Editorial: Filming brings spinoff economy

Agassiz-based television series will provide a boost to local businesses, residents

There has been more action on Pioneer Avenue over the past two weeks than has been seen in recent memory, thanks to the production of a new television series.

And even though the cameras haven’t even arrived, nor the stars of the show, the excitement of an economic spinoff for the area has already begun.

The production company announced early on that they were eager to hire locally. Film workers crossing that 200th Ave. line in Langley are compensated dearly for their time and travel, resulting in job opportunities for everyone from concrete suppliers to extras. On Saturday, those hoping to net a job as an extra will line up for a casting call (see page 8), and if the show is a success on the small screen, Agassiz will enjoy the honour of being the town where Wayward Pines was shot, for years to come. Businesses affected by the shooting are also being compensated for their troubles.

Then there’s extra benefit to stores along Pioneer Avenue while the cameras aren’t rolling. Catering trucks are only on site when the “talent” is working. And filming will only take place for small blocks of time, intermittently between now and February. But that set will need maintenance, and crews will be in place before the cameras.

So anytime you see a gaggle of construction workers, flaggers, and production crew preparing for the next round of filming, you know they’ll be shopping and eating locally.

Some have voiced concern that parking will be at a premium along the main street for the next seven months. That may be true on weekends, or in the height of the business day. But for those business owners who are sometimes staring down an empty road in the middle of a rainy winter day, the sight of the crews rolling into town will bring with them the glimmer of prosperity.