Ottawa actors, producers call in Aykroyd to promote city’s film industry

Mark Brownlee
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Local actors and producers have cast a big-screen heavyweight to highlight the city’s film industry to potential new productions.

Actors Pete Dillon and Ottawa-born Dan Akroyd on the set of We Work Ottawa.

Ottawa-born actor Dan Aykroyd, whose resume includes classics such as Caddyshack II and that Heritage Minute remembering the Avro Arrow - as well as better-known films such as Ghostbusters and The Blues Brothers - was in town for a weekend in March to shoot a short promotional video.

The man behind the project, local actor Peter Dillon, hopes the video will show movie producers the advantages of filming in Ottawa.

“I knew that we’d have to have a big name associated with it so I thought who better than Dan Aykroyd,” said Mr. Dillon.

About 25 actors donated their time to appear in the film. Mr. Aykroyd also waived his appearance fee to come to Ottawa to shoot the piece in mid-March, he said.

The short production is the latest attempt from the city’s film industry to attract out-of-town productions. The organization the city uses for economic development, Invest Ottawa, has identified film and TV as a key sector for growing jobs in the city in the future.

Mr. Dillon said he hopes Invest Ottawa will show the film, which he expected will be between three and five minutes, to movie producers at international trade shows.

The film is designed to show producers the benefits not only of Ottawa’s location, but also the number of local actors who are already available to hire.

“We want to really highlight the professional screen talent in Ottawa,” said Mr. Dillon. “We want to make sure that when producers are considering locations, that they say ‘yeah, this is another great reason why we should be in Ottawa.’”

He can’t say too much about the film’s plot, other than to say there’s a “mysterious package” that has to be delivered to Dan Aykroyd.

Organizations: The Blues Brothers

Geographic location: Ottawa

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