Canadian mini-series set to shoot in the Comox Valley

St. Joseph’s General Hospital will soon be shining brightly on the small screen.

The Comox-based hospital building is serving as multiple locations in an upcoming eight-part miniseries set to air on CBC.

Unspeakable, directed by Robert Cooper (Stargate), is the story of the Canadian tainted blood scandal of the early 1980s.

Joan Miller, film commissioner for the Vancouver Island North Film Commission, said the crew will start prepping next week.

“It’s the first production at the hospital (since it closed) and St. Joseph’s admin team and Providence Health has been very supportive … they realized that it will have a good community impact, as well as economic input to the area,” said Miller.

The short-term use of the facility doesn’t interfere with the long-term plans of the building, she added.

The production — which stars Sarah Wayne Callies (Colony, Prison Break, The Walking Dead) and Shawn Doyle (Desperate Housewives, Big Love) — has been very co-operative with the other parts of the building that are still being used, such as The Views.

Miller said the production serves as an opportunity for graduates from North Island College’s TV & Film Training Programs to gain work experience, as well as for many local services to be contracted, including restaurants, hotels and security firms.

In the production, which is based in Vancouver, St. Joe’s will serve as hospitals in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Miller noted this is because the look of the hospital changes from floor to floor.

The Comox Airport is also being used as a filming location; Miller complimented the airport commission as being “really co-operative and easy to work with,” as the location will double for an airport in Sweden.

The production crew will arrive April 23 and wrap on May 9, with a total cast and crew of 150 people.

For more information on the mini-series, visit unspeakableseries.com.

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