbury, conducting 749 shoot days and accumulating more than $24 million in direct local spending. With a combined $43 million in production budgets, more than 55 per cent of these dollars were spent locally.
Letterkenny, the breakout award-winning Canadian small town surrealist comedy, has filmed in Sudbury since 2016 and makes use of Sudbury’s rural areas such as the family farm at 1546 Cote Boulevard. Other recurring locations include the Frood Hotel, converted into MoDean’s Roadhouse, Grace Fellowship Church as the church, Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex as the barn and Donovan Variety and R. Edgar Leclair Arena as the Ag hall.
Creator and Actor Jared Kesso on filming in Sudbury: “Yup, that’s a place that we’re lucky to be, you know, people are incredible there. I’ve always said that it’s the people who make the experience and you won’t find nicer people than the people in the city of Sudbury.”
Producer Mark Montefiore: “There’s great crews, great facilities and great infrastructure, and it’s nice to be out of the city.”
Watch a video clip from CTV of Letterkenny filming: https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=901387
Castle In The Ground
Castle In The Ground which premiered at TIFF in 2019 from Director Joey Klein showcases a family coping with opioid addictions in Sudbury in 2012.
On the Blog
Director Joey Klein said government incentives helped narrow down the filming location to northern Ontario. He says when he arrived, he knew he was making the right decision to shoot the film in Sudbury.
“With research and just to be honest to be on the ground, in very tragic terms, it becomes clear that just about every small city in North America, Sudbury’s … been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. We worked with all kinds of people in the city instead of being cautious about us or cynical about us, they were collaborative and open-armed. It’s one of the more special places I’ve visited in my life.” (CBC Article)
Watch: Director Joey Klein at the DGC Ontario Visionaries event at TIFF discussing the film
Based on the award-winning novel by Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse tells the story of Saul Indian Horse, a young residential school survivor who becomes a hockey star.
Familiar Sudbury sites include downtown buildings and the Copper Cliff superstack, while neighbours from Wikwemikong First Nation made big-screen debuts.
The film was shot over 33 days and generated $15.3 million for the economy and created 126 full time jobs. Read the full CMPA report here.
Producer Paula Devonshire: “Our partnership with local Indigenous communities was truly at the heart of how this film came together. Almost every aspect of the film’s production incorporated the knowledge and creativity of Indigenous talent both in front and behind the camera, including props, art, wardrobe, music, camera operation and post-production.”