A highly-anticipated Youtube series will capture the sheer zaniness that hits Sylvan’s Lakeshore Drive when tourism skyrockets in the summer months.
There is a newly-released trailer for The Lakeshore Drive Show, which is described as a reality show, “Capturing the good, the bad, and the ugly of server life in Sylvan Lake.”
The series, which features seven episodes and launches the first week of March, takes place at the Bukwildz Restaurant and is filmed and edited by Flying Goose Media, explained Kjeryn Dakin, the restaurant’s owner.
“I opened Bukwildz in 2014, and people have always said to me that with everything that goes on there, I should have a camera on my head,” she said with a laugh.
Later on, she was visiting with family, and her cousin suggested she produce a show chronicling the zaniness of Lakeshore Drive’s service industry during summer.
The concept clicked.
“I’m the kind of person that once I get an idea in my head, I’m like, yes, let’s do this! So I talked to friends who were doing all of our videography (Flying Goose Media), and between us, we said, ‘Let’s split the costs on whatever it takes to make this show happen’.”
Filming took place last summer and proved to be an absolute blast.
“It’s kind of like The Office meets a reality TV show - it’s very tongue in cheek,” said Dakin, adding that there really isn’t an aspect of a server’s hectic working experience that isn’t in some way explored. “It’s truly authentic to who we are.”
“There is drama, too. It takes a lot to run a show and run three restaurants on Lakeshore Drive,” added Dakin, who is also a busy mom and a town councilor.
As any visitor to Lakeshore Drive in the summer knows, the community’s population balloons in summer. Loads of tourists flock to Sylvan Lake and Lakeshore Drive is at the heart of that action.
“We go from 15 staff up to 60,” she said of prepping for summer. For new workers, it’s something of a baptism by fire - which of course makes for compelling storytelling, too.
“You are getting thrown in,” said Dakin.
“We go from very slow days (off-season) to days where there is not enough food for you to prep in a day to keep up with the demand. The beer is up to the roof, and by Monday morning you are out of liquor. It’s crazy. It’s organized chaos.
“You also have to really, really love people to be in this industry. It’s on steroids in summer here in Sylvan Lake - there is no other place that I can think of that has this big of a tourism swing.”
As to The Lakeshore Drive Show, viewers will be taken along on an adventure from the beginning of summer when things are rapidly cranking up - and that can include everything from balancing employees’ needs and demanding schedules to dealing with the overbooking of bachelorette parties to managing when someone doesn’t show up for a shift.
“I also always send my staff on trips. So the show also follows the team going to Las Vegas for a break, and so we can also reconnect as a team,” she explained, adding that even within that short 48 hours in Vegas, plenty of drama comes to a head.
Dakin said another goal of the series is to showcase several of the province’s gifted musicians.
“All of the music that is in the series is all from Alberta artists. It showcases not only how cool Alberta is, but also the artists that are here, and the people that make up Lakeshore Drive.
“We want to also showcase these really cool people that make up central Alberta,” she said, adding that another aspect of the series that she loves is how it shows the varied experiences of the folks in the service industry.
“It’s a special thing. I love that we are showcasing that, and the work that it takes.”
Dakin opened Bukwildz as a 26-year-old single mom. She recalled how she didn’t have a ‘plan b’ but she knew Lakeshore Drive was a very special place and absolutely worth investing in.
It’s been a rewarding journey.
“I’ve gotten to meet a lot of really cool people here because of that passion, and because I genuinely love my job.”
Meanwhile, shooting for a second season is planned for this summer. Viewers can expect even more of the explosive fun and drama that season one promises to provide, she said.
“We’ll also be showcasing even more about what Lakeshore Drive has to offer.”
Find the trailer The Lakeshore Drive Show - season one on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKsDxLmvwg8