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Filming to slow traffic
Crew of new television series, Arctic Air, working in Old Town until Tuesday

Nicole Veerman
Northern News Services
Published Friday, September 16, 2011

Old Town drivers might notice traffic delays over the next five days, as filming of Arctic Air, a new television drama series, will be taking place around Bullock's Bistro and Lessard Drive.

Arctic Productions will be filming the upcoming CBC series between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., with most work being done during the daylight hours, according to a letter sent to merchants and residents in the surrounding area.

During filming, traffic will be held in front of Bullock's Bistro and 6 Lessard Drive for no more than three minutes at a time, according to the letter. To avoid congestion, vehicles will be released between takes.

Sam Bullock, owner of Bullock's Bistro, said he's not concerned about people getting upset about the traffic delays.

"Old Town, it's a pretty relaxed place even in the stress of summer and I didn't see it as really that much of an issue. For what the city will gain in the way of added exposure to Canada and tourism-wise, I think, if there is something of road closures, we can deal with it."

Stephen Fancott, who lives on Ingraham Drive, said he'd only be bothered by the delay if the production crew kept the roads closed permanently.

"I'm pretty flexible. They closed the roads for the Ramble and Ride and that was fine," he said. "If you have to wait a few minutes, it doesn't really bother me that much.

"I think it's kind of exciting to have a series filmed here in Yellowknife. It's fun. I think it's great.

"Some people are probably not going to be as happy as me, but I'm okay with it."

Arctic Productions wouldn't comment on when filming would be taking place or where the traffic stops will be located for fear of crowds.

According to the letter, there will be an emergency lane free at all times and an effort will be made to get public transit and water and sewer vehicles through as quickly as possible.

More filming will take place in the city in mid-October and early November.

The new series, starring Adam Beach, is about a group of pilots who fly small bush planes and large Second World War prop-planes on daily missions in the North.

"To see a CBC crew here wanting to do some filming in the city is great," said Bullock. "I mean, they're announcing to the world that this is a good place to do some work and hopefully that spawns further interest in the movie business."

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