Manitoba’s movie business is booming. And while some might attribute that success to Manitoba’s very competitive tax credit, we like to think producers choose Manitoba for the same reasons visitors do: compelling destinations that offer interesting experiences for visitors – and unique locations for movie makers. Here are a few big (and small) screen worthy attractions to visit now that these productions have wrapped.
The Exchange District and Manitoba Legislative Building
The Exchange District’s 30-block collection of turn-of-the-last century buildings in Winnipeg is often tapped for filming projects. It doubled as a Western town in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, and it offered charming cityscapes for the films, Lovesick (which also shot scenes in Journey to Churchill at Assiniboine Park Zoo) and Goon (with additional scenes shot in Portage la Prairie and Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg). The Pantages Playhouse Theatre makes a guest appearance for a key scene in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford as well as the Philip Seymour Hoffman flick, Capote. The Exchange District Biz, offers a range of tours of the Exchange, exploring its period warehouses and skyscrapers. Plus, both Capote and Lovesick made use of the impressive Beaux Arts architecture of the Manitoba Legislative Building and the Hermetic Code Tour is the best way to discover the movie-worthy stories behind the building.
Prairie Dog Central
This vintage steam locomotive is on point for the period detective series, The Pinterkons, set in the mid-1800s. And it gets a modern spin as Borealis character Aurora heads up north to see the northern lights before her vision is completely lost. While the real Prairie Dog Central doesn’t go all the way to Churchill (you’ll need to hop on a Via Rail train for that!), you can enjoy an hour-long train ride that travels from Inkster Station to Grosse Isle for a stopover before returning to the station. You can even get into your best Pinkerton character during the Prairie Dog Central’s Great Train Robbery events.
This Manitoba city along the Red River stands in for the fictional town of Millwood in the CBC series, The Burden of Truth (which also shot in Winnipeg). Many scenes are set in the iconic Riverside Grill, the perfect place to grab a bite to eat after a visit to Selkirk Park, which offers camping, picnic areas, a boat launch, trails and a bird sanctuary. Also be sure to check out the adjacent Marine Museum of Manitoba, with its collection of ships that shaped the marine history of the Red River and Lake Winnipeg.
Riding Mountain National Park
The peaceful forests and heritage log cabins of Riding Mountain National Park got a creepy makeover in the thriller, Hunting Season (this trailer may not be suitable for all audiences). Rest assured that during your visit to the park, any sounds you hear coming from the woods are likely to be an animal and not something more nefarious. However, animal safety is important, as the park is home to bears, elk, moose and of course a resident herd of bison at Lake Audy. Visit the Parks Canada Interpretative Centre to learn more about the park’s wildlife as well as history. Book your stay at a (non-creepy) cabin, resort, hotel or campsite.
This past winter’s Guinness World Record-holding Snow Maze in St. Adolphe wasn’t just a location for a movie, it was a central plot element in the movie, A Maze in Winter Romance. And while you’ll have to wait for next winter for both the movie (either on Lifetime or Hallmark) and the actual Snow Maze, you can visit in summer to check out the corn maze, zip lining and other activities offered by A Maze in Corn.