Western Canada is a very popular filming location, due to its photogenic natural beauty and urban landscapes. Vancouver is where many TV shows and movies are currently filmed. But it’s the beautiful mountains and lakes that draw in the big names and big productions. If you want to see the best of Western Canada on film, here are the movies to make you fall in love with the region.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The A Team (2010)
Based on the TV show of the same name, this film is all about the action and the comedy. Fortunately, British Columbia is a great backdrop for action sequences. The A Team was filmed in Vancouver, Kamloops, Cache Creek and Ashcroft — all locations in beautiful British Columbia.
The Revenant (2015)
One of the big winners during the 2016 Awards season, The Revenant is an excellent advertisement for Canada’s untouched natural landscapes. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as an 1820s frontiersman who’s fighting for his life in the wilderness after being mauled by a bear and left behind by his hunting team. The movie was shot in rivers, mountains and forests around Squamish in British Columbia, and Fortress Mountain in Kananaskis, Alberta.
I, Robot (2004)
This futuristic action film, set in the year 2035, stars Will Smith as a cop investigating a crime done by a robot. Although I, Robot was set in Chicago, it was filmed in Vancouver and its neighbouring towns Surrey and New Westminster. Vancouver looks just as good in the future as it does in the present.
This epic science-fiction reboot was nearly entirely shot in the Greater Vancouver area. Monsters took over the city during filming, with Godzilla shooting on location in the downtown area, Burnaby, Coquitlam, West Vancouver, New Westminster and Steveston. Any movie or TV show filmed in Steveston will make you fall in love with British Columbia’s plethora of cute seaside towns. Here’s looking at you, Once Upon a Time.
The Twilight Series (2008–2012)
Twilight mania took over Vancouver during filming. The book series is set in Washington State, but filming took place around the entire Pacific Northwest area, including in Oregon and British Columbia. The Northwest is known for its green landscape and moody weather, so each state is a perfect choice for a vampire movie. Scenes were shot in places like Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver; Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, Squamish; Belcarra Regional Park in Port Moody; and Pemberton, British Columbia.
Man of Steel (2013)
British Columbia becomes Alaska in Man of Steel, showing that Western Canada has just as much natural beauty as its US counterpart. Ucluelet on Vancouver Island steps in for an Alaskan town in the movie. Superman also soars through Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and North Vancouver.
X2 (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
At the time, associate producer Dave Gordon said that X-Men: The Last Stand was the biggest production ever filmed in Canada. One of the movie’s biggest scenes was filmed at Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park. The visually appealing Xavier Mansion’s exterior is Hatley Castle, a National Historic Site on the campus of Royal Roads University in the Greater Victoria area. Downtown Vancouver also became San Francisco for quite a few city scenes.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
This Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger masterpiece was set in Wyoming, but filmed around the Canadian Rockies in beautiful Alberta. The countryside imagery and mountain scenes in Brokeback Mountain were primarily filmed on the Kananaskis Range near Canmore. Other small Alberta towns that charmed their way onto the screen include Rockyford, Cowley and Fort Macleod.
Rise (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
Once movie-makers fall in love with Western Canada, they keep coming back to make sequels. The first movie in this series, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was filmed almost entirely in British Columbia, except for the Hawaii-based opening sequence. The forested Robert Burnaby Park in Greater Vancouver became San Francisco’s Muir Woods in the first movie. However, in the sequel the production team filmed outdoor scenes in the lush rainforest-like landscapes of Vancouver’s North Shore and neighbouring Maple Ridge.
This sci-fi film starring Matthew McConaughey is about space travel and ensuring humanity’s survival. However, the earlier Earth scenes were filmed in Alberta. It seemed to follow in Brokeback Mountain’s footsteps coincidentally, shooting on location in Fort Macleod, Canmore, Calgary and Longview. The ranch house where McConaughey lives was built purely for filming near Longview. An interesting fact is that the roughly 202ha (500 acres) of corn needed for an important Interstellar scene was grown by the crew and then sold for a profit.
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