The Allure of Filming Locations in “Virgin River”
The popular series “Virgin River” has captivated audiences with its charming small-town setting surrounded by enchanting landscapes. While the show is set in Northern California, it was actually filmed in Vancouver and its surrounding areas in Canada’s British Columbia. The choice of filming locations is crucial to creating the magical atmosphere of the series.
Working with First Nations
Location manager W. Robert Millar highlights the collaboration between the production team and the First Nations communities in the area. The Squamish Nation, in particular, has been supportive of the show, as much of the filming takes place on their land. This partnership emphasizes the importance of respecting and involving the Indigenous communities whose territories are used for filming.
The Fictional Town of Virgin River
Many establishing shots of the fictional town of Virgin River were taken in Snug Cove, a community on Bowen Island. With a population of less than 4,000 people, Snug Cove provided the perfect backdrop for the series. The town’s local library, main streets, and Artisan Lane were transformed to create the picturesque setting of Virgin River.
Mel’s Cabin: Sinking Drama
Mel’s cabin, one of the most iconic filming locations in the series, is represented by the Murdo Frazer Cabin in North Vancouver. However, prior to filming season five, the production team discovered that the cabin was sinking due to the soft earth and water table nearby. Although the cabin’s sinking meant they couldn’t shoot on-site, the team managed to capture day and night establishing shots using advanced techniques such as a “techno crane and drone.” The interior of the cabin was recreated on a soundstage, with high-resolution photographic backdrops creating the illusion of the cabin’s window views.
Jack’s Bar and Other Locations
Various locations in Squamish were chosen to represent Jack’s Bar. The Watershed Grill in Squamish was selected for the exterior shots. Squamish is not only known for its beauty but is also home to the largest concentration of bald eagles, adding to the allure of the filming location.
The clinic where Mel works is actually a Victorian house located on First Street in New Westminster. Built in 1889, the house had a speakeasy in its basement during the prohibition era. The historic nature of the building adds depth and character to the series.
Filming also took place in Burnaby, where the house playing the mayor’s home stands on Deer Lake Drive. Known as the Edgar Residence, this craftsman-inspired bungalow is recognized as a heritage site due to its historical significance.
The series also showcases the breathtaking natural landscapes of British Columbia. Locations such as Grouse Mountain, Shannon Falls Provincial Park, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, and House Rock near Whistler provide stunning backdrops for various scenes.
Editorial: The Power of Filming Locations
The choice of filming locations in “Virgin River” plays a significant role in creating the magical world of the series. The picturesque small town, surrounded by lush forests, majestic mountains, and soothing waterfalls, has become an essential character in its own right. The allure of these locations and their ability to transport audiences to a serene and idyllic setting is a testament to the artistry involved in choosing the perfect backdrop for a fictional story.
Moreover, the inclusion of diverse landscapes and the collaboration with First Nations communities acknowledges the importance of representing different cultures and the unique beauty of the land. By working closely with the Indigenous communities and showcasing stunning areas of British Columbia, “Virgin River” not only tells a compelling story but also fosters cultural appreciation and environmental awareness.
Advice: Exploring Filming Locations
For fans of “Virgin River” or anyone interested in exploring the filming locations of their favorite shows, visiting these stunning locations in British Columbia can be an enriching experience. Snug Cove on Bowen Island, Squamish, New Westminster, and Burnaby offer glimpses into the world of the series. Exploring these locations allows fans to immerse themselves in the beauty and atmosphere that brought the fictional town of Virgin River to life.
Additionally, the natural landscapes featured in the series provide an opportunity to reconnect with nature and appreciate the raw beauty of British Columbia. From hiking in Grouse Mountain to witnessing the majestic Shannon Falls, each location offers a unique experience for travelers.
However, it is important to remember that these filming locations may have their own local challenges and sensitivities. Respecting the land, its communities, and the environment is paramount when visiting these areas. Taking the time to learn about the history, culture, and ecological significance of each location can deepen the experience and contribute to responsible tourism.
<< photo by Philip Oroni >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.
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