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Web series based on the Chateau Laurier premieres on Facebook

Ottawa Citizen

March 28 2018

A web series premiered in March based on Ottawa's Chateau Laurier Hotel.

Holly Menchetti, Ottawa Citizen

Published on: March 28, 2018 | Last Updated: March 29, 2018 11:58 AM EDT

A web miniseries based on Ottawa’s own Chateau Laurier premiered on Facebook in March and has so far attracted more than 45,000 followers. The three videos in the series combined have been viewed more than a million times.

The web series was filmed in Toronto, but is set at the Chateau Laurier hotel circa 1912. It is about an arranged marriage between two young people. Season 1 has three episodes— running about three minutes each — and is produced and directed by James Stewart, who grew up in the capital.

“I love dramatic storytelling and Ottawa, so it’s the perfect combination of the two,” Stewart said in a phone interview.

Stewart attended Carleton University for film studies and moved to Toronto after graduating.

“I started to work my way up,” said Stewart. Eventually, he began working with short films, commercials, animation, 3D projects and more.

The Chateau Laurier web series (which is can be viewed on the Chateau Laurier — The Web Series Facebook page) was inspired by Stewart’s upbringing in Ottawa. He’s always had an interest in the history of the city, but also with the hotel itself. He believes inside the Chateau Laurier, there are many stories waiting to be told, as well as many interesting guests and personalities who have visited the hotel.

“The Prime Minister, politicians and wealthy people stay at the Chateau Laurier,” he said. “There’s always intriguing drama going on in there.”

He says the feel of the show is somewhat similar to that of Downton Abbey and The Crown. The cast and crew paid a lot of attention to the costume, interior design, dialogue, hair and makeup throughout the filming in order to capture the atmosphere of the time period the show takes place in.

Stewart said he and his crew are excited about the response the web series —which was actually filmed in one day in 2016 — has so far received. He said he would love to continue the show and tell more stories from the Chateau Laurier.

The web series stars Fiona Reid, Kate Ross, Luke Humphrey, Kent Staines, Fraser Elsdon and the late Bruce Gray. Ken Staines and Emily Weedon are co-writers and co-producers.

Ottawa Citizen article