Mayor Ken Sim went to LA and brought "The Last of Us" back to Vancouver

Apr 1 2023, 12:00 am

Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim visited Los Angeles earlier this month and brought The Last of Us back to Vancouver.

Earlier today, Sim held a brief press conference at Vancouver City Hall alongside Vancouver Film Commissioner Geoffrey Teoli.

Both men shared some juicy tidbits about how they attracted the production to Hollywood North, when production might begin, and whether Sim would allow City Hall to look like it was ravaged in the apocalypse.

Sim shared that it wasn’t necessarily an easy choice for the HBO production to pick Vancouver as the filming location for the second season and that Sim and Teoli had to put in a little bit of work.

Sim and Teoli visited Los Angeles, California, earlier this month to meet with senior film and TV executives.

Their meetings included reps from Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. Discovery overseeing HBO, “two of the forces behind one of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows on television this year.”

“Our mission was really simple,” Sim said.

“We wanted to build relationships.”

He added that they wanted to consult with the senior execs on making Vancouver an even more attractive place for filming than it already is.

“We wanted everyone to know Vancouver was open for business.”

Sim noted that at the time of the visit, there was still an active search for the filming location of season 2 of The Last of Us.

Vancouver’s mayor believes the production will create many “high-paying jobs and career opportunities” and that the decision to film here “gives us more swagger.”

Sim also added that he thinks everyone has a role in making Vancouver an attractive destination, from local businesses offering their spaces as filming spots, to restaurants, to City staff.

He also said, “The Last of Us is one of the biggest productions ever filmed in Canada and one of the largest shows on television today.”

Teoli stated, “This is big,” and shows like this “contribute a lot to the economy.”

“More specifically, most shows of this size employ hundreds of people directly in production and the many hundreds more indirectly through the support services.”

Teoli said this is just the beginning, reflecting on the 50-year history of Vancouver being a player in the film industry and that it would like to see the success continue for another 50.

“As we look to the future, I’m confident that we will see even more productions decide to make their home in Vancouver,” Sim said.

In terms of when production might begin, Sim thinks they could see it start in the new year, with pre-production beginning this summer.

Just like it has done for Alberta, Sim and Teoli expect this to bring a lot of tourist attention to Vancouver, more so than other shows like The Flash have done.

We asked Sim if he’d be cool with crews making City Hall look like the apocalypse had ravaged it, and his answer gave the room a good laugh.

“You know, sometimes in council, I feel it has, but yeah, you know what? I think it’d be great to see City Hall, you know, in some kind of fantasy scene. Back in one piece the next day.”

Amir AliAmir Ali

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