The Haliburton Highlands will be featured in the premiere episode of a new HGTV Canada series Scott’s Vacation House Rules April 26.

The hour-long renovation show hosted by Scott McGillivray features cottages getting transformed into more appealing rental properties. The inaugural episode will feature a cottage situated outside of Minden, with local workers taking part in turning an inherited family cottage into a German-inspired guest house.

“For over 10 years I’ve been helping homeowners – advising them on income properties and renovation techniques – and now I’m taking what I’ve learned in both of these and applying them to the growing market of vacation rentals,” McGillivray told The Highlander. “With the rise of Airbnb and other booking services, vacation homes have become a hot part of the real estate market.”

The episode will feature local talent, including Minden’s Above Board Carpentry. The business declined an interview.

Professional artist and Haliburton School of Art + Design teacher Rose Pearson participated in filming back in August and painted shutters in a Bavarian-style.

“I don’t have any experience in film at all,” Pearson said. “It was interesting for me to experience all the little takes. I’m interested in seeing now what parts they harvested.”

McGillivray said the episode turned out particularly well, which is why it was chosen for the premiere of the series.

“I’m proud of all of our episodes, but we felt this one was especially great. The homeowners also have a very universal goal, which is to use the property to generate additional income in order to let them retire someday,” he said. “Shooting in Haliburton was beautiful, and the community was very welcoming.”

Pearson said some nerves come with being on television.

“I feel really sheepish. I’ll probably hold my breath and hide under a blanket when my scene comes up,” she said. “It’s not my comfort place, that’s for sure.”

The episode airs April 26 at 9 p.m. It can be streamed via and through all major TV distributors. “If you’re interested in taking an hour to get away from our current news cycle, this is a great way to spend that hour,” McGillivray said. “If you’re interested in learning more about vacation homes or you’re a real estate/renovation junkie, you’ll find lots of good information.”

Another Minden-area cottage will get featured in the series May 10, according to Brown + Co, the local construction company who worked on that episode. Contract manager Andrew Brown said it is not their first TV production and it was fun being apart of it.

“We understand how much reach projects like this have, we always get excited about it. We enjoy the exposure,” Brown said. “We, like other people in the area, as well as cottagers, see our level of quality that we can perform and how easy we are to get along with.”


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