Community effort building for new Habitat home in Campbell River

A local construction company, hundreds of volunteers and a dozen film-makers are busy preparing for the next Habitat For Humanity Home

A local construction company, hundreds of volunteers and a dozen film-makers are busy preparing for the next Habitat For Humanity Home to be built in the city.

Groundbreaking at 480 Hilchey Rd. will take place on Aug. 9, for the city’s second Habitat home.

It will be a duplex for two families who could not otherwise afford homes, and leading the construction will be the city’s own  Seymour Pacific Development and Broadstreet Properties.

The company is currently building a splendid new office downtown and to give back to his home community, and others across Canada, company president Kris Mailman and team intend to build three Habitat homes a year.

“It’s a unique partnership for both of us. We’re effectively equal partners and they are taking on a leadership position,” said Thomas Beshr, Habitat’s director of partnerships.

Communications director Karen Bezaire said Habitat typically does much of the planning, ordering of materials, gets permits, does project management, etc., but Seymour Pacific is now taking on that role.

“For us it’s a huge blessing,” she said.

As many as 350 volunteers will be lending a hand to build the duplex from the ground up, including 12 filmmakers who want to help boost Habitat’s international profile.

Team Generous Canada is part of an international group which produce two to three minute animated public service messages to benefit charitable organizations.

This will be the Canadian team’s first film and Campbell River was lucky enough to be selected due to partnerships with the Island North Film Commission and Campbell River Creative Industries Council.

The team is led by Vancouver-based film director, writer and cinematographer Jericca Cleland who sits on the council and who last week returned to Campbell River to work out more details of their upcoming visit on Sept. 13-28.

“What we’re trying do at this point is to put the entire team in one location,” said Cleland.

“It’s such an intense two-week project that the less driving, the better.”

The team consists of filmmakers and animators from Canada and abroad who will volunteer their time and considerable experience to the project.

They will even swing a hammer or paint brush before they get started on the short film along with all the other Habitat volunteers.

Cleland and Island North Film Commissioner Joan Miller are hoping to make the filmmakers’ visit a working retreat so they can experience some of the great outdoor activities in the area.

The hope is they have such a good experience that they return to do another project in 2015 as well as spread the good word about Campbell River to their influential friends and colleagues.

“When you attract talent like this, you want to give them an amazing experience,” said Miller.

“This also grows the messaging of Campbell River.”

The new Habitat home and short film will both be finished by the end of September.