Almost every conversation in the North Okanagan in the last few days seems to include, “Have you seen George yet?”
The reference is to super star George Clooney and his starring role in Tomorrowland, which is being filmed partially in Enderby, Grindrod and Armstrong.
Obviously there is interest in Clooney, and co-star Hugh Laurie too, because while movies have been shot here before, there has been nothing to this magnitude.
“It’s the biggest thing I have ever seen,” said Jon Summerland, Okanagan film commissioner, of the Walt Disney Pictures’ movie, which has a budget of about $250 million.
And the economic ramifications could be significant as there is a crew of about 300 people. They are staying in hotels, using our restaurants, buying supplies and visiting our shops. It’s also hoped Disney’s confidence in the region will lead other Hollywood productions to pack their bags for the Okanagan Valley.
There could also be a spin-off effect if fans of the movie travel to the locations appearing on the big screen.
It’s important to note that landing the Disney project didn’t happen overnight and it’s a result of hard work from Summerland and the Okanagan Film Commission, including chairperson John Trainor of Armstrong.
Let’s relish in the exposure the North Okanagan is currently garnering and prospective benefits that could ensue.
And if you do happen to see George Clooney, give him a big smile and show him the hospitality the North Okanagan is known for.