Kelowna News

Hallmark movie shoot in Kelowna wraps with crew support of BLM movement

From left to right: Grey Hearts Denim co-owner Paul Reyes, producer Costa Vasso, director Jessica Harmon with Reel One Entertainment and Grey Hearts Denim co-owner Sean Whyte pose for a photo wearing BLM T-shirts to support the movement, Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

Kelowna film crews donned Black Lives Matter T-shirts Tuesday for their final day on set to show their support for the movement following an incident in which a Vancouver film company told a crew member to remove their BLM shirt.

Two weeks ago, a Vancouver film company apologized after asking one of its crew members to remove their Black Lives Matter shirt while on set because it was “too political," according to a Global News report.

Black Lives Matter’s Vancouver chapter then asked film crews across B.C. to wear a shirt to show their support the movement.

“It was a misunderstanding back in Vancouver two weeks ago and a lot of things happened and were said so I thought it would be a good opportunity to bring it back to the forefront… It’s a human rights issue and it’s global,” said Reel One Entertainment producer Costa Vasso.

Grey Hearts Denim co-owners Paul Reyes and Sean Whyte created the T-shirts for the cast and crew to promote the message. The clothing company was already selling similar shirts with part of the proceeds being donated to Campaign Zero, which aims to end police brutality in America.

READ MORE: Looking for a mask in the Interior? We've got you covered

“Being multiracial as well, it’s something that’s been important to us from the beginning,” Reyes said. “It was a great opportunity to send a positive message… we all have these industries that we work in, and film might be one that’s under the spotlight a little more.”

Grey Hearts distributed roughly 80 T-shirts to the cast and crew.

“We had someone came into the shop today and said they saw all the Black Lives Matter shirts on set… people are noticing it,” Whyte said.

Reel One Entertainment crews pose for a photo behind Prospera Place wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts, Tuesday, March 9, 2019. The crew was shooting a Hallmark Christmas movie.
Reel One Entertainment crews pose for a photo behind Prospera Place wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts, Tuesday, March 9, 2019. The crew was shooting a Hallmark Christmas movie.

During the last few weeks, film crews have been shooting a Hallmark holiday film which wrapped up March 9. Its working title is "Falling for Christmas."

"I think our industry is making huge changes to try to be more inclusive and it’s nice to be on this set where the producers are promoting that,” said director Jessica Harmon.

Vassos, with Reel One Entertainment, is already prepping for the next movie and will be filming again on March 29.

“The locations (in the Okanagan) are amazing, the community is very supportive, there’s a lot of talent up here, 95% of the crew is local, there are great actors and actresses here and there are some beautiful locations here that you can’t find in Vancouver,” he said.

The film industry has been booming in the Okanagan over the last year, with movies booked well into the summer of 2021, according to Jon Summerland, Okanagan film commissioner.

Reel One Entertainment crews filming
Reel One Entertainment crews filming "Falling for Christmas," Tuesday, March 9, 2021 on Kelowna's Doyle Avenue.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.


THOMPSON: More frequent and powerful hurricanes isn't good news
  OPINION Hurricane Ian pounded Florida last week, hitting land just north of Fort Myers and ripping across the peninsular. It was just the fourth storm of the 2022 hurricane season, which started June 1 and lasts until
There's a number of high priced wineries on the market in the Okanagan, including Seven Stones Winery west of Osoyoos.
Want to buy an Okanagan winery? Better hurry
Interest is picking up in at least one of the half-dozen wineries and vineyards currently for sale in the Okanagan. That’s coming despite the fact that there is a small pool of buyers who are interested in a winery. “This
A vendor trims marijuana with scissors during the annual 4-20 cannabis culture celebration at Sunset Beach in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday, April 20, 2017. Canada’s financial intelligence agency says a wide range of businesses – from food wholesalers to electronics repair services – have been used to disguise the proceeds of illicit cannabis operations.
Front companies being used to launder illicit cannabis cash: intelligence agency
OTTAWA - Canada’s financial intelligence agency says a wide range of businesses — from food wholesalers to electronics repair services — are being used to disguise the proceeds of illicit cannabis operations. In a new oper
Housing affordability is worst ever in Kelowna and the rest of Canada
Rising interest rates combined with historically high housing prices have made home ownership in Canada the worst it has ever been. A report from RBC looked at all the costs of home ownership, not just the price of the home and carrying cha

Top News