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Petition launched to part ways with film industry in B.C. village

Business owners and residents annoyed about disruption with little compensation
Brittney Johnson, Owner of Coastal Collective + Co, in Osprey Village, says filming in the community has a negative impact on the businesses trying to operate there. (Special to The News)

A new petition has been started to stop production companies from filming in Osprey Village in the City of Pitt Meadows.

Brittney Johnson, owner of Coastal Collective + Co, who opened her business in Osprey Village in 2018, started the petition because, she said, filming in the community has a negative impact on the businesses trying to operate there.

The business owner explained that on the days when production companies are actively filming in Osprey Village, her business will do very little in sales.

“The last filming day our sales were $103,” noted Johnson.

Johnson said about one production per month is permitted by the city to film in the village. Every month her business is impacted between one and three days.

And it is not just the lack of foot traffic on those days that worries Johnson. She is also worried that customers might avoid shopping at her store in the future because the few times they came they couldn’t get parking or access the store front.

“If I know I can’t find parking somewhere, I’m not going to go,” she said.

In addition, she said, some of the location managers lie to the business owners and are disrespectful to them.

READ MORE: Osprey businesses call ‘cut’

A lot of the times the business owners have to chase the companies to receive their compensation. One time she was told she would receive a cheque but when Johnson followed up she was told she never signed a contract – a contract, she claims, she was never told about.

She said it is up to the business owners to chase down the companies to be paid their compensation – and cheques are never dropped off in a punctual manner.

One production company lied to her, she said, telling her that they would not block customers or stop foot traffic from accessing her store. But on filming day her employee sent her a text that morning telling her they could not gain access to the store and later in the day her father messaged saying he tried to drop off something and was stopped from doing so by security. When Johnson contacted the location manager to complain about what was happening she was told they didn’t have security.

“But somebody stopped my dad,” she said.

In 2015 Pitt Meadows city staff placed a moratorium on filming in Osprey Village after residents and businesses complained about the same issues – the lack of proper compensation, lack of parking, customers not being able to access businesses, and also the amount of garbage being left behind. The moratorium was lifted in 2018 after special permission was given to a film company to use the location when they offered $200,000 to the city and an additional $50,000 to affected businesses for 10 days of filming.

ALSO: Moratorium lifted for filming in Osprey Village

Ariane Jaschke, who owns Capture Studios in Osprey Village, said her business is in a different situation since it is by appointment and she just doesn’t schedule any appointments when there is filming.

However, she said, she is on the strata in Osprey Village and that most people are on the same page as Johnson.

“Everyone who has spoken to me has said they don’t understand why there’s no compensation to the strata when they are using all the buildings for background. They may not be shooting inside but they are definitely blocking sidewalks and using up parking spaces and benefiting off of all of the money we are putting into the buildings – maintaining the landscaping and the building and that kind of stuff,” explained Jaschke. “It just seems to be a little bit unfair.”

Jaschke said they understand that compensation doesn’t have to be huge since there are small production companies who also would like to shoot in Osprey Village. But something that is fair and reasonable for all.

She said the are working with the city to come up with some sort of resolution.

“It really needs to benefit the people in Pitt Meadows and Osprey Village more than it benefits the film industry,” she said.

As of Monday morning, April 10, an online petition had garnered 51 signatures and two other petitions, one at Johnson’s business, and one at another business in Osprey Village, had an additional 45 signatures between them.

Johnson is hoping more residents and business owners will sign and then she is planning to present the petition to city council.

The News has reached out to the City of Pitt Meadows and is awaiting their response

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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