Cariboo arts and mining community to feature in CBC series Still Standing

Comedian Jonny Harris enjoying Wells, B.C. during the filming of his show Still Standing in March 2017. Courtesy of CBC
Wells resident James Douglas, right, takes comedian Jonny Harris on a tour of the town by peddle bike. Courtesy of CBC
CBC’s Jonny Harris with some of Wells’ local women who arrived in the town in the late 1960s. Courtesy of CBC
Still Standing host Jonny Harris snowmobiling with the Leroy family and friends in Wells, B.C. Courtesy of CBC
Jonny Harris taking a painting lesson from Peter Corbett, a Wells artist and fish biologist. Courtesy of CBC

Wells, B.C. is set to be featured in the Season 4 finale episode of CBC’s television show Still Standing.

The award-winning series follows Canadian comedian Jonny Harris (of Murdoch Mysteries fame) as he drops in on small towns across the country, to discover the stories of their founders, their resilience and their people.

Wells, around an hour’s drive east of Quesnel, is well-known locally for its mix of artists and miners, and Harris explores this dichotomy in the episode, which will air on Dec. 11. He meets with locals, unearths their stories, and then performs a stand-up routine about the town. His jokes are woven throughout the episode, as Harris discovers Wells’ many charms.

James Douglas, a resident of Wells who is also the manager of visitor experiences and public relations at Barkerville, is featured in the episode, which was filmed at the end of March, 2017.

“They had this idea that even though it was winter, to pedal around the town on one of the pedal bikes that’s provided by the Frog in the Bog gift store here,” he says.

Douglas rode around with Harris and told him details of the town’s founding father, Fred Wells. Douglas, also an actor, has performed a one-man show about Fred Wells, which was written by his wife Danette Boucher, for several years.

“[Jonny] had some great questions. … He was very interested in [Fred Wells] and to see if he could pluck out some interesting historical anecdotes about the man who the town is named for,” says Douglas.

Along with his pedal bike tour with Douglas, Harris takes a painting lesson from Peter Corbett, an artist/fish biologist; rides a snowmobile with five-year-old Sierra Leroy and her friends; interviews Barkerville Gold Mines’ Jason Kosec; pairs chocolate and Barkerville Brewing Co. beer with chocolatier Margaret Inoue; meets with Jack O’ Clubs pub and general store owner Eric Andersen; and talks about Wells’ hippy vibes with Judy Campbell, Jodie Hunter, Ann Lang, Deb McKay and Sharon Brown, who moved to the town in the late 1960s.

The area’s natural beauty is also showcased in the episode, with sweeping shots of snow-topped homes nestled amongst the mountains.

In order to be considered for CBC’s show, Wells residents, including Douglas, had to submit a proposal to the producers, who whittled down a list of potential filming locations to 13 towns to feature in Still Standing’s Season Four. Wells was the first episode shot for this season, and the crew was in town for a week back in spring 2017.

“They were extremely polite and hardworking but also a very friendly crew, they cleaned up after themselves … which you don’t always get when there’s a larger film company that comes in. But these guys were absolute ambassadors for this kind of TV work,” says Douglas.

The episode explores how Wells’ gold-mining roots have resurfaced, with the recent success of Barkerville Gold Mines in the area, and how the mining industry is working to knit itself into the fabric of the arts community Wells has become known for.

“One of the things the episode captures really well is the very beginnings of what is now a fairly firmly established synergy between the hard rock mining industry that is continuing to employ a lot people in Wells right know, as well as the arts and culture side of things,” says Douglas.

The town’s population has swelled in the past few years. Douglas says the winter population (always lower than the summer population, which sees an influx of workers for Barkerville, plus tourists and artists) is currently the highest he can remember it being in the 20 years he’s lived in the area.

He says the gold mine is a big supporter of the arts, and the community at large. It held a Christmas party last week for residents, another sign of its commitment to the community.

READ MORE: Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. throwing community Christmas party in Wells

“With a community, it’s important to have numbers to support things like community organizations – the Wells Historical Society, Island Mountain Arts, all of those things. To have a larger population base to draw on for that volunteerism is incredibly healthy for a town,” says Douglas.

Don’t miss the Wells, B.C. episode of Still Standing, which airs on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. Pacific time on CBC, the CBC TV streaming app, and cbc.ca/watch.



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Liberal Party candidate for the North Coast Roy Jones Jr. will hold virtual face-to-face meetings for North Coast communities on Oct. 18. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
BC Liberal Candidate Roy Jones Jr, will meet constituents virtually

Face to face conversations will be held on Oct. 18 for North Coast communities

The rockslide occurred just east of Firvale before Snowshoe Creek (photo submitted)
Heavy rain causes mud, debris on Highway 20

Environment Canada had issued a rainfall warning on Thursday morning

Phillip Tallio with his supporters Marie Spetch and Robyn Batryn. (File photo)
Appeals trial begins for Phillip Tallio, convicted of killing toddler in 1983

Tallio was 17 at the time of the 22-month-old toddler’s death

Subsea fibre optics running from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii and and then south to Vancouver will improve high-speed internet connection options for Coastal Communities, CityWest said on Oct. 13. (Black Press Media)
Subsea fibre optics running from north of Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii and and then south to Vancouver will improve high-speed internet connection options for Coastal communities, CityWest said on Oct. 13. (Black Press Media)
CityWest to refresh subsea fibre optics project

Fibre optics project to run cable from north of Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii then south to Vancouver

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Most Read