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Friday, July 12, 2024
Council denies film producer’s request for Queen St. shoot

Councillors denied a request for a low-budget movie to film in downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake on Monday.

During Monday’s council meeting, councillors heard a request to film in the Queen Street area by Alexander Broughton of Toronto-based Chesler/Perlmutter Productions.

The movie would have been “about icewine,” Broughton said.

However, town staff had already denied the request, said CAO Marnie Cluckie, as there wasn’t enough time to get the details ironed out.

The request came mid-March, Cluckie said, for filming to start March 29.

She said it simply isn’t enough time to connect all the moving parts required for a safe film shoot.

“There’s certain things we look for, like, we want to make sure that the business impact is minimized, that garbage collection is addressed, that there’s a fire safety plan with access, road closures are addressed, notification to fire and paramedics, that there is a COVID-19 plan and a number of other things,” she said.

The film producers simply did not give the town enough time or notice of their plans, Cluckie said, noting it would take several weeks to get all the logistics together.

Broughton said the film industry, even for low-budget films, is very strict about COVID-19 procedures and that it would not be a long shoot.

Businesses along the street were also on board, he said.

“I’ve already talked to all the businesses that we’re impacting directly, and everyone seems to be happy to have us.”

He pointed out it would mean revenue for the town, as the team would have purchased permits and paid the stores that would have needed to close during filming.

His presentation wasn’t specific about what those numbers would be.

His original intent was to close down part of Market Street for filming, but said since it would take more time, he would hire staff to ensure road safety.

Council voted unanimously in support of staff’s recommendation not to allow the film production on such short notice.

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