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Netflix series is biggest production ever shot in Greater Victoria

The biggest TV production in Greater Victoria history premières on Netflix tonight, with several municipalities receiving prominent screen time.
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Swartz Bay ferry terminal features in an episode of the new Netflix series Maid. RICARDO HUBBS, NETFLIX

The biggest TV production in Greater Victoria history premières on Netflix tonight, with several municipalities receiving prominent screen time.

Maid, a 10-episode series based on Stephanie Land’s New York Times bestseller Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, was filmed entirely in Greater Victoria over nine months, wrapping in April. The production had an estimated $10-million economic impact on the city, according to industry sources.

The shoot created hundreds of jobs, giving a boost to the local film industry at a time when many who make their living in film and television production were reeling from pandemic shutdowns. A number of area businesses — from hotels and restaurants to B.C. Ferries — also benefited financially from location shooting on the south Island.

“We were extremely grateful to have that show here,” said film commissioner Kathleen Gilbert of the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission. “It put hundreds of local workers to work during a time when they would have had to be on government assistance.”

Maid tells the story of a single mother (Margaret Qualley) who escapes an abusive relationship and turns to housecleaning to provide for her daughter. The series, whose team of executive producers includes two-time Academy Award nominee Margot Robbie, used about 160 locations from Sooke to North Saanich during filming.

“We were so grateful to everyone, because not only were people friendly and welcoming, there was a general sense of people being happy to see us,” said Molly Smith Metzler, the creator, writer and executive producer of the series. “We brought a lot of jobs over, which was great, and really prided ourselves on being good guests. It was a great place to spend nine months.”

mdevlin@timescolonist.com