• LA
  • NYC
  • São Paulo
  • London
  • Paris
  • Dubai
  • Mumbai
  • Shanghai
  • Tokyo
  • Sydney

Undiscovered Film Location: Powell River, British Columbia

Written on May 28, 2017

Powell River

The historic city of Powell River, located about 145km (90mi) northwest of Vancouver, British Columbia, is an undiscovered location for film shoots. Established in 1912, Powell River’s Townsite area was once home to the world’s largest pulp and paper mill. Today it is one of Canada’s best preserved early 20th Century planned communities. Powell River offers beautiful aerial views of a remote small coastal city overlooking distant snow-capped islands, with forested mountains and lakes in the background. On the ground level, locations of note include the old Catalyst Paper Mill (still in operation), Rodmay Hotel, Old Courthouse Inn, Townsite Heritage Society building, a fishing port, small airport, ferry terminal, and old main street. Some historic locations have been refurbished and converted for current day use, such as the Townsite Brewery. Other locations, such as the old hospital, have been left in disrepair, offering a very different type of film location.

A short trip from Powell River and you can reach Desolation Sound Marine Park, Texada Island, and the seaside village of Lund. The Sunshine Coast Trail passes through Powell River. Running 180 kms, it is Canada’s longest hut-to-hut hiking trail. It is known for it’s beautiful mountain and ocean views, lakeside huts, and old-growth trees.

Summer is by far the best time to film in Powell River with very long daylight hours, and beautiful light for photography. The winter is dark and rainy, offering an entirely different look for adventurous filmmakers and photographers.

Getting There

Direct flights run from YVR to Powell River throughout the year.

For larger shoots, getting to Powell River by land is a little more complicated.

From Vancouver you need to drive to Horseshoe Bay, take the ferry to Langdale, drive to Earls Cove, take the ferry to Saltery Bay, and then drive some more to Powell River. The entire trip will take around 5 hours, depending on how the ferry times line up.

If travelling from Vancouver Island, you need to take the ferry from Comox to Powell River. The ferry is an hour and a half.

Film Crew & Production Support

If you are looking to film in Powell River and require a Vancouver based film crew, please contact us for referrals. We are able to put together a team including the roles of producer, fixer, director, DoP, photographer, videographer, and sound operator.