COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS TOP OF MIND IN MANITOBA TV, FILM PRODUCTIONS

CBC's Burden of Truth is filming in and around Selkirk with extraordinary measures in place

Nicole Loewen has filled the new and necessary role of COVID-19 supervisor on the Burden of Truth set. (Photo by Shauna Townley)

When a TV series is shooting during a pandemic, it is more important than ever that the drama take place in front of the camera, and not behind it.

That dynamic is felt during the filming of the fourth season of the CBC legal drama Burden of Truth, which has been discreetly underway since the beginning of September, mostly in and around Selkirk, 35 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

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In this season, hotshot lawyer Joanna Chang (Kristin Kreuk) and her partner Billy (Peter Mooney) must do battle when a mining company reopens a dormant mine outside Millwood, threatening a local woman’s home with certain destruction.

The show is proceeding with extraordinary measures, including sanitizing protocols and physical distancing, a difficult trick in the often messy realm of film production. It also means cutting back on unnecessary risks, including employing too many extras — or inviting press to the set. (The interviews for this story were conducted via email.)

"Being back on set is very different. There are so many important checks and protocols we must all follow in order to be safe and to protect our families and the community." Kyle Irving, with director Doug Mitchell, said.
“Being back on set is very different. There are so many important checks and protocols we must all follow in order to be safe and to protect our families and the community.” Kyle Irving, with director Doug Mitchell, said. (Photo by Shauna Townley)

Tensions notwithstanding, it feels like a relief to be back, says the show’s executive producer Kyle Irving, partner of the show’s Winnipeg-based production company Eagle Vision.

“It feels like moving from one phase of COVID life to another,” Irving says, adding the last six months have been spent in reaction and planning mode.

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