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Movie set burned in fire

The loss of a south Okanagan movie set in a fire earlier in July, is a blow for the BC film industry, according to Jon Summerland, film commissioner with the Okanagan Film Commission.

The set on land owned by rancher Ace Elkink, about eight miles west and north of Osoyoos, burned on July 15.

"It was popular and beautiful, and it's a real shame this happened," said Summerland.

The old west town was built by Brightlight Pictures in 2010 for the film titled, "Gunless," starring Canadian actor Paul Gross.

It was also used in a movie titled "Dance of the Little Old Man," shot in 2012. Weddings and photo shoots have taken place there.'

What makes it so tough, is there are probably only three usable old west towns in BC, and now there are just two.

"It was pretty special, with no civilization and beautiful vistas, so it is the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Summerland.

Elkink said six or seven entire structures burned in the fire. He believes it could have been arson, because neighbours down below the set reported seeing two people walk out around the time the smoke started.

He said he was very sorry to see it go because every year there are different movie outfits looking at it.

"It's somewhere that is not easy to find anymore, because it looks like the early days in the middle of the country," he said.

If a movie company did want to build something again, he would probably take a serious look at doing that.

But after having problems with transients trying to camp there, he would do it differently next time.

"I would probably have someone live on the site," he said.

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