While, inexplicably, egg nog has already hit Vancouver store shelves prior to Halloween, if you happen to see elaborate Christmas decorations around town, they may not necessarily be companies trying to push the Noel season upon us prematurely.
What you might be witnessing are the numerous Christmas TV movies being shot around town.
In fact, there are so many seasonal TV specials being shot here, Vancouver might as well be renamed Hollywood North Pole.
Here’s a list of the wintertime holiday shows being shot here at the moment.
Alas, full details are limited as most of them haven’t announced any story details or cast members. But if you’re watching specials over the holiday season and the settings look strangely familiar, you’ll know why.
The Christmas Train, directed by Ron Oliver (Degrassi: The Next Generation), started on August 21 and will wrap on Wednesday (September 20).
Based on the novel by author David Baldacci, the romantic journey follows international journalist Tom Langdon (Dermot Mulroney), who is forced to take a cross-country train ride from Washington, D.C. so that he can reach Los Angeles by Christmas.
Along the way, he encounters a range of personalities—including a movie producer (Danny Glover), a script doctor (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), and a woman who seems to know his business better than he does (Joan Cusack)—and finds that an opportunity for love that he thought was no longer possible.
The show will premiere on Hallmark Channel on November 25.
Secret Santa, directed by Marita Grabiak (American Horror Story), started back on September 11 and continues until September 30.
Christmas in Evergreen, directed by Alex Zamm (Inspector Gadget 2), kicks off today (September 18) and keeps shooting until October 6.
After that, Allan Harmon (Untold Stories of the ER) will be directing Christmas for Joy from September 25 until October 14.
At the same time, Evergreen Inn, directed by Vancouver filmmaker Jem Garrard (Mech X-4), also runs the same dates, from today (September 18) to October 6.
Later on, Finding Santa, directed by David Winning (Van Helsing), starts on September 28 and continues until October 19.
As if that’s not enough, that’s all in addition to a major Christmas-themed Disney feature film coming to town that’ll be filming from October 23 to January 19.
Nicole, directed by Marc Lawrence (Music and Lyrics), stars Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods) as the titular heroine, the daughter of Santa Claus, who takes over her family’s business when her father retires and her brother backs out at the last minute before his inaugural flight on Christmas Eve.
Funny guy Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live) is reportedly in talks to play Nicole’s brother.
In non-Christmas-related but wintry-related filming news, Vancouver has seems to have made quite the impression upon Kate Winslet and Idris Elba.
The two starred in the romance-drama The Mountain Between Us, which was filmed in various locations around B.C. from December 5, 2016, to February 24, 2017. (Incidentally, the film also stars the aforementioned Dermot Mulroney.)
Based upon the novel by Charles Martin, the story follows a writer (Winslet) and a doctor (Elba) who have to depend upon one another to survive in the wilderness after their plane crashes.
But it was more than just romance on-screen for Elba while in Vancouver.
For the premieres of both Molly’s Game and The Mountain Between Us at the Toronto International Film Festival, the 45-year-old British actor stepped out on the red carpet with his new girlfriend, Sabrina Dhowre.
Dowre is a 29-year-old model of Somali descent who was Miss Vancouver in 2014. The two met while working on set.
During a red-carpet interview in Toronto, Elba praised Vancouver crews and the quality of the air in Invermere, B.C.
— Film in Vancouver (@FilminVancouver) September 14, 2017
Also in a red-carpet interview, Winslet heaped even more praise upon Vancouver.
“I was so happy to be there and so sad to leave,” the Oscar-winning star stated. “Canadians are incredible people.”
While she raved about the “incredible nature” and is even considering finding a way to leave here, she particularly expressed her love for Honey’s Doughnuts and Goodies (4373 Gallant Avenue, North Vancouver) in Deep Cove.
The bakery has also been graced by visits by several other stars while filming here, including Ryan Gosling, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Garner, and Ben Affleck.
— Film in Vancouver (@FilminVancouver) September 12, 2017
Well, that’s what we can consider an early Christmas present to Vancouver—and one that couldn’t be nicer.
On that positive note, that’s it for this week’s roundup but be sure to check back in with us for more on what’s shooting in Hollywood North (Pole).