There’s no doubt having an episode of Still Standing done on Chemainus will be a huge benefit to the town.
Just like the Hallmark movie shot here earlier in the year, these types of tourist boosts are like a godsend, coming out of the blue as we emerge from the pandemic.
Normally, it would take some extraordinary initiatives within the Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce and the Chemainus Business Improvement Association to generate this type of exposure. So the chance to display the town and put it on the map for future travellers is clearly welcomed.
The visit by Still Standing still came with some disappointment amid COVID regulations. A last-minute change in plans expanded the anticipated audience for the live show, but still excluded the majority of residents who wanted to attend.
The CBC seemed intent on sticking to its shooting schedule regardless of the circumstances. That, unfortunately, did not make it possible for most Chemainiacs to enjoy a rare experience and the attention given to the community.
Rather than wait a bit longer to maintain the same profile for the show, the CBC went ahead and has now shot four episodes for the seventh season. Hope, B.C. and Minden and Port Stanley, Ont. are the others with the distinction of being the first with filming of the live show in a tent rather than a school gymnasium or community hall.
Things could very well be back to normal for the filming of the remaining six communities on the season schedule.
The CBC maintains the four shot so far during COVID, including Chemainus, won’t look any different to viewers, with the magic of tight camera work. But there won’t be another chance for people to see Jonny Harris’ live performance of Still Standing’s appearance in town and that’s too bad.
Those who were lucky enough to be there last Thursday night in the makeshift venue, many invited at the last minute, were treated to a great show. Harris’ performance lasted about an hour, but much of that won’t be seen on TV.
Interesting fact: the entire show runs just 21:30 without commercials. Harris’ on-stage portion might amount to about eight minutes, with the rest being interview footage and the bulk of it hitting the cutting-room floor.