A movie filmed at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum in Dunvegan last summer will have its world premiere December 16 on the CTV Drama Channel.
Christmas at Maple Creek will air beginning at 8 pm on CTV Drama. The trailer for the movie can be viewed on YouTube. The Glengarry Pioneer Museum is featured prominently in both the trailer and the film and shooting on the site was a pleasure said the film’s producer, speaking by phone on Tuesday, December 8.
“Shooting at the Pioneer Museum was great – all of our locations are fantastic, but the staff at the museum were really helpful,” commented Shane Boucher, owner of 1Department Entertainment Services in Ottawa, which shot and edited Christmas at Maple Creek. “Right from the get-go, they were super excited to have us there and worked with us from the moment we expressed interest in shooting there.”
The 90-minute feature film stars Canadian actors Jeni Ross (Titans) and Jake Epstein (Degrassi: The Next Generation) and – contrary to what one might expect from a movie being filmed on a historical site – is set in modern times.
“The movie takes place at a pioneer museum, so it’s playing as what it is,” explained Boucher, in an interview with The Review last summer during shooting. “The museum is having a bit of a rough go and the main character grew up in this area. She is a successful author and writes her books based on this time period, so she uses her notoriety as an author to bring guests back to the museum and get them back up on their feet. It’s a feel-good Christmas movie and she just wants to get the place back up and running.
“Obviously she falls in love – that’s standard with these movies,” Boucher chuckled. “She falls in love with the lead caretaker-slash-blacksmith of the property, who at first is very much opposed to her books.”
Boucher said the buildings on the site of the Pioneer Museum were perfect for the film’s storyline, and that staff at the site went out of the way to assist with props and to help out the film crew and actors. The museum’s blacksmith even provided training on the craft for Epstein to help him prepare for the film.
“He was able to get trained so that he could actually use the anvil and actually do a little blacksmithing himself – within reason obviously,” Boucher said with a laugh. “But being able to have access and use the machinery properly really helps a movie like that come to life.”
Jennifer Black, Curator of the Pioneer Museum, said she was advised on December 3 by the film’s production company that the movie would be airing on Wednesday, December 16.
“This is exciting news, because since November 1, when the first Christmas commercials came on TV, I’ve had people asking me every day about the movie,” Black said. “Everyone in the community has been anxiously awaiting news of when it will be aired.”
Volunteers at the museum and pretty much everyone in the Dunvegan area are eager to see Christmas at Maple Creek, if only to see how the site looks on the small screen.
“I can’t wait to see how the museum shows up in different aspects of the movie,” said the museum’s curator.
According to the film’s producer, those who have been waiting to see the Glengarry Pioneer Museum on film will not be disappointed.
“In all of the Christmas movies we do, other than the cast, what the audience and the networks want is a kind of beauty from the location – something that we can actually pop with Christmas and complements the film really well – and the Pioneer Museum was perfect for that,” Boucher said.
The Glengarry Pioneer Museum was chosen as one of the main locations for shooting, along with the Cumberland Museum. The museum was used for the smaller exterior filming and interior shots were done in Cumberland.
Christmas at Maple Creek is one of four Christmas films from the Ottawa region produced in 2020 by 1Department Entertainment Services. All four are premiering on CTV Drama this December. Christmas Unwrapped was shown on December 4, while Unlocking Christmas will premiere on December 17 and The Christmas Setup on December 18. The company’s owner said filming in the region has taken off in the past few years and he expects more and more movie productions will be made in the region.
You can read the story we wrote in August 2020 when we visited with the movie crew here.