New CBC series Becoming Canadian tells the stories of Canada’s newest citizens

From a media release:

Narrated by Canadian rapper and producer Kardinal Offishall, new six-part factual series BECOMING CANADIAN will premiere on CBC with back-to-back episodes on Monday, June 26 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), with additional episodes airing throughout the week in the lead up to Canada 150 on July 1. Produced by Antica Productions Ltd. in association with global independent studio Entertainment One (eOne), the series captures citizenship ceremonies from across Canada and reveals the amazing, inspiring and heart-warming stories of some of the approximately 250,000 people who will become Canadians in 2016/2017. All of these new Canadians have stories that are as diverse as the number of countries they are emigrating from, ranging from heartbreaking and tragic, to inspirational and uplifting. With four stories in each half-hour episode, the series captures, firsthand, how life-changing becoming Canadian can be for new citizens and those closest to them.

First launched online in January 2017 with short-form digital content, BECOMING CANADIAN has amassed hundreds of participants and thousands of followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and cbc.ca/2017/becoming-canadian. The digital extension of the series will feature additional new content and stories throughout the rest of 2017.

Episodic Descriptions:

Episode 1 (Monday, June 26 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT)): Rachel was assigned male at birth, but always knew she was a woman. Ellaha came from an educated family in Afghanistan, but was told by the Taliban that girls could no longer attend school.  Kerstin grew up trapped inside East Berlin until the Berlin Wall came down. Syed’s mother was six months pregnant with him when an accident killed his father leaving his mother to raise her two sons.

Episode 2 (Monday, June 26 at 8:30 p.m. (9 p.m. NT)): Mohamad left war-torn Lebanon to become a medical doctor in Canada. Mo has a career she never would have imagined possible back in China. After leaving Trinidad, Jerome rediscovered his love of soccer in his new home country. After hearing about the ‘politeness’ of Canada, Annabelle and Aidan decided to raise their children here.

Episode 3 (Wednesday, June 28 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT))With tribal warfare raging, Jemal fled to the world’s largest refugee camp, leaving his pregnant wife behind.  Janice came to Canada and found a job and the love of her life at a Tim Hortons. Abimbola realized his dream of bodybuilding in Canada, something he would never have done back in Nigeria. Rita and her family fled from Iraq to Syria – a relatively safer place at the time. She ended up being on the last plane out of Damascus before the airport was closed.

Episode 4 (Thursday, June 29 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT)): Hsa’s family was given a simple choice by his homeland’s oppressive government: flee or die. From a region known for rugby, Rhys moved to Canada for his love of hockey. Juliette wants to break the cycle of systemic racism and teach her kids to appreciate the diversity of Canada. Esther went from a Mexican living a secret life in the US to being a married Maritimer.

Episode 5 (Friday, June 30 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT))Gannon came to Canada for love. Tony brought his experience to a small prairie town and reopened the local Legion to support veterans. Kallie lost everything when she arrived in Canada, but she built a successful and fulfilling business with hard work. Following a chance encounter on a cruise ship, Romulo moved to Canada and changed his family’s lives for the better.

Episode 6 (Friday, June 30 at 8:30 p.m. (9 p.m. NT)): With three young daughters and financial struggles, John and Claudia took the biggest risks of their lives – moving to Canada to start a business without knowing how to speak English. An 88-year old is proud of all her accomplishments, including her four-person marriage and now adds her long-awaited, hard-earned Canadian citizenship to the list. Sharmila was expecting to become a Canadian alongside her mother but an unfortunate illness had her sharing her citizenship ceremony with her young daughter instead.  Saliu and Adeola moved from a big city in Nigeria to a small town in Regina with reservations but found an unexpected new way of life.

BECOMING CANADIAN is produced in by Antica Productions and eOne in association with CBC, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and with the participation of the Bell Fund. The series is executive produced by eOne’s Jocelyn Hamilton and Antica’s Stuart Coxe and produced by Brad Brough and Jeanette Trigiani Diehl for Antica.

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
Greg David
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