Location Spotlight: Cumberland Heritage Village Museum

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time? At the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, guests can experience first-hand what rural life would have been like in the 1920s and 1930s. Through its many programs and special events, the Museum provides an immersive educational experience you won’t soon forget, while the possibilities for film and television production are limitless.

The Cumberland Heritage Village Museum is situated 30 minutes east of downtown Ottawa in Cumberland, a picturesque village founded in 1802 and amalgamated into the City of Ottawa in 2001. The Museum has been operating since 1976 when it acquired its first building – the Vars Train Station. Today, the 100-acre site features dozens of heritage and authentic reproduction buildings ranging from a fire hall and a schoolhouse to a garage, a print shop, and a blacksmith’s shop. The Museum also hosts an impressive artefact collection comprising over 19,000 objects including textiles, mass communication devices, agricultural equipment, furnishings, and more.

Come the holiday season (or with set dressing at any time of year) the Museum transforms into a winter wonderland. The annual Vintage Village of Lights, with its 30,000 Christmas lights and charming holiday decorations, provides a picture-perfect scene straight from a Hallmark movie. Whether it’s December, March or August, the site attracts holiday-themed films that are seeking that quintessential small-town look, a prerequisite for most made-for-television Christmas movies. Hallmark’s Winter Castle and Lifetime’s Christmas Around the Corner both shot at the Museum, as did the 2016 period drama Tell the World, the fourth season of the Canadian children’s series Giver, and more recently, a local horror feature film. With wide open spaces, parking and modern amenities, the Museum offers a superb setting for productions of all sizes.

On the set of ‘Christmas Around the Corner’, photo courtesy of Albert Camicioli

As with all City of Ottawa properties, our office facilitates access to the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. The first step is to complete and submit the required forms and documents found on our website. We’ll then coordinate with the Museum to ensure that the dates and times selected aren’t in conflict with the Museum’s events, programs, and operations. Due to the historic nature of the site’s buildings and artefacts, filmmakers need to provide the City of Ottawa a certificate of insurance with a minimum of $5 million in commercial general liability, as opposed to the usual $2 million; hourly photography rates may also apply. Visit our Flickr page for more photos or contact our office for further information about filming at this unique site.

Do you know an amazing film-friendly location in Ottawa that should be featured in a future blog? Give us a shout – we’d love to hear all about it!