Stettler steps into train spotlight as film crew stages photo shoot

Already renowned internationally, Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions was under the spotlight again last Thursday as crews filmed

Film crews focus on Alberta Prairie trains last Thursday in Stettler as Travel Alberta shoots a TV commercial as part of its “Remember to Breathe” campaign. The commercial is slated to air internationally next spring.

Already renowned internationally, Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions was under the spotlight again last Thursday as crews filmed a commercial for Travel Alberta.

The popular Stettler tourist attraction was one of many features that are scheduled to be part of the second series of commercials in the TV promotion campaign, “Remember to Breathe.”

It’s slated to be aired next spring in western Canada and beyond to Europe.

“Stettler train seemed like a natural fit in its beauty, setting, heritage and history,” said Royce Chwin, vice-president of marketing for Travel Alberta.

“It’s a hidden gem to people in many parts of Alberta.”

Now in its 23rd season, Alberta Prairie last year attracted 17,000 to 18,000 riders, with 10 per cent from Europe, Asia and Australia, said Don Gillespie, the president of Alberta Prairie.

Gillespie welcomed the extra and expansive exposure that the provincial promotion is expected to bring to the Alberta Prairie operation and the region.

“It will help enhance tourism in Stettler and the region, bring in more tourists and generate more revenue,” he said.

“Any recognition of this calibre from Travel Alberta in its marketing plan is appreciated and valuable.”

As a vital transportation link when the province was established more than 100 years ago, the train helps promote and preserve the past, and Alberta Prairie plays a prime role in connecting people to the province’s roots, Chwin said.

“Railway played a huge part in the past, and we can really capture the emotion of the journey at the heart of the story.

“We want to capture amazing experiences that have not been promoted in the past and deepen tourism experiences that Alberta offers.”

It’s hoped that element is portrayed in the latest commercial.

“Stettler will be featured as the steam-train ride experience across the Prairies,” said Laszlo Uhrik, location manager for Circle Productions.

This year’s campaign features regions and small towns around the province.

Response to this year’s “Remember to Breathe” commercials has been described as “overwhelming,” prompting Travel Alberta to continue the campaign.

“They turned out to be extremely successful and the commercials themselves have won awards,” Uhrik said.

“They have increased tourist visits to Alberta, and were directly attributable to this television campaign.”

Uhrik said the locations filmed in Alberta feature “some of the most beautiful scenery ever shot.”

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