Heritage Minute depicting D-Day filmed entirely in Calgary
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Heritage Minute depicting D-Day filmed entirely in Calgary

Courtesy: Youtube Historica Canada

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – June 6 will mark the 75th anniversary of the day that led to the end of the Second World War.

As veterans across Canada and the world mark D-Day, a new Heritage Minute has been released showing the involvement of a Canadian regiment.

Heritage Minute tells the story of 47-year-old Major Archie MacNaughton, a First World War veteran and leader of the North Shore New Brunswick Regiment’s A-Company.

Amidst the scenes recreating Juno Beach and the French town of Tailleville, you might be surprised to find out it was all filmed in Calgary.

“We worked with Calgary based Bamboo Shoots Productions,” said President of Historica Canada, Anthony Wilson-Smith. “You start with that company, you know you have good ground, it just makes sense to go where they are.”

It’s not the first time that Calgary has offered it’s resources and landscapes to the Heritage Minute, having depicted stories of the Winnipeg Falcons, nursing sisters, Terry Fox, and Viola Desmond.

Wilson-Smith said that they needed to find a location that had the resources necessary to depict a Second World War event.

“When we had to track down, for example, original army uniforms or reproductions, that was quite possible. We worked with a lot of historical experts to get this right. Calgary is full of those including experts on World War Two and military history.”

As you watch the D-Day Heritage Minute, you’ll notice the familiar backdrop of MacKenzie Lake which was used for Juno beach. Houses in Heritage Park were also used to portray the town of Tailleville.

Of course, special effects were used to recreate the battle scenes of D-Day. Wilson-Smith admits there were some challenges for the shoot.

“We shot on September 9 and 10 of last year, because of Calgary’s interesting weather, we actually had snow that day. That obviously is an issue, you can’t just blow snow off the screen if you’re trying to portray June 6, 1944 in France.”

He says with the partnership already in place with the production company, it’s likely Calgary will again be featured in future Heritage Minutes.

“These Minutes, we really aim to produce the quality of full fledged motion pictures in sixty seconds. When I think people look at that and they see and say ‘Wow! where did that come from?’ They realize the extreme between shooting in Calgary and what you actually finally see on screen. Then you say ‘Anything’s possible. These people are really good who work there.'”