A local documentary, Haunted Gold Rush, took home the Tourism BC Innovation Award March 2.
The two-part series, which aired on T+E Totally Entertaining TV during Halloween weekend last year, was recognized at the 2023 BC Tourism and Hospitality awards presentation. The series explored whether ghosts of the Cariboo Gold Rush haunt the area.
Leanne Sallenback, Corine Carey and Kelly Ireland filmed the documentary as they travelled through the Fraser Canyon and along B.C.’s historic Gold Rush trail looking for answers.
“Due to the success of Haunted Gold Rush the team is greenlit for six new episodes airing this year on T+E and HauntTV in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK,” Sallenback said in an email.
The awards are an annual event put on by the BC Hotel Association and Tourism Association of BC.
The purpose behind them is to recognize and celebrate excellence, leadership, and innovation within BC’s tourism and hospitality industry, showcasing the province’s most exceptional leaders and positive change-makers.
The team acknowledged executive producers Sean De Vries and Stephen Sawchuk, of Small Army Entertainment, and the entire production team for their work on the documentary.
When the documentary first aired, Ireland said having a film crew from the production company along for the ride made the trip extra special. They usually film their encounters themselves. Bringing a crew added a fun new dimension to their explorations.
Sallenback also gave credit to T+E and Blue Ant Media. The latter is a privately held content producer, distributor and TV channel operator.
Haunted Gold Rush originally came about when people contacted the team asking them to visit the region.
“In the Fraser Canyon, with the floods, fires and the pandemic, there’s been an unearthing of paranormal activity,” Sallenback told Free Press in October. “We were called to specific areas to experience what people were seeing, so it wasn’t your typical girls’ road trip. We looked at history through a paranormal lens.”
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