This spring has seen an influx of production companies filming scenes and series’ in and around Kingston. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and the heightened safety measures around film crews and sets, Kingston is a veritable hubbub of activity, according to the Kingston Film Office.
Two productions are in various stages of filming around Kingston Penitentiary, and next week will see Murdoch Mysteries return to the Limestone City to film scenes for a Season 15 episode.
Shaftsbury Films, the production company behind the long-running series, sent a notice to some residents in the historical downtown area regarding filming which will take place in the area on Thursday Jun. 3, 2021.
The notice states the area will see film crews arriving on Tuesday, Jun. 1, and wrapping on Friday June 4. Parking spots and traffic will be impacted by the film crews, and the production company is asking area residents to park in their driveways or nearby pay lots, and they will be reimbursed for the parking cost.
Alex Jansen, Film Commissioner for the Kingston Film Office said that Shaftsbury, along with the City and KFL&A Public Health are actively discouraging the public from visiting the filming locations, which Jansen said will be in various locations in and around downtown Kingston.
Jansen went on to say that Shaftsbury and Murdoch Mysteries are wonderful to work with, and they are usually very keen on engaging with fans. In September 2019 the production drew around 500 spectators and fans to their filming session in Springer Market Square. But this year it’s very much the opposite.
“Because we are operating under COVID we’re going to be actively discouraging spectators and public interruption, largely for safety,” Jansen shared with Kingstonist. “In the wake of COVID everything operates under what’s called a Section 21. These are additional guidelines that go beyond the provincial guidelines and they’re largely available at the provincial site onreadytoroll.ca.”
“We’re really excited that we’re getting the production in because it’s a huge boon to the community,” he continued. “As the tourism industry is struggling, film production has been a fantastic influx for the community. We feel it’s so important to stress to those who don’t know whether filming is permitted during the pandemic — it is allowed, it’s just allowed under very strict requirements and under requirements that have been really effective, with quite low risk.”
As a last note, Jansen reiterated the plea for the public to avoid the area where the filming will take place. “I just get worried because we’re in a public space. If it creates a big crowd, Public Health can shut the filming down. And they should if crowds gather. We’re just trying to avoid those situations.”