Whistler is no stranger to reality TV, with shows such as Peak Season and the more recent Après Ski offering varying perspectives of what Whistler has to offer.
Now Whistler’s luxury property market will be under the spotlight in the W Network’s brand new series Buying the View, which premieres on Tuesday (Jan. 12) at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. PST.
Buying the View showcases North American luxury properties with jaw-dropping views, with Whistler featured alongside Miami, Manhattan, Toronto, Niagara, Muskoka and Vancouver. In each 30-minute episode, a host realtor from each location tours around three stunning properties with the potential buyers, with the hope that they end up buying.
Whistler features in three episodes, including the premiere — more than any other location. “We wanted to kick the season off with Whistler as it represented some of the most awe-inspiring views in the world,” said series producer Joanne Virgo, in an email. “This is a show about views and Whistler gave us that in spades.”
The series was shot between May and October 2015, with filming taking place in Whistler last July to September. Each episode took around five days to film. Producers chose the featured properties based on the house hunters’ wish list, also taking into account key factors such as budget, desired location and layout. Whistler’s breathtaking vistas stunned producers on the lookout for show locations.
“Our buyers are looking for properties with that wow factor, and for them, that means a fantastic view is at the top of their wish list,” Virgo said. “Every property we visited in Whistler had a breathtaking view — the landscape gave our house hunters everything on their wish list and more — lakes, mountains glaciers, nature. We wanted to represent some of the world’s most beautiful and iconic views and that made Whistler a shoo-in for the first season.”
Our House Media produced the show in association with the W Network, and threw a wide net to cast the shows, starting with local luxury realtors and advertising for contributors through the W Network website, social media and local websites such as Craigslist and Kijiji. “We cover a lot of territory for casting to make sure we get a great combination of realtor and buyers,” Virgo said.
Local Whistler Real Estate Co. realtor Catherine Taylor-McKay is the featured host realtor for all three Whistler episodes. She was contacted by Our House Media last year and asked if she’d like to audition, which she did via Skype, and landed the role. The best part of the experience for her was having and working with some truly amazing clients, she said.
“We had so much fun! We were at once thrilled and honoured to be the first location the W Network chose to broadcast, ” Taylor-McKay said. “Whistler has some of the best views on the planet, so being part of a show that is all about the view is right up Whistler’s alley.”
The Whistler episodes feature luxury properties from prominent, local architects and builders, giving viewers an insight into the personalities, tastes and lives of the buyers. “This was such a great way for us to showcase Whistler’s outstanding real estate products against North America’s premier cities,” Taylor-McKay said. “Featured listings are from Rob Palm, Ray Longmuir and Dave Burch — in our first episode we tour properties from some of our phenomenal local talent including my favourite architect, Brent Murdoch, and one of the most progressive builders in North America, Durfield Construction.”
Taylor-McKay has worked as a realtor for the last two years, holds an MBA in finance, with a work background predominantly in marketing. Although she’s been investing in real estate since the early 2000s, presenting property shows wasn’t on her to do list, but she relished the opportunity.
“Sometimes in life you’re thrown opportunities and rolling with the punches can extend to you experiences that offer more fun than you could ever have imagined,” Taylor-McKay said. “As a realtor, hosting is the perfect way to expose Whistler’s outstanding real estate product to a broader audience. So for that reason alone, I’d be happy to do