A Netflix series shooting in Greater Victoria stopped in Sidney for two days of set up and shooting, as the Saanich Peninsula continues to get its close-up.
Maid starring rising star Margaret Qualley (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and her mother Andie MacDowell (Sex, Lies and Videotapes, Groundhog Day) shot several hours in Sidney Monday morning and afternoon following set up Sunday.
Sidney Pier, decked out in flags of the United States, was the first location with filming taking place from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Crews then shot scenes inside and outside the Great Canadian Dollar Store on Beacon Avenue.
The 10-part series adapts Stephanie Land’s bestselling memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, described as an unflinching account of a mother’s journey from the middle-class into the domain of the working poor.
Shooting for the show continues around Greater Victoria into early March 2021 after starting in late September.
Denise Peat, general manager of the Sidney Beacon Inn, had her brush with fame late last month when her business played the part of a high-end retirement home in Christmas, She Wrote, a Hallmark movie starring Danica McKellar, who played Winnie Cooper on the cult TV series The Wonders Years opposite Fred Savage.
Peat said it all happened very fast after a proposed shooting location had fallen through at the last minute. The inn had some guests staying when pressed into action, but Peat said they were “absolutely thrilled” to have their stay coincide with the shot.
“It was exciting,” she said. “We all enjoyed it.”
The same movie also shot scenes The Latch Inn and Church State Winery as other locations on the Saanich Peninsula.
The Town of Sidney, as well as the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society (BIA) continue to support filming in the community and the recent run of shoots has had direct economic spin-offs for Greater Victoria as whole as well as Sidney itself.
“It’s definitely supporting businesses that might have been suffering through COVID-19, propping us up a little bit,” said Peat. “The extra income comes at a good time.”
This filming activity also highlights Sidney. “I promote it on my social media to people who follow us and they will share it,” she said. “The word gets around and people might get bit of a kick out of staying somewhere where a movie was shot. It [the effect] remains to be seen, but it can only help.”
According to the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission, the provincial film industry generated $3.2 billion in 2018-19 and the region, led by Saanich, has been seeking ways to increase the region’s share.
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