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Placer gold mining is an incredibly risky venture to undertake. Even with thirty-five years experience
Pete Wright knows it’s a gamble. But with a methodology gleaned from the Yukon gold fields, he
follows a simple yet effective premise: wherever there was gold, there probably still is gold.
Pete bought his first “F” grant placer claim in the early 1990’s near historic gold rush town Barkerville,
British Columbia. He then applied modern machinery and technology to dig where the old timers
couldn’t, and process the fine gold dust that they could only dream of doing. He routinely digs up
long-abandoned mine shafts from the 1860’s, and finds evidence of past miners, some of it in pristine
condition: everything from old wheelbarrows to gumboots lay buried beneath his gold claims. Artisan
mine works from Chinese miners are still visible: hundreds of yards worth of hand-stacked rock reflect
the backbreaking toil that the old time miners endured.
In this incredibly unforgiving environment, Pete has a four-month operational window to either make it
or face bankruptcy. And winter always seems to come early. Pete’s “burn rate” on his largest claims run
in the neighbourhood of $100,000 a day.
In this heavily mechanized business, keeping the machines running and staffing them with competent
operators is an everyday challenge. Even with $1600 dollar-an-ounce gold, Pete can’t afford to pay
his workers more than the oil patch. He’s constantly losing good employees to the big money of Fort
Pete’s crews are made up of rugged individuals, who exude the pioneering spirit that first staked the
gold rush. You’ve got to be tough, but there’s an honesty about people who work in the north. There’s
no façade, and what you see is what you get. The hours are long, the bugs are bad, but at the end of the
day, the sparkle in the sluice box, the nuggets that get melted into gold bars: everyone gets “gold fever”.
Gold Diggers will take viewers into the
gut-wrenching, high stakes world of placer
gold mining in British Columbia’s historic
Barkerville gold district. It’s a dirty, dangerous
and expensive business. To succeed, you’ll
need more than just a little luck.“
In this unforgiving landscape, Pete’s energy and tenacious nature have made him a success --staying
there, is the hard part. If all goes according to plan: Pete and his crew are on the verge of uncovering one
of the biggest placer gold finds of the last 100 years.
The series will focus on the many unique characters that run Pete’s placer operations, and tackle the
daily dilemmas faced in a heavily mechanized, multi-million dollar placer gold operation. Then of course
there’s the enigmatic, owner Pete Wright, who runs this empire from the cab of his pick-up truck.
(Placer gold mining is the extraction of “loose gold” from alluvial deposits of sand
and gravel in recent or ancient streambeds, or glacial till)
“Placer mining’s not much different than
walking into the River Rock Casino and
throwing your money in the air hoping it lands
on the right spot.”
Pete Wright, 46, is a bit of a rarity in many ways.
Born and raised in Atlin, in Northern British
Columbia, Pete’s biological father, a bush pilot,
died in a horrific air crash when Pete was only
three months old. His mother, a Red Cross nurse
from England, re-married Tahltan native Arnold
Edzerza, a good-looking trapper, hunting guide
and sometime bounty hunter. Pete was adopted
into the fiercely independent and proud Edzerza
clan; and has had a more traditional upbringing
than most full-blood Aboriginals in BC. The
memory of moose tongue sandwiches for Pete’s
school lunches, as a boy, still make him wince.
A self-made man he began working in placer gold
operations at the age of twelve, learning what he
could from the grizzled old timers in the Yukon
gold fields. Putting himself through trade school,
and obtaining his welding ticket, he started a
mobile repair business in his early 20’s, servicing
placer operations throughout the Yukon and
Looking to buy his own placer claims, he needed
to find a location that a welder could afford.
The answer was the historic Barkerville British
Columbia gold district. Scraping funds together
he bought his first few claims, and just on the
verge of bankruptcy after a disappointing first
season he finally hit it big. Since then Pete’s rarely
taken a wrong step.
He’ll tell you he’s a self-admitted A-D-D case, is
rarely sitting still, and doesn’t own a TV. What
he doesn’t tell you is he’s entrepreneurial to the
core. When Barkerville is under twenty-feet of
snow in the winter, he owns and operates Yukon
Heli Skiing, and is a fully qualified backcountry
ski and mountain guide. His affable nature
enables him to communicate with red neck
bulldozer operators, or millionaire European ski
tourists with equal ease.
An art enthusiast, although he won’t say which
artist he collects, (doesn’t want to drive the price
up) Pete is constantly looking for the next deal
–whatever it is. And he’s not above paying for
it in the form of untaxed, unrefined gold bars –
anything from fine art to heavy machinery.
For Pete gold is where it’s at.
In a successful placer operation it’s key to have
someone beyond reproach to act as a “trustee”
when handling the loose gold and ensuring
every fleck, speck and nugget find its way to the
on site smelter. In Pete’s operation that’s Dave
Dave is a throwback, a true mountain man in
every sense of the word; he’s also a smooth talking
backcountry ski guide. He’s also the driving
force behind Barkerville’s resurgence. He’s
got an angle, as he owns a restaurant in Wells,
BC, a stones throw from Barkerville, and sits
on every board of trade, tourism, and chamber
of commerce possible. Energetic, and just a bit
on the wild side, he’s planning for an attempt to
paraglide over the massive Juneau ice fields.
Randy is Pete’s right-hand man in the placer
operation, and there is no machine that Randy
can’t drive, operate or fix. He’s the glue that
keeps the operation running, and at a very fit 54,
he’s also got a girlfriend twenty-five years his
junior. At this rate he’s never going to be able to
retire and that weighs on him.
There’s been some regrets, but he’s constantly
moving forward, and is trying to find the balance
with his potential “new family” while trying to
spend more time with his own grandchildren.
Much like Pete, he needs to keep busy. His usual
easy-going nature belies a big temper and there’s
no shortage of tool throwing and swearing when
things aren’t going well. You do not want to get
on Randy’s bad side. If the lure of backcountry
skiing is Pete’s adrenaline habit, Randy’s is
snowmobiling, and in Barkerville, BC –there’s no
shortage of winter to do it in.
Originally from small town Quebec, the twenty-eight year is not only Pete’s girlfriend, but the
environmental control supervisor for the entire operation. With a degree in ecosystem biology, she’s
got the know-how and more than enough moxie to deal with the older machine operators. Julie is
also a trained first aid attendant, and in placer mining, when an accident does happen: it’s ugly and
life threatening. But she can deal with it. Julie shares Pete’s passion for backcountry skiing, and is
a fully qualified ski and mountain guide. Most days Julie would rather be skiing or repelling down a
mountainside than doing most things work related. Despite their age difference she is Pete’s kindred
spirit, and can match his sometimes manic energy step for step.
Despite being a full blood Tahltan native, Pete’s Uncle Ronnie is a cowboy at heart. Growing up in the
1950’s when cowboys were the coolest thing going, Ronnie jumped on the horse and never looked back.
Standard uniform for Ronnie is a cowboy hat, boots, jeans, white T-shirt, with a tin of Skoal rolled up
in the sleeve. Ronnie embodies the strange reality that is northern BC: all the best cowboys are Indians,
and the ranch owners German.
A fun-loving rascal in the best sense of the word, after a bit of a bender, Ronnie crashed the company
pick-up truck into the side of the Barkerville Hotel. A good-looking ladies man, Ronnie’s had more than
a few “liaisons” with the local ladies and sometimes has to keep a low profile when in town. But he’s a
talented, almost savant welder, and is critical to keeping Pete’s operations running smoothly.
He’s an expert gold panner, and reigning
Canadian Champion. Mark’s brought in when
a new claim is being gold pan tested to ensure
nothing is left to chance, and every fleck of gold is
He’s made his living for the past forty-years
shipping gold dust panned from the Fraser River.
Mark also makes amazing jewelry from nuggets
and flakes of gold, bought from placer operators
like Pete. The crew puts up with his on site antics,
because he’s an exceptional chef, and gourmet
crew meals are the order of the day when Mark
Kat is a recent addition to Pete’s staff and is his
defacto business manager: trying to keep tabs on
Pete is a fulltime occupation. A veteran of the
brokerage industry, the soul crushing aspects of
the job, finally drove Kat to quit and pursue her
true passion: photography.
She met Pete through the small community of
hardcore backcountry skiers in Whistler. The
seasonal aspects of her job allow Kat to use her
keen business acumen, and still have the time to
indulge her photographic passion.
KATHLEEN “KAT” SIEPMAN
The shy, good-looking, uber fit Davies, 28, is the consulting geologist for Pete’s operations. Like so
many of Pete’s employees, Chris is an avid backcountry skier, mountain guide and rescue expert. He
can also operate most of the machinery in the placer operation.
At seventy-four years of age, Pete’s fiercely independent father Arnold still comes down each summer
to work guarding the gold room. With a loaded Winchester 30-30 at the ready, no one gets in without
Arnold’s say so. This former gold gloves champion of the Canadian Navy prides himself in never having
taken anything from the “white man’s” government. He’s earned everything himself, and that attitude
certainly rubbed off on Pete.
Aussie knows he’s good looking and has a pack of girls following him when he’s in town. Employed
and good looking is a real catch in small town BC. The teenaged machine operator is an old soul at
heart, and Aussie provides more than a few laughs for the crew with his slow talking demeanor. But he’s
exceptional at what he does, and is Pete’s best operator. Maybe it’s because of video games.
Pete’s cousin Gary is an expert hunting guide in the off-season, and can operate any of the machinery in
the placer operation. A huge bearded guy with a beer belly, Gary’s raucous laughter can be heard over
most of the machinery.
DAN “GRIZZ” TINETTE
The tattooed, sometime truck driver, fulltime ass kicker, bounces at most of the concerts and music
festivals throughout Northern BC. Despite Grizz’s ferocious appearance, he’s a dedicated family guy
doing whatever he can to bring in a paycheque. But between Grizz’s temper and tardiness it’s going to
be a challenge to keep his job.
Heinz is a big biker, and he’ll have to keep his hard partying ways in check or he’s not going to last the
How much gold do I need to take out of the ground to pay for the fuel that’s burning in the D8 Cat.
The Hitachi excavator’s blown a track, and payroll’s coming around the corner. I can string out Petro
Canada a little longer, go sixty-days with Husky Oil. Need to hit a good patch of ground --soon. Maybe
the old timers have cleaned out this portion of the claim. Maybe there’s nothing left but old timbers.
That’s Pete Wright’s first conscious thought of the day. Good morning, sunshine.
Burn rate refers to the wages and expenses incurred by a placer gold operation versus how much of
the precious metal can be pulled from the ground. If anything breaks down in this hugely mechanized
operation, it instantly cuts into the profit margin --which is thin at the best of times. If Pete hits a section
of his claim that carries little gold, his crew is just digging in the dirt watching the money literally go up
in smoke. The big operation on the Devilin’s Bench claim will burn close to $100,000 a day. If you’re
not careful and get skunked for more than a few days in a row: it’s all over. But Pete’s got the knack
gleaned from the over thirty-years in the placer mining business.
You don’t earn the name “Gold Pete” for nothing.
A self admitted A-D-D case, the wiry fit, Pete Wright, 46, goes outside and walks his dog Gilligan, a
Prince George pound refugee, a scraggly crossbreed with a goofy nature that his name naturally implies.
Pete’s picturesque cabin is on a small lake only ten minutes from his claims and is neither immaculate,
nor rundown; it is functional and lived in, and that fits Pete to a “T”. His girlfriend Julie Cossette, 28,
pours him a cup of coffee, and they discuss the day. With an advanced degree in eco-system biology,
Julie’s the environmental control supervisor for Pete’s placer mining operations. As beautiful as she
is smart, she ensures Pete’s operations comply with the environmental standards set out by the British
Columbia Ministry of Mines. But both she and Pete agree, that they take it beyond mere compliance,
and she’s no wallflower when it comes to telling the machine operators where they can and can’t dig.
A couple of telephone calls later, and the dog in the truck: Pete’s ready to roll.
First stop Barkerville, the historic gold rush town founded in the 1860’s, and its gold rush buildings
and charm have been painstakingly restored to pristine movie-set condition. But, Pete’s Uncle Ronnie
Edzerza, 60, a lean Tahltan native, has allegedly crashed the company pick-up truck into the side of
the hotel in town. There’s also the rumour floating around that Ronnie may have slept with the Mayor’s
wife, which could end up costing Pete a huge snow-clearing contract in the area. When you can keep
your “iron” working, your dozers and excavators clearing snow in the winter, it can keep your best
machine operators working year round. Even with $1600 dollar gold, it’s hard to pay guys more than the
Pete’s constantly losing people to lure of big money in Fort MacMurray.
Pete meets with his foreman, Randy Baxter, 54, working man fit, and with a 30-year-old girlfriend and
5-year-old kid in tow from a previous small-town shotgun marriage, he needs to be. Pete prefers the
non-confrontational management approach and leaves the verbal ass kicking to Randy if they’re needed.
But because Ronnie is family this is different.
Pete goes upstairs to have a talk with Ronnie.
He knocks on the hotel room door a couple of times before Ronnie stirs awake, and it’s a brief but
heated conversation. Ronnie agrees that the pick-up truck into the side of the hotel was his fault
entirely, so it’s coming off his cheque. But the Mayor’s wife? Ronnie stands firm, that it’s his personal
life, and is off limits, but says with a sly grin, “what was I supposed to do? She came up to my room?”
Pete shrugs, but gives him shit just the same about crashing the truck, and leaves it at that.
If Ronnie wasn’t such an amazing welder, Pete would have fired this family headache a long time ago.
Outside the Barkerville Hotel, Randy informs Pete that one of the supply truck drivers was late again.
And it’s not the first time. They discuss the options, but both know what needs to be done: he’s got
to be fired. A placer mining operation is such a risky venture to begin with that being late with a fuel
delivery or spare parts costs the operation in time down that it can ill-afford. There’s at most a four
month window to operate before winter comes crashing down with a vengeance. The Barkerville, Wells
Gray area gets over twenty-five feet of cumulative snowfall a year, and sometimes it starts as early as late
August. So Dan “Grizz” Tinitte, 35, a 260-pound biker with tattoos running the length of both arms has
finally run out of chances, and he’s going to pay the price.
Randy jumps in Pete’s truck and they drive off to where “Grizz” should be loading up with supplies;
neither is looking forward to this –even Gilligan looks pensive. Randy is coming along just in case Grizz
doesn’t take it so well. As they pull-up the look on “Grizz’s” face isn’t good. Seeing both Randy and
Pete together: he knows what’s coming. It’s an awkward conversation to be sure, and there’s no easy
way to let a guy go. But Grizz has done this to himself, and he’s had plenty of chances, and that’s that.
Both Randy and Pete keep a careful distance just in case Grizz decides he wants to take a parting swing,
but what comes next surprises them both. Tears. Lot’s of them.
Grizz breaks down and is a sobbing mess of pleas, promises and contrition. Pete and Randy look at each
other unsure of what to do next. At the end of it, Pete gives Grizz one last chance. Grateful, Grizz shakes
both of their hands repeatedly, and states the obvious: “I won’t let you down again.” Randy stays with
Grizz and will haul the supplies back to the Deviln’s Bench Claims. Pete walks away still stunned from
how that scenario just played out.
In the truck Pete wolfs down a sandwich and gets on the radio and hears from Patrick, his joint venture
partner on another gold property. He needs Pete to sign off on a gold shipment bound for Vancouver.
Because of the value of the gold, both JV partners need to be present before anything gets packaged for
transport. Just to keep everything on the up and up, only trustees, employees whom Pete has known for
twenty years or more are allowed to handle the gold, and a trustee for both partners is present during
the entire painstaking gold extraction process. Pete drives the forty minutes to the Grouse Creek claims
over rough logging roads, with Gilligan bouncing around in the back of the truck.
But there’s an urgent call on the radio. The repair job to the Hitachi excavator’s track hasn’t held. And
it’s in a precarious spot, stuck on an awkward angle at the bottom of a pit. It could claw its way out,
and get towed away, but that would mean even more downtime as its drive sprocket would certainly be
compromised and need to be replaced. Pete pulls over to the side of the road and radios Randy to see
what they can do. If they can get a portable welding unit down there they might be able to do another
repair job. But the angle the excavator is on makes this a dangerous proposition. And portable welding
unit is really just a relative term: it still weighs five hundred pounds and is a bitch to move. Randy says
he’ll take care of it, and Pete’s counting on it.
Pete drives into a secure compound of portable trailers at an undisclosed location. Inside the gold
recover building looks more like a science lab than a gold mining operation. But the placer gold they
now pull from these historic sites is almost always in flaky, powder form. The old timers didn’t miss too
many nuggets, but they lacked the technology to get the gold dust which is where the profit for these
modern placer operations lay. Pete has a chat with his father in the gold room, and old Arnold Edzerza
doesn’t like the cameras pointing too much at him. The fact he’s holding a loaded Winchester 30-30
means the camera ops respect his privacy and turn away.
At the gold recovery compound, we meet Pete’s JV partner Patrick, 62, a gruff, bear of a man, as they
look over the six fifty ounce “dory bars” that are bound for shipment to Vancouver.
These “dory bars” are roughly 82% gold, and each of them has a minute drill hole in them, that’s been
sampled, bagged, tagged and kept for a quality assurance purposes. Nothing in Pete’s operation is left
to chance. So when he holds up his hand in front of the camera, indicating that we stop filming, so the
secured vehicle and security personnel involved in transporting the gold remain anonymous –we’re not
surprised. Considering they’re transporting close to half-a-million dollars in unrefined gold bullion: it’s
more than a reasonable request.
Back at the Devlin’s Bench claims Grizz drives the portable welding unit down to the excavator. It takes
six guys to lift the heavy unit off the truck and into place –how Grizz got it into the back of the truck in
the first place is a mystery. Uncle Ronnie is already under the Hitachi, the only part of him visible are
his cowboy boots. They hand Ronnie the cutting torch and face shield, only it’s not quite long enough.
Randy is about to summon all the crew back to move the unit, but Grizz bends over and with three
tremendous grunts has it in place. Guess the mystery of how it got into the back of the truck’s been
solved. Sparks fly underneath the Hitachi. The lag bolt has been cut off and a new one is pounded into
place by Ronnie. A couple of spot welds to ensure it stays in place, and the Hitachi is good to go; which
is good because they’ve finally gotten down to the bedrock, and they can all see by the yellowish colour
of the clay that there’s a significant amount of gold dust there. The Hitachi is going great guns now and
the haul trucks are moving at a good pace. As Pete rolls up to the Devilin’s Bench operation, he looks
pleased that everything looks like it’s running smoothly. Grizz and Uncle Ronnie have packed up the
truck and are driving out of the pit, and give him a wave. A bit of redemption? For now.
Pete and Randy check out the gold returns in the sluice box, there’s a sigh of relief. It doesn’t look like
much but with the machines running smoothly for 12 hours a day those flecks of gold mixed in with the
clay and muck will add up quickly. Pete does the mental calculations, and good-naturedly slaps Randy on
They’re finally back to making money.
Friday. At the local watering hole, the crews from all of Pete’s operations are blowing off a little
steam. Beer and chicken wings do wonders for a crew’s moral. Pete slaps down a gold nugget onto the
waitresses’ tray, “that should keep the boys going all night”, he grins. By the look on the waitresses face,
she knows there’s more than enough there, and then some. In the b.g. an attractive middle-aged bleach
blonde walks through the bar waiting at the exit door for a moment, before leaving. Randy turns to Pete,
“wasn’t that the Mayor’s wife?” Pete swings his head around, “Shit where’s Uncle Ronnie?”
1. Champion gold panner Mark Castagnoli readies himself for the world championships in the Czech
Republic, but he throws Pete’s crew into disarray as he hunts for elusive gold nuggets for his jewellery
business. But his gourmet meals for the crew eventually buy him a little tolerance. This goes on while
teenage brothers Austin and Dillon Fredericks, both machine operators, vie for a big efficiency
bonus which puts them at odds with Julie, the environmental control supervisor: who’s also the boss’s
2. Pete must bail out his crazy cousin Gary who’s gone on a prolific bender, while simultaneously
trying to arrange shipment of their largest gold delivery to date. Both Ronnie and Randy struggle to
keep an older piece of equipment operational: it might need to be completely replaced, and that’ll run
over $100k. No one is looking forward to telling Pete. And Pete’s becoming frustrated with the camera
following his every move, and threatens to pull the plug on the entire venture. He doesn’t need the
headache: he’s the one with the gold after all.
3. An unscrupulous stock promoter who owns a hardrock (non-placer) gold mining operation nearby
is using Pete’s success to inflate his stock price. Even going so far as conducting investor tours to Pete’s
operation! Pete must put an end to such shenanigans quickly, while trying to orchestrate a new deal
for a snow removal contract during the winter with the towns of Barkerville and Wells. Keeping his
machines running through the winter months will keep his best operators employed –of course it never
hurts the bottom line either. Julie is trying to plan for the next phase of digging as it’s imperative they
leave enough of a gap to save a marsh area that’s home to numerous birds. The operators aren’t as keen
as they see it as just another mosquito breeding ground.
4. Barkerville is celebrating Canada Day and Pete has agreed to lend some of his trucks to tow the
various floats around town. This is small town Canadiana at its best. Sure it’s PR, but Pete’s entrenched
in the community, and wouldn’t have it any other way. But he must also meet with one of his joint
venture partners who isn’t keeping up his end of their deal and must negotiate a buy out with an
5. The Fredericks brothers are feuding amongst themselves, and it’s starting to effect the operation.
Randy splits them up and has them working on separate sites, which only seems to make matters
worse. Austin, a lean good looking eighteen year old has had it and is threatening to pullout to Fort
MacMurray. He’s by far the best operator Pete has, and losing him would cripple the operation. Pete
tries something different, the feminine touch and has his girlfriend Julie to speak with him.
6. Pete makes the long drive into Vancouver on a buying trip to Harry’s Salvage Yard. Harry, the most
eccentric character you’re ever likely to meet, has a huge property that’s chock full of heavy equipment
and “squatters” from the hard streets of Vancouver’s downtown east side. Harry provides a kind of
make shift haven for former and current drug addicts and prostitutes. But when it comes to money Harry
is a bottom line kind of guy, and even with a $35,000 dollar gold bar in hand Pete has to be a shrewd
negotiator. At the Grouse Creek property they’ve had a cave in, and the huge Hitachi excavator needs to
be towed out without damaging the machine. It’s a big undertaking, and the crew must jury rig towing
cables and chains to get the job done. They’re in a bitchy mood because it means a double-shift because
of time lost, but Randy gets into ass-kicking mode, and it gets done.
7. A near fatal accident with one of the huge hauling trucks necessitates an urgent meeting to discuss
safety issues. What started as a safety meeting turns into an overall gripe session, and tempers almost
reach a boiling point. Even Aussie can’t break the tension between the crew. Both Randy and Dave have
their hands full, and the entire crew is threatening to walk off the job. If that happens: they’re screwed.
This late in the season they’d never be able to hire enough competent operators. But geologist Chris
Davies saves the day when he informs them that they’re nearly at what could be an historic pay streak.
And after all their hard work, everyone wants to be part of what may become the richest placer strike in
8. There’s been a Grizzly bear stalking around one of the smaller gold claims, and if he stakes the area
as its own –there’s going to be trouble. Pete meets with the areas conservation officer and they must
make the decision to shoot the bear or not. Grizzlies don’t relocate well, so darting it is not an option.
On the home front, Randy’s 30-year-old single mother girlfriend is pressuring him for a commitment.
This would be Randy’s second go round at family and fatherhood, and at 54, that’s not an easy decision
to make. It doesn’t help matters when Randy pulls a twenty-hour shift to get the Devilin’s Bench
property running smoothly.
9. Pete strikes a deal using unrefined gold bars as currency to buy a one-of-a-kind gold processor, but
moving the twenty-ton unit is a logistical nightmare. It takes most of his crew to do the task putting him
dangerously behind schedule. Worse yet they can’t get it working. Dave and geologist Chris Davies
must convince him to run two 12-hour shifts on Grouse Creek, and Pete can only see his money going
up in smoke.
10. Dave attends a town hall meeting about Barkerville’s future and it isn’t good. Funding for several
heritage projects haven’t come through, just when the town seemed to be approaching a renaissance of
sorts. They need to get Pete’s input but he’s on the road doing logistical planning for his offseason heli-
skiing business and out of cell range. Kat is having trouble pinning Pete down to sign off on a few real
estate deals she’s orchestrated in the Whistler, BC, and she’s becoming more than a little frustrated.
11. Tension mounts as the season is winding down and they still haven’t hit the motherload on the
Grouse Creek Claims. At this rate they won’t even break even. It’s September and they’ve already had
their first frost: winter’s right around the corner. Adding to Pete’s problems, the ministry of mines
inspector is threatening to shut the whole operation down for some trivial infractions. After all the
additional reclamation Pete’s done out of his own pocket, this is a slap in the face. His stress level is off
the Richter scale.
12.It’s a big day at Devlin’s Bench Mining Company, the entire crew is on edge. The whole season’s
success is pending gold pan tests conducted by champion gold panner Mark Castagnoli. Have they hit
the motherlode, or is bankruptcy around the corner?
Gold Diggers is a verite doc series using dramatic story telling conventions and cinematic style to weave
unique and compelling storylines. The 60-minute doc format necessitates narratives that are tightly
focused and efficient, but allow an audience real insight into the lives of the characters. Barbershop
Films is renowned in travel tourism filming and will create stunning B-roll vistas of the Barkerville –
Wells Gray area that will add an element of visual artistry into the segues between storylines. Our award
winning graphics and animation division will produce the historic interstitials at act breaks that will give
viewers a greater insight into the rich history of the region.
Barkerville, British Columbia, was once the largest city north of San Francisco and west of Chicago.
Situated on the western edge of the Caribou Mountains, it was named after legendary English
prospector Billy Barker. He was one of the first to strike it rich at the location in 1861, and he remains
one of the most famous. His claim would eventually yield nearly 37,500 ounces of gold: worth nearly
64 million in today’s dollars. Government records indicate that millions of ounces of alluvial gold were
removed from the Barkerville area during the 19th Century.