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VIDEO: Christmas event at movie backlot raises $62K for Langley food bank

Martini Town film and TV sets in Aldergrove transformed for holidays

Thousands and thousands of people, some from as far away as the UK and U.S. East Coast, visited the first-ever Martini Town Merry & Bright Christmas event at the Aldergrove film and TV backlot, raising $62,000 for the Langley Food Bank.

The studio was open to the public from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1. Martini Film Studios CEO Gemma Martini was happy with the response.

“Merry & Bright was a joyful and festive place to be,”Martini told the Langley Advance Times. “I enjoyed being there to watch visitors savour the experience of the food, lights, decor and entertainment. We had over 60,000 visitors come from all over B.C. and many from Washington State.”


While a decision on a second Christmas event hasn’t been made yet, Martini indicated it was a definite possibility.

“We are so grateful for the community support,”Martini said. “Our wheels are already turning on how we can improve on it for next year.”

Langley Food Bank executive director Jim Calamunce was delighted with the contribution.

During a visit with Martini at the backlot, Calamunce said demand for the food bank’s services was increasing and the money would be put to good use.

“That is big,” he said of the contribution, “because a lot of times people don’t think about some of the things that we are needing [when they donate food items] and so it gives us the power to go out and buy these things.”

The event included live music, and even snow, made by a special effects machine, as well as food trucks and a market. Santa was there, too, in the town square gazebo.

Built in 2020, the backlot occupies approximately six acres of a 17-acre site on 272nd Street south of 16th Avenue.

It includes everything from a New York-style street, a movie theatre with a lit marquee, coffee shop, urban alley, courthouse, diner, and a quaint small town square, all lavishly appointed with Christmas lights and decorations for Merry & Bright.

The site has been a popular place for Hallmark movies, with 19 films shot there in the last two years.

Martini said some of the visitors to the Hallmark Day event on Dec. 2 came from as far away as New York and the UK for an opportunity to have a close encounter with several of the actors in Hallmark movies, including Benjamin Ayres, Julia Benson, Peter Benson, Paul Campbell, Antonio Cupo, Ali Liebert, Kimberly Sustad, and Victor Webster.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: A transformed studio backlot in Aldergrove draws thousands to see Christmas display

READ ALSO: VIDEO: A chance for a close-up look at the Martini Town backlot in Aldergrove this Christmas

Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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