The Grey, a Hollywood film that shot scenes on Hudson Bay Mountain last year, is premiering tonight at the Roi Theatre for a lucky group of people.
Already the exposure for the Town of Smithers has grown with high profile appearances of the film’s actors on American talk shows. Dermot Mulroney was on Jimmy Kimmel Live talking about the town, and Liam Neeson had a long segment on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, describing the town — he added that Smithers had some of the best sushi he’s ever had.
Smithers’ Tourism Coordinator Gladys Atrill said that exposure is something you just can’t buy.
“The type of coverage that Smithers has had…I could never buy it. You can’t buy that type of coverage, particularly the stuff on the Daily Show because there was time to answer the questions.
“I think Liam Neeson did a nice job in answering questions and talking about Smithers.”
As for what it means for tourism, she’s not sure.
“For the people who are within our province, because they’re hearing that anyway, that sort of coverage is fabulous because those are people who actually do know where Smithers is,” she said.
She personally has not been busy as far as dealing with location scouts for other films since The Grey filmed, but she points out that Smithers has a very particular landscape for filming needs.
When the NDP’s Tourism, Culture and the Arts critic was in town last week, he echoed most of what Atrill said about Smithers’ new exposure.
“That’s incredible,” he said about Smithers’ referenced on American television. “Even if they’re making jokes, they’re talking about Smithers.”
That exposure, he said, puts Smithers in the minds of people who might otherwise not consider the place as a destination.