Riffington Manor, David Black’s prominent home in Uplands, is a prime location for film production – and Black is putting it to charitable use. Fees he collects for renting his home to production companies get donated to Victoria Hospice, a charity close to Black’s heart. While Black was losing his late wife Annabeth to cancer, Victoria Hospice provided necessary and compassionate care.
”They looked after my wife when she died. It takes a lot of work. When you’ve got a terminal cancer, that pain is moving and the pain relievers that work this week, don’t work next week. You need to have a nurse or doctor work it out,” said Black. “These people were brilliant. They would come into the house, figure out what they needed, and make it easier for her.”
Hearing Black’s stories of his life with Annabeth – from the moment they met to raising their four children to many adventures with their mutual love of sailing – put in perspective the importance of having support while navigating the difficult path at the end of a terminal illness. Having health professionals focus on giving your loved one the best physical and compassionate care, allows you to focus on saying goodbye.
Victoria Hospice gets half of their annual funding from the donations of the community. Black has been a supporter since his wife passed, and started donating fees he receives from renting his property to film productions.
“We’ve got to help pay for it (Victoria Hospice), so this is one simple way of doing it,” said Black. “I know the cast and crew are keen to do it too. They like the thought of giving back.”
Black started renting out his manor to production companies about 20 years ago. The last few, including Once Upon A Prince which is currently filming on his property, have been Hallmark movies. Black loves both the hustle and bustle of a production happening in his manor and the opportunity to give back.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we could start a bit of a tradition, that if you don’t really need the money, then let’s have it go to a great charity, like Victoria Hospice,” said Black.
Once Upon a Prince, starring Megan Park and Jonathan Keltz, is being filmed around Victoria, Colwood, and Oak Bay for the next three weeks. The Hallmark movie, expected to air April 19, is being filmed at GardenWorks on Oak Bay Avenue today (Jan. 30).
Other locations to be featured in the film include Oak Bay Marina, Royal Roads (Hatley Castle), Government House and Riffington Manor – the home of Oak Bay News’ owner David Black, said Darren Robson, production manager for Royalty Productions.
“Hallmark makes a lot of movies here in B.C.,” said Robson. “It’s a very healthy industry right now.”
Lead Jonathan Keltz has acted in Cardinal, Republic of Doyle, Reign, and Entourage. Megan Park, starring along with Keltz, has been in The Secret Life of an American Teenager, What if, and Central Intelligence.
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