Kathy Rowe with her son Ian, left, and husband John in a group photo with Justin Trudeau.
By Kathy Rowe
You may have seen the Liberal Party’s election commercial that begins with Justin Trudeau on the subway. My dining room is in it for exactly … wait for it … three seconds! Many hours went into filming this ad back in February and that threesecond segment was the result of a six-hour day. Here is my story:
A phone call came from our friend David Turnbull, who is the constituency assistant to MP Gary Anandasangaree. “Are you interested in having your home in a Liberal campaign television ad?”
Why not, I thought. Within a day, photos of our house were being snapped and then whisked to the location manager for consideration. That led to a visit from RCMP officers. On Super Bowl Sunday we counted 11 large men in dark suits at the end of our driveway. What were my neighbours thinking? This looked serious. Just who would be in this commercial? Justin Trudeau’s name was mentioned, but I wasn’t convinced. My husband and I were instructed not to tell anyone about the impending film shoot. That’s when reality sunk in.
The proposed shoot date was six days away and our home had been selected for a campaign ad that would feature the Prime Minister! Time to de-clutter all surfaces, disinfect the bathroom and polish the dining room table. The countdown was on.
February 8 came quickly. The transformation of our home began at 8:30 a.m. Protective mats were laid and cameras, monitors, lights, furniture, and props were brought in. I estimated that over 40 film crew members alongside four plainclothes RCMP officers were in the house by 11 a.m.
There was a buzz in the air as three black Chevrolet Suburbans pulled into our driveway. Trudeau and his entourage had arrived. Everyone was surprisingly relaxed as the leader entered the house. My husband and I were introduced to him and he shook our hands and thanked us profusely for the use of our home.
The film crew worked their magic on and off camera and treated us with the utmost respect. At one point, Trudeau and his photographer announced that it was time for a photo with the homeowners. No time for lipstick! Darn! We were whisked into the family room for the shot. A few more hours of filming took place before the director finally announced “that’s a wrap!”
The house fell silent as the last of the crew members left the house. Trudeau’s entourage waited in our family room until they received word that the Prime Minister was needed on set at Ted’s Restaurant. One last opportunity to shake hands with him as he left our home.
What a day! So keep your eye out for our dining room on TV. We worked hard to polish that table and it absolutely gleams for those three seconds.