A total of 71 productions were filmed in Abbotsford in 2021, earning the city more than $300,000 in booking fees and having an economic impact of more than $4 million, according to a city report.
Barb Roberts, the city’s film and special events manager, told council at a recent committee of the whole meeting that the total for 2021 compares to 57 productions in 2018, 61 in 2019 and 63 in 2020.
She said the numbers for 2021 also break down to 334 filming days at 242 locations.
As well, there were almost 2,500 Abbotsford residents who worked in the industry last year, earning just under $19 million in total.
The former Abbotsford Courthouse was used for eight productions, while the historic downtown was used for 27.
Roberts said the city is seeing an increase in Netflix productions using Abbotsford for filming. Among the completed films are Mixtape, Ivy & Bean, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, and The Mother.
The city has also served as the backdrop for several Hallmark Channel holiday movies such as Gingerbread Miracle, A Christmas Treasure, My Christmas Family Tree, The Nine Kittens of Christmas, The Christmas Contest and A Very Merry Bridesmaid (in which local violinist Calvin Dyck has a cameo appearance).
The city’s filming resource guide says the growth of the film sector in Abbotsford is supported by lower costs for productions compared to other areas of B.C.
“These lower costs typically make up for the additional costs incurred by lower budget films that see the additional time and money spent on transporting cast, crew, and equipment as a barrier to their production work in Abbotsford,” the guide states.
“This is an opportunity for Abbotsford to capitalize on existing incentives from the BC government to encourage filming outside the ‘zone.’ ”
The guide indicates that popular filming locations in the community include Mill Lake Park, the exterior of Trethewey House, Clayburn Village and church, Matsqui Lutheran Church, Abbotsford Centre and University of the Fraser Valley.