The Secret Gift of Christmas: Shooting Locations and Cast Details

A Christie Will Wolf directorial, ‘The Secret Gift of Christmas’ acquaints us with Bonnie, a cheerful personal gift shopper who is hired by Patrick’s assistant to help him pick out a present for his young daughter. Patrick is a widower who is constantly overworking himself, and as a result, has drifted away from his only child. Reluctant at first, he realizes this shopping expedition might be the perfect opportunity to reconnect with her and complete her Christmas wishlist. However, he has very little clue of how to go about this; thankfully Bonnie steps in to guide his hand.

As they set out on enchantingly beautiful snow-covered streets, browsing various stores in full Christmas bloom, the two discover that they have very different tastes. Nevertheless, Bonnie is prepared to do everything it takes to complete their shopping wishlist, and Patrick soon realizes he may have gotten the best Christmas gift he could have asked for already. With romance blossoming on the last-minute holiday shopping spree, you may be curious as to what enchanting location was used for the filming of this heartwarming Christmas romance, and who are the actors making it shine so bright.

Where Was The Secret Gift of Christmas Filmed?

‘The Secret Gift of Christmas’ was filmed completely in and around Halifax, in the province of Nova Scotia. Principal photography was seemingly carried out between September and October 2023, with the director appreciating the female-heavy cast and crew in a post, tagging it with Aline McKenna’s initiated, Female Filmmaker Friday. Let’s take a look at the specific locals used in the creation of the Hallmark film.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Situated on the east coast, in the southern fringe of Nova Scotia’s peninsula, the provincial capital of Halifax, and its surrounding areas were used to film ‘The Secret Gift of Christmas’ in its entirety. Christmas came early to parts of the city as the production team transformed it into a winter wonderland, with false snow on its streets adorned in festive decorations and twinkling lights, emanating a cozy and inviting ambiance, capturing the spirit of Christmas on film.

Filming of the Hallmark romance was seen taking place outside the imposing entrance of the Pacifico Nightclub, housed in the Merrill Lynch building on George and Granville Streets, in Downtown Halifax. The scene included a disagreement between the love interests, ending in Bonnie driving off in a Nissan SUV (which is an official sponsor) and Patrick finding something precious in the snow. He then walks into the Pacifico, which was formerly Merrill’s Bar. The location is flanked on either side by the city’s historic sites of Citadel Hill and the picturesque waterfront at the Halifax Harbour.

Halifax’s blend of historical charm, diverse landscapes, and festive atmosphere provides filmmakers with a unique and captivating setting to craft memorable yuletide tales filled with warmth, joy, and holiday spirit. As such the maritime city seems to be growing on Hallmark filmmakers as a destination for lensing their movies. ‘The Secret Gift of Christmas’ is the second Hallmark film to set its scenes in the coastal town in the 2023 holiday season, preceded by, ‘Christmas Island.’ Nova Scotia, as well as Halifax, saw a boom in on-location filming of romance and holiday movies in the 2000s, when romcoms were all the buzz in filmmaking. Halifax-shot films of the era included, ‘The Christmas Shoes,’ ‘Snow Angels,’ ‘A Christmas Wedding,’ ‘ Wedding Wars,’ and Hallmark’s ‘Christmas With Holly.’

The Secret Gift of Christmas Cast

‘The Secret Gift of Christmas’ works with a small and optimal cast, led by Meghan Ory and Christopher Russell as Bonnie and Patrick, and supported by Aria Publicover and Henry Keefe as Samantha and Bernard. Meghan Ory, besides playing the lead actress, is also producing her first film with the holiday flick. She is a seasoned actress who began her acting career in theatre, and has since gone on to star in popular films and shows like, ‘Higher Ground,’ ‘Intelligence,’ ‘John Tucker Must Die,’ and ‘Once Upon a Time.’ Christopher Russell is no greenhorn himself, having had a long and interesting career essaying characters such as Barrett in ‘Land of the Dead,’ Milton Richter in ‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ Barry in ‘Flashpoint,’ and Panto Trost in ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.’

Read More: Best Hallmark-Like Holiday Movies on Netflix