Actor from Powell River lands leading role

Former resident calls road to first lead ‘a slow, grinding climb’

An exciting date is coming up for former Powell River resident Rebecca Olson. Her latest movie, My Best Friend’s Bouquet, will be airing on the Hallmark channel on October 10. 

Olson was born in Vancouver but moved to Powell River when she was six. She was one of the last to attend Max Cameron Secondary School and graduated the year before Brooks Secondary School put in its theatre.

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“All of our plays were done in the cafeteria,” said Rebecca, laughing.

Her high-school credits included a part in Guys and Dolls and playing the coveted role of Sandy in Grease. She’s quick to mention former drama teachers Mrs. Fleming and Mrs. Mayer as key figures in her introduction to acting.

After Olson graduated she moved away, eventually settling in Vancouver, where she began attending acting school. This decision reinforced her desire to try and make acting a full-time career.

Fairly quickly she acquired an agent and began modelling and doing commercial work, which led to television appearances and movie roles. She said this year a lot of the work that would have gone to Americans was given to Canadians due to border closures and travel restrictions.

After a lot of hard work and dedication, Olson was offered her first lead role in a movie of the week called Love On The Vine. It was filmed at Ex Nihilo Vineyards in Kelowna and is set to be released later this year.

“Landing my first lead role has been a slow, grinding climb,” said Olson. “It was very exciting.”

She was also cast in For Better or Worse, which was also filmed in Kelowna and was one of the first productions post COVID-19.

Rebecca said she enjoys working away on location.

“The days are insanely long but instead of everyone returning to their normal lives the cast and crew all get to hang out together,” she added. “So much of what we do is thanks to them. I have a love and appreciation for all the moving parts.”

Besides television roles she does projects for Hallmark and Reel One, which makes movies and then sells them to W or Lifetime networks, or edits them to fit Hallmark’s image.

Olson said Hallmark has a brand new CEO and the company’s casting has become a lot more diversified and inclusive than in previous years.

“It’s a great time to be with the network because it represents who I am a lot more now,” she added.

Olson’s mom currently lives in Ladysmith and her dad, Gary, who used to own WorkWear World, still lives in Powell River. She started returning more about six or seven years ago and every time she does she says she falls in love with the area all over again. This year, due to COVID-19, she was able to spend three months in Powell River from March to early June, enjoying time with friends fishing and hiking.

“Being in the city, coming back it’s just a different pace of life,” said Olson. “When I brought my boyfriend home to see it he couldn’t believe that is where I got to grow up.”

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