May 27, 2018

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Selkirk celebrates Burden of Truth boost

CBC</p><p>Selkirk’s Riverside Grill is the backdrop to many scenes in CBC’s Burden of Truth, starring Kristin Kreuk as lawyer Joanna Hanley.</p>

CBC

Selkirk’s Riverside Grill is the backdrop to many scenes in CBC’s Burden of Truth, starring Kristin Kreuk as lawyer Joanna Hanley.

The city of Selkirk has a new flag flying above its waterfront, but the name on it won’t be familiar to most — yet.

The flag has been raised to honour the town of Millwood, the fictional locale in the new CBC series Burden of Truth, a legal drama filmed in Selkirk sporadically over the summer and fall of 2017.

With Wednesday’s première of the first season less than a week away, the city wanted to celebrate in a unique way.

The flag was raised on Friday afternoon and a reception followed at the nearby Riverside Grill, a much-beloved local diner that has undergone recent renovations and refurbishments, largely funded by the production.

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The city of Selkirk has a new flag flying above its waterfront, but the name on it won’t be familiar to most — yet.

The flag has been raised to honour the town of Millwood, the fictional locale in the new CBC series Burden of Truth, a legal drama filmed in Selkirk sporadically over the summer and fall of 2017.

With Wednesday’s première of the first season less than a week away, the city wanted to celebrate in a unique way.

The flag was raised on Friday afternoon and a reception followed at the nearby Riverside Grill, a much-beloved local diner that has undergone recent renovations and refurbishments, largely funded by the production.

On première day, Jan. 10, a red-carpet event and invite-only viewing will take place at the Selkirk Boston Pizza, with proceeds going to Selkirk Biz and the Selkirk Friendship Centre.

"We want them to know that we appreciate what they’ve done for the community and we appreciate them coming here," Selkirk Mayor Larry Johannson said of the flag-raising.

"We’re happy. We’re in good shape here, looking at ourselves as a bit of a Hollywood North. It’s a pretty nice feeling for our community."

This isn’t the first time Selkirk has been chosen as the location for a television or movie production, but Burden of Truth, which stars Kristin Kreuk (Smallville, Beauty and the Beast) and Peter Mooney (Rookie Blue), has provided a more significant and long-lasting economic impact. Filming of the series has funnelled nearly $1 million into the city in the form of employment, location rentals, hotels, food, shopping, gas and, of course, the renovation work done on Riverside Grill.

"This was a big, big one. This was a huge impact on the town," Johannson said.

Series producer Kyle Irving, of Winnipeg-based production company Eagle Vision Inc., said Selkirk was "very much in line" with what the writers of the show were looking for, esthetically speaking, and that it was a dream to work with the people and the city.

"The people of Selkirk were very welcoming and accommodating to our needs, and I think there was a general excitement to what we were doing there," he said.

"We tried really hard to give as much back to the community as we could, and inform them about what we were doing and keep them involved as much as we could... because the show kind of uniquely uses their home as the home for the fictional town and that’s an exciting opportunity for us as the producers of the show, but also for them to have their community be seen through the eyes of the television audience, nationwide and internationally."

Manitoba has had a banner year for film and television production, with production volume reaching $139 million during the past fiscal year (the most in a decade), according to the Manitoba Film and Music. Much of that action took place in rural Manitoba, with 40 per cent of all shooting days happening outside of Winnipeg.

Johannson said it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for Selkirk and encourages other rural locations to say, ‘Yes,’ if they are asked to be part of a film or television production.

"I would just say if any community that hasn’t been approached gets approached, embrace it. The production guys couldn’t be better, it’s an exciting few weeks or months for the community," he said. "Bring on Season 2!"

erin.lebar@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @NireRabel

Read more by Erin Lebar.

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