Film recreating Charlottetown Conference wraps shooting

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Actors Olivia Barnes, left, who plays an unamed delegate's wife at the 1864 Charlottetown Conference, Patrick Jeffrey, playing Father of Confederation William MacDougall and production hostess Sonya Boileau, rehearse a scene in Province House Tuesday. Production has wrapped up on a Parks Canada commissioned film on the history of the Charlottetown Conference.

Major Canadian history was repeating itself here over the past week.

A historical recreation of the Charlottetown Conference was filmed during six days of shooting.

A cast of 40 to 50 actors and extras, almost all locals, was filmed in several locations.Another 30 or so made up the film crew and supporting staff.

Fanningbank and Province House served as the settings for many scenes with Great George Street also getting into the show.

Parks Canada commissioned the $200,000 production that will replace A Great Dream, a film on the history of Province House and the Charlottetown Conference that has played in the Province House theatre room for the past 18 years.

Sound Venture Productions of Ottawa is producing the film that is expected to run about 17 minutes in length.

The film is anticipated to start hitting the screen in Province House in December or January.

Jesse Francis of Parks Canada says the production style of A Great Dream was starting to look dated. He says the new film has a strong period look but with a fresher production.

“It’s visually very rich with a very accessible story telling style by the host,’’ he said.

Francis says the new film will contain considerable historical content and will address such themes as the First Nations context of the Charlottetown Conference.

Film host Sonya Boileau of Gatineau was thrilled to be part of a film that recreates the birth of a nation.

“Oh it’s been absolutely wonderful,’’ she said. “This really looks like a period piece.’’

Brian Sharp of Charlottetown worked as camera assistant on the project. He was impressed with the quality of shooting.

“A real cinematic approach to filmmaking,’’ said Sharp.

“There have not been a lot of film productions in P.E.I. of this calibre.’’

Organizations: Fanningbank and Province House, Parks Canada, First Nations

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Great George Street, Ottawa P.E.I.

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