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Kwantlen film policy coming soon

This small Catholic church is one of a few spots on McMillan Island which are frequently used for filming. - submitted photo
This small Catholic church is one of a few spots on McMillan Island which are frequently used for filming.
— image credit: submitted photo

Kwantlen First Nation is nearly ready for its close-up.

The band which makes its home on McMillan Island, just north of Fort Langley, has appointed a film liaison and is in the process of putting in place a policy for television and motion picture filming on its land.

The reason for all the action, said Brandon Gabriel, marketing and special projects co-ordinator with Kwantlen First Nation, is that over the past several months there has been an increase in the number of productions using Kwantlen land and it became clear that it was time to put a set of guidelines into place to smooth the process.

The film industry has begun to generate a good income for the Kwantlen people, said Gabriel.

“The amount of money coming in is significant and those dollars go back in for infrastructure.”

So it’s important that the business is handled in a professional manner, he said.

The goal is to create a policy that is in line with those of Langley Township and other surrounding communities, Gabriel explained.

“If they do business with the Township, they can expect the same when they do business with us.”

Working with liaison Geoff Antone, filmmakers will get quick and consistent answers and assistance, said Gabriel, adding there have been times when they have fallen short in that regard.

“There have been a few issues where we thought we should be handling this in a more professional manner,” said Gabriel.

For the most part, the land is used as an overflow parking area for productions shooting across the bridge.

“When Fort Langley can’t accommodate a certain production, we take them here to alleviate congestion in the village,” said Gabriel.

Currently, the Kwantlen band is in the process of repatriating the land that had been used as a terminal for the Albion Ferry for more than 50 years.

“It’s a good place (for film crews) to use, with ease of infrastructure, plug-ins and no residences (nearby).”

Occasionally, however, the crews come to McMillan Island with cameras as well as trucks and trailers.

The old ferry terminal and a small former Catholic church have been popular spots with film crews and an open field is frequently used as a place to film stunts for such shows as Supernatural. Most recently, scenes were filmed on Kwantlen land for Falling Skies, a science fiction television series produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Noah Wylie and Moon Bloodgood.

“There’s a lot of filming that comes to the Township and the City,” said Gabriel.

“It’s a benefit to the community as a whole, and we don’t want to be a detriment. We want to be a part of it.”

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