Manitoba

Love at frost sight: Upcoming winter romance film based on Manitoba snow maze

If you're planning to visit the world's largest snow maze in St. Adolphe, Man. you may see a little romance, and a whole lot of Hollywood.

A Maze In Winter Romance is expected to be finished for next winter

Winnipeg-based film producer Juliette Hagopian is filming a love story based around the world's largest snow maze in St. Adolphe, Man. (Travis Golby/CBC)

There's no business like snow business, and even Hollywood is getting in on the Manitoba winter weather as film crews have begun shooting a romantic film at the world's largest snow maze in St. Adolphe, Man. 

Veteran Manitoba filmmaker Juliette Hagopian is producing A Maze In Winter Romance, a love story based around and set at the labyrinth located at A Maze in Corn.

Just last week, the snow maze — the property also hosts a corn maze in the summer months — was officially named the world's largest

"We heard about the maze, and the buzz that was happening with it, and it breaking the Guinness World Record," Hagopian said from the site just south of Winnipeg on Saturday.

While film production continued inside on Saturday, people flocked to check out the maze. (Travis Golby/CBC)

"Then we started working, and here we are."

Hagopian and a film crew are in the midst of a week full of shooting at the property; they'll be using the barn, maze and houses on property as sets.

Hagopian wanted to be the first to make a movie based around the maze, especially after the added global attention.

"No one's ever done a movie based around an ice maze ... we thought that it would be great," said Hagopian.

"It seemed like the right thing to do."

But spring is on its way to melt the maze, so Hagopian and company got to work right away.

She reached out to A Maze in Corn owner Clint Masse in early February and the pieces began to fall into place. 

"We did it in such a short amount of time. The script was written in two weeks, we prepped for two weeks, and now we're here," she said.

"It was really tight, we're like let's run with it before the snow melts."

Hagopian and her film crew are in the midst of a week full of shooting at the property; they'll be using the barn, maze and houses on property as sets. (Travis Golby/CBC)

Hagopian says the snow maze encompasses the best of Manitoba, and shows that despite the extreme weather, any time is a good time for making a movie.

"When we're making films, we want people to know that we can bring to life anything that happens here even if it's –40," said Hagopian.

"Anytime we showcase what Manitobans do, it's important for the [film] industry."

In her 15 years of producing films, Hagopian admitted there are few places as memorable as the snow maze.

"It's a great venue. Why not showcase it? It gets people out, it's fun — it invites people to come and want to be at a snow maze," she said.

"It attracts everyone, it's a family thing."

Clint Masse, the creator of the world's largest snow poses with his official Guinness world record certificate. (Ahmar Khan/CBC News)

The idea of the film would not have been possible without Masse. 

"Clint's opened up his home to us, he's allowed us to be able to access whatever area of the property we need," said Hagopian.

The longtime corn maze operator tried his hand at building a snow maze for the first time this winter. 

"It really was the pinnacle of excitement when we got the Guinness [World Record], then the film is exciting in its own right," said Masse.

When the opportunity of the possible film came knocking, he realized there aren't many marketing opportunities like television.  

"Someone might see a drone flying over them, and see themselves in the movie and say, that's my red tuque," he said.

"When you're a small business you have to take every opportunity to market it." 

The Masses transformed 20 acres of their 160-acre farmland to fit in all the attractions of the snow maze. 

"We started 21 years ago with just the corn maze, and now with this, we've understood that good times with friends and family never go out of style," said Masse. 

Cory Brooks attempts to scare his son as he comes around one of the maze's many corners. (CBC)

Clint Masse has used the snow in other creative ways, building a small hill for kids to slide down and a ball pit. 

"It's not only about the maze, of course it's the big attraction, but all the small things matter, too," he said.

"I want people to think the trip out here is worthwhile, and keep them busy for hours."

Over the next few years, Masse plans on evolving the maze, making it larger and add some more flair to it. 

"We'll make it more artistic next year, more colour, maybe some lights for it at night, too," he said. 

"I'm not done yet."

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