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Orillia plays starring role in new, locally produced TV series

'I think there is something for everybody here. I think this is a really good show that everybody of all ages could enjoy,' says director
Sunshine City tv series 5-6-22
Roberta Muffin is the lead character in the new Sunshine City television series. She is played by Storm Steenson.

A new television series that is based on and shot in Orillia recently premiered exclusively to Bell Fibe TV subscribers.

The creators of All About Who You Know and Cup of Cheer, two movies that were shot in Orillia, are behind the new show called Sunshine City. Co-director Jake Horowitz says the fictional comedy-mystery series will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

“It’s kind of two shows in one,” Horowitz said. “It follows the host of a travel show (Roberta Muffin, played by Storm Steenson) about the beautiful and charming cottage country town of Orillia.”

As audiences learn about the travel show and the city, they will begin to see Muffin isn’t quite who she says she is and might be lying about her knowledge of Orillia.

“We are following the mystery of who this person is, why she’s in town, what she wants to do, and what she hopes to gain from hosting this travel show,” Horowitz explained.

The production company behind the television series, SidewaysDogProductions, is based out of Orillia, making it an ideal filming location for the crew. Horowitz’s last two features were shot in Orillia, but were set in fictional towns.

“We are really excited to have Orillia be playing itself this time,” he said. “The local community has been very supportive of us, and it wouldn’t have been possible to make this show without the support of the people and places in Orillia.”

Horowitz says Orillia’s natural beauty makes it a great place to make a film or television series.

“There is a great mix of things to show on camera,” he said. “There are the beautiful lakes, beautiful scenery, and you can also go find some interesting things like the tunnels underneath Mississaga Street.”

He says the city has always been supportive, welcoming and accommodating with his projects. As a way to give thanks, a Sunshine City premiere is being planned for the May long weekend outside at the Leacock Museum.

Sunshine City has already been labelled a success by Horowitz, who says a second season is in the works.

“The network really liked it and we were really proud of how it came out,” he said. “A second season, as well as additional seasons, are being worked on.”

Horowitz says the show is unlike anything else that has been on Canadian television.

“It’s a very interesting mix of tones,” he said. “It will make you laugh, it will surprise you, and there are even some emotional bits that might make some people cry.”

To watch the trailer for Sunshine City, click here.

Bell Fibe TV subscribers can watch Sunshine City by going online or on-demand by going to Channel 1. The show will become available on other streaming platforms in the near future.

“I think there is something for everybody here,” Horowitz said. “I think this is a really good show that everybody of all ages could enjoy.”