Vancouver Island mayor welcomes boost from TV series renewal

The first two seasons of the popular Hallmark drama production were filmed in Qualicum Beach, Parksville and Nanaimo.

Popular Hallmark drama production filmed in Qualicum Beach, Parksville and Nanaimo

Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre says the filming of a popular Hallmark Channel family drama has boosted the economy of communities in the Oceanside area. (CHEK News)

A Vancouver Island mayor is cheering along with fans at news of the renewal of a popular Hallmark Channel series.

Actress Barbara Niven, one of the stars of Chesapeake Shores, announced this week on Facebook the family drama series had been approved for a third season.

Film locations for the first two seasons included Qualicum Beach, Parksville and Nanaimo, standing in for the state of Maryland.

"It's very, very good news for our area," Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre told On the Island host Gregor Craigie.

"The economic ripple effect is awesome," Lefebvre said. "It's awesome from the point of view of the accommodation that has to be provided to the cast and crew. It's awesome for the catering services and other services, the rental of homes and businesses that go on during this filming.

"One of the entrepreneurs here in the area is building sound stages and things like that, that we didn't have before,"  he said.

Joan Miller of the Vancouver Island North Film Commission said filming for the Hallmark drama Chesapeake shores has brought millions of dollars in economic activity to Vancouver Island. (CHEK News)

Joan Miller, the commissioner of the Vancouver Island North Film Commission, said the economic boost from the Chesapeake Shores production is in the millions of dollars for the area.

Providing accommodation for roughly 120 members of the crew and cast represented a boost to local businesses, Miller said. 

Optimism about film industry opportunities for locals has also spurred the development of new training programs at North Island College for film industry jobs.

With files from CHEK News.