Change of Pace filming underway in Penticton

Film producer Graham Fraser has many connections to this city

Filming of the movie Change of Pace got underway in Penticton on Monday in neighbourhoods near the downtown.

The films trailers and catering truck is set up beside Penticton High School, one of the film’s locations.

Change of Pace is set and filmed exclusively in Penticton by Suitcase Charlie Films, an Okanagan-based company owned by Penticton resident Graham Fraser.

READ MORE: Local movie needs extras

Change of Pace is inspired by a 60-minute, Super-8 film that Graham Fraser and Mike Drinkwater shot in their final year of high school in 1980. Now, nearly 40 years later, Fraser’s son, Luke Fraser, has written a new script, partnering with the pair to re-envision the original screenplay.

The locally made movie will star famous Canadian actor Eric McCormack, best known for his leading role in the hit TV show Will and Grace.

READ MORE: Change of Pace movie lands major star Eric McCormack

“At the time I shot the first film back in 1980, I couldn’t possibly have known the role that endurance racing and competition would come to play in my life,” says Fraser, who owned and produced the iconic Ironman Triathlon across North America from 1995 to 2012.

Among the iconic Penticton locations and landmarks set to grace the screen are the SS Sicamous, the Penticton Vees at play in the South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton Secondary, and other locations, said a press release from the city of Penticton.

Graham told the Western that they will be shooting in locations and neighbourhoods for the next two to three weeks. They are well versed in COVID protocols and adhere to all the regulations while filming.

“As it did for most businesses worldwide, the global pandemic ground film production to a grinding halt,” says the film’s producer and director Shel Piercy.

“As the world tries to determine what their ‘new normal’ looks like in the months ahead, we’re excited to offer one such vision for film and TV. This is a homegrown production that taps into the enormous pools of local artistic and technical talent, while showcasing the abundant beauty and charming character of communities like Penticton.”

The project brings essential employment to the Okanagan’s many film professionals, most of whom have been without work since the pandemic hit this past March.

The film and TV industry contributes more than $3 billion annually to British Columbia’s economy, said the city.

Graham Fraser made his name synonymous in the endurance sports world while producing triathlon events for more than 30 years in Canada and the U.S. Having founded his own successful triathlon series in Canada, he purchased the financially insolvent Ironman Canada in 1995 and turned it into the great Subaru Ironman Canada.

Due to the successful turnaround, Fraser was granted the rights to produce Ironman races in North America. While producing Ironman Canada in Penticton, he fell in love with the area and became the majority shareholder of the Penticton Vees Junior A Hockey Team.

After the sale of NA Sports (formerly Ironman North America), Graham created and produced Centurion Cycling events in the U.S. and Canada and rekindled his passion for filmmaking. In 2018, Graham and his wife, Sue, moved full time to Penticton, where he is currently chairman of the BCHL.

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