St. Francis in the Woods

Queens Bay church stars in Christmas movie

It didn’t get a lot of media attention when it was filmed last February, but a movie shot in Queens Bay and Nelson is now available on DVD.



It didn’t get a lot of media attention when it was filmed last February, but a movie shot in Queens Bay and Nelson is now available on DVD.

Christmas Miracle is about a group of strangers who shelter in an abandoned church on Christmas Eve due to a road closure during a snowstorm.

Among them are a recently separated couple raising an autistic son; a pair of young newlyweds having their first fight; another couple too proud to discuss their financial problems; a former priest who lost his faith after a personal tragedy; and a would-be doctor turned truck driver due to dyslexia.

The movie has an all-Canadian cast, including country crooner George Canyon, who performs a couple of songs.

Nelson stands in for Summit View, Wash. and there are a few snowy shots of the corner of Ward and Baker, in which the KWC block is prominently featured. There’s also a shot on the waterfront near the airport and scenes in Uphill.

But the bulk of the movie takes place inside St. Francis in the Woods, the Anglican church in Queens Bay built in 1915, and since 1994 used as a community hall.

As director Terry Ingram explains in an interview on the DVD extras, the church sold them on shooting in West Kootenay. It had to be isolated, and they couldn’t find anything in the Lower Mainland that fit the bill.

The credits, which are almost impossible to read, thank the City of Nelson, Nelson fire and police departments, and the community of Queens Bay.

It’s all good-natured, harmless, low-budget fun. There are religious overtones throughout, but then it is a Christmas movie, set in a church.

It’s one of several such movies produced by American painter Thomas Kinkade, who claimed to be “America’s most-collected living artist,” and was known for tranquil, bucolic scenes. But they were at odds with his troubled personal life: since his death in April of an accidental drug overdose, his ex-wife and girlfriend have been battling over his estate.

Kinkade painted an image of the Queens Bay church, which can be purchased in various sizes and forms at thomaskinkade.com.

Cinematic resume

Other feature films shot in West Kootenay/Boundary, with their year of release and primary locations:

Roxanne (1987), Nelson

Housekeeping (1987), Nelson

The Grocer’s Wife (1991), Trail

Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain (1995), Nelson

The War Between Us (1995), New Denver

Magic in the Water (1995), Kaslo

Starlight (1996), Nelson

Snow Falling on Cedars (1999), Greenwood

Out Cold (2001), Salmo

De Grot [The Cave] (2001), Nelson

Miracle (2004), Rossland

A Simple Curve (2005), New Denver

Neverwas (2005), Nelson

The Tall Man (2012), Salmo

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