Laura Mitchell, writer/director of the movie filming locally, made a point of using locales unique to Prince George.
Some scenes of Meeting Mr. Christmas will be shot at The Makerie, a craft and coffee bar, located downtown, where people are encouraged to let their creativity take over in a covid-friendly space.
Owner Kim Hayhurst said she couldn’t be more excited about seeing her small business showcased in the movie.
“They came in to scout out the location and they just keep coming back,” Hayhurst said. “We’re really excited because they’re not just using us as a backdrop but they’re showcasing what we do, which is neat. Our coffee bar is converted into Sam’s Bakery and then the scene involves a kind of charity event and there are kids actually crafting here so everything that we do here in the shop is somehow getting featured in the movie. So they will use some of our handmade Christmas ornaments, Christmas decor and stuff like that we’ve had over the last two winters and those will be used to decorate their Christmas trees and it’s all really cool.”
The shoot at The Makerie location is set for two days.
The Meeting Mr. Christmas crew told Hayhurst there's a good vibe at The Makerie and have left the mishmash of tables and chairs as they are.
“They’ve said they like the esthetic that we have,” Hayhurst said. “The fact that somebody is coming in from a movie's art director perspective and likes what we’re doing here just helps me remember that I’m on a good path, you know?”
Hayhurst was born and raised in Prince George, got her education in fine arts and then moved into economic development, marketing and communications.
As she developed her career, she really wanted to get back to the fine arts aspect of her life.
“I was seeing organizations across the board, whether they were small business to large organizations that had really grown into a place of being very uncomfortable with the creative process and so what I recognized was that in order to get there we had to start way, way, way, way back and just tell adults that it’s OK to play and so the concept of The Makerie came up through some other things I was working on and then it just evolved,” Hayhurst said. “This is a place where adults can feel at home. You can come in, you can get a great coffee and just sit in here and be in a creative space for a while and then maybe something will catch your eye and you’ll get a spark and you’ll start to play. It’s just a place to spark some creative energy in grown ups.”
Hayhurst first started to go to school to be a painter and illustrator, she said.
“I wound up finding marketing but I have always just loved making stuff, whether on the craft side or a very artistic side, I just always loved to create,” Hayhurst said.
She opened The Makerie in August 2020, just when things were seriously shut down because of pandemic restrictions.
Nobody could have predicted what an impact the coronavirus would have on the world, let alone Prince George and small businesses, Hayhurst noted.
“When everyone was locked down we thought we would be using that isolation time to do our renovations, which we did, and then we thought we’d be out of it and ready to rock and roll and here we’ve been on a roller coaster ride ever since,” Hayhurst. “It’s not something you predict when you’re putting a business plan together, that’s for sure.”
It’s been quite a challenge, she added.
“Everyone is looking forward to enjoying The Makerie in its fullest form but not everyone is ready to be back out in society,” Hayhurst said. “We’re just hanging on by our fingernails, riding it out.”
The Makerie offers Paint Nights, and workshops geared toward the creative like jewelry making, paper flower making and even hosted one to create beeswax luminaries. There’s live music as well to support local musicians.
“We really believe in community and the whole purpose of this place was to bring community together,” Hayhurst said. “We also offer a space for brand new makers so they can sell their stuff so we offer them a table for free, just as a way to support the maker community. And that way they can do a pop up shop with us. We also partner with other downtown businesses so we can build up that community as well because really the only way downtown Prince George succeeds is together.”
For more information click the link The Makerie.
The movie, Meeting Mr. Christmas, will be out just in time for next Christmas.