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Morinville couple goes house hunting on TV

Buying experience showcased on HGTV's reality show Caribbean Life

By: Anna Borowiecki

  |  Posted: Monday, Apr 28, 2014 04:15 pm

REALITY HOUSE HUNTERS – Morinville realtors Doris Jolicoeur and Don Summers will appear in an episode of Caribbean Life on HGTV.
REALITY HOUSE HUNTERS – Morinville realtors Doris Jolicoeur and Don Summers will appear in an episode of Caribbean Life on HGTV.
Supplied photo

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Caribbean Life on HGTV
Wednesday, April 30 at 8 p.m.

Two Morinville realtors will make their television debut on HGTV's Caribbean Life on Wednesday night.

Husband-and-wife team Doris Jolicoeur and Don Summers are appearing as house hunters on the 30-minute episode that follows families as they try to find their slice of heaven in the Caribbean.

The couple's Caribbean choice, Saint Lucia, is a volcanic island with tropical weather, verdant forests, blue seas and clear skies. Largely dependent on tourism to sustain its struggling economy, Saint Lucia attracts travellers mainly through cruise lines.

"It's just outside the hurricane zone, but their biggest asset is the people. They are genuinely the friendliest people I've met. I don't mean tourist friendly, the 'spend-your-money-and-get-out-of-my-store' friendly, but really nice people," says Summers.

Jolicoeur adds, "It's so laid back. The people are genuinely nice. I can't ever say I felt unwelcome or unsafe and I couldn't find anybody that was unhappy."

The couple, both veterans of the Canadian Forces, has lived in Morinville since their transfer in 1997. After retiring from the Canadian Forces, they picked up their real estate licenses and have represented the Professional Realty Group.

Fully entrenched in Morinville, the couple was searching for investments in the developing Caribbean real estate market. Originally their plan was to visit Aruba where they'd purchased a timeshare for less than $500.

After preliminary Internet research on the cost of living, they flew to Saint Lucia in September.

"We didn't buy anything in September because of financing. It's quite complicated. But we made a great contact with the realtor in the show," explains Jolicoeur.

When the couple visited St. Maarten in November, Andray Volney, their realtor from Paradise Properties, invited them to appear on HGTV's Caribbean Life.

Flattered to be asked, Jolicoeur and Summers were only given two weeks' notice and flew down for three days of filming on Valentine's Day.

In three days they completed 36 hours of filming for 22 minutes of airtime.

"This is where reality and reality TV are not necessarily the same thing," Summers laughs.

On the first day, Volney escorted the couple through three different houses discussing the features.

"They took various shots over and over and over again. I learned a lot about what actors do," Jolicoeur notes.

The second day on the set, the director shot scenes in which the couple first meets Volney and a variety of local lifestyle activities.

On the final day of the shoot, the trio discussed the houses.

"The show recorded three different versions. I don't even know how it will end up. That's the reality of reality TV," Summers explains.

HGTV was very pleased with the final reels and the couple received an honorarium that unfortunately did not cover all their expenses.

Jolicoeur summed up the experience best by saying, "The whole experience was enlightening. Everything was so bright and green, the ocean so beautiful. The actual filming was definitely enlightening. But I would be more reluctant to do a show again. It was way more work than I thought."

HGTV is still looking for prospective house hunters under 50 for Caribbean Life. Jolicoeur and Summers are willing to provide information and connections to interested parties. Call 780-278-4717 or 780-237-4718.

Caribbean Life airs Wednesday, April 30 at 8 p.m.


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