PASSION & HISTOIRE BLOG – Lights, Camera… Action in Saint-Boniface!

Kenza Zaoui - Translated by Thea Wortley

The film industry is in full swing in Manitoba, meaning you could very well find yourself on a movie set while out for a walk. Let’s pull back the curtain on the cinematic productions that have chosen the one and only Saint-Boniface as their background! 

Le Monde de Gabrielle Roy

It’s common knowledge that Gabrielle Roy is from Saint-Boniface, and her homestead on rue Deschambault is now a museum open for discovery. 

The product of a partnership between Rivard Productions (whose offices are in Saint-Boniface) and Zone 3 for ICI Télé, Le Monde de Gabrielle Roy introduces audiences to Gabrielle Roy in her childhood over the course of eight episodes, coming to our screens in 2022. 

The project pays homage to the Franco-Canadian author and is led by Acadian director, Renée Blanchar, and brought to life by Quebecois and Franco-Manitoban actors.  

Le Monde de Gabrielle Roy is the first dramatic series to be filmed completely in Manitoba. The Saint-Boniface spots that you’ll want to look out for are the CCFM (Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain), where Gabrielle Roy’s childhood home was reconstructed in studio, as well as the banks of the Red River alongside Whittier Park. 

This window is an important symbol of Gabrielle Roy’s work; I hope we’ll see it in some of the episodes!

Comment devenir adulte

Comment devenir adulte (How to Become an Adult) is a francophone series aired on Unis TV. The first two seasons were filmed in Saint-Boniface, featuring students from Collège Louis-Riel in 2016-2017. Wookey Films, a Franco-Manitoban production company, led the charge for the episodes filmed in Winnipeg.  

The series follows four students each year, and over the course of 13 episodes tells the stories of their teenage troubles. It might seem a little silly sometimes but you’re bound to find it relatable! From school life, to home life, relationships, and more, I know I’ll be tuning in this weekend to see what happens next. The good news is that the episodes are available online for free! Head over to the TV5 Unis website to check it out. 

Ready for more good news? After a few years of filming in Ontario, the show is coming back to film in Winnipeg for their fifth season! We’ll follow four 2020 graduates as they enter adult life while dealing with all the ups and downs of the world as we know it. A must-see! 

Love Struck

Next up: a little romance. At the beginning of August this year, Hallmark settled on Provencher Boulevard to film their production called Love Struck. Within 24 hours, Saint-Boniface was completely transformed into the American town of Elmhurst, Illinois, ready for a romantic adventure.

The Old City Hall building became this American town’s historic library, Café Postal turned into a bridal shop, the Post Office was the Elmhurst Police Station, and the À la Page bookstore became Hannigan’s Diner!

I have to admit, I’m really excited for this movie to be released!

Grey’s Anatomy

I cannot rightfully finish this article without mentioning Grey’s Anatomy. You’ve no doubt heard about this doctor drama, in which the most dramatic and tragic plotlines imaginable have unfolded in a Seattle hospital for seventeen seasons and counting. 

In the twenty-third episode of season fifteen, one of the doctors receives a phone call from the Saint-Boniface Hospital of all places! Their colleague then asks where that is… 

But nonetheless, with all these little cameos, Saint-Boniface has undoubtedly made a place for itself on the film industry map!