Everything about Reality, Lifestyle & Documentary, eh?

Mohawk Ironworkers: Training for Steel

How does someone become an ironworker? It is not like it was decades ago; nowadays you need considerable formal training.

Episode 4 of Mohawk Ironworkers gives us the inside scoop on how to become an ironworker. Elder and retired ironworker Paul Deer—and my personal favourite in this series—shares how things were done in the past. There was nowhere to go to learn, so the skills were shared through family. Fathers taught sons and uncles taught nephews … it was in the blood. Today, you need 1,000 hours of training along with thousands of hours more as an apprentice before you can become a certified Journeyman Ironworker.

We visit a couple of schools that provide this training in Quebec. One such program is offered jointly by Kahnawa:ke and the Local 711 Ironworkers Union. The nine-month in-class program covers the schooling and gives students an opportunity to learn their craft safely in a controlled environment. Upon completion, candidates must find their own apprenticeship positions in order to gain enough hours to finally be tested and certified.

Another program is offered in Akwesasne, offering both apprentice and probationary training for ironworkers. This allows students to receive supervised on the job training in preparation for unionization.

Some of the students are showcased, with many of them coming from long lines of ironworkers. I found it interesting that physical fitness was a part of the training program. It makes absolute sense that you be physically able to manoeuvre at the heights that these men and women do but I was surprised this was a part of the actual training.

Mohawk Ironworkers airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. ET on APTN.

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Taken: Marie Jeanne Kreiser — A Case of Intergenerational Trauma

In this episode of Taken, host, creator and director Lisa Meeches introduces us to Marie Jeanne Kreiser, a residential school system survivor.  By all accounts, Marie Jeanne was a loving mother known for her kindness. However, Marie Jeanne also struggled with alcoholism, depression and suicide attempts. While in the custodial care of the residential school, Marie Jeanne fell prey to abuses that scarred her, making her vulnerable to dangerous relationships as an adult, like so many other RSS survivors. In addition to suffering from abuse, she also became pregnant; Marie Jeanne carried her child to term and the child was forcibly taken from her and adopted by an unknown family. No one knows the whereabouts of her child.

Family and officials are concerned about the man named Al that Marie Jeanne was last involved. Al was described as a very cold, incommunicable man, known to have a violent history, who fell victim to his own dependence on alcohol and, ironically, was killed by a drunk driver.  Marie Jeanne was last seen in September of 1987 in Westlock, AB.

After nearly 30 years from the time of her disappearance, Marie Jeanne’s remains have yet to be found. Originally, her case was listed as missing, but in 1990 the RCMP officials upgraded it to suspicious. (I did a little bit of online research and I found it interesting the web page the CBC has dedicated to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls still has Marie Kreiser listed as missing.)

Jody Stonehouse, researcher of Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, discusses some of the effects RSS survivors face as a result of their abuses. Children apprehended from their communities oftentimes suffered from depression and post traumatic stress disorder. When returning home, these same children no longer knew the language of their parents and did not know who they were, so they abandoned their home communities and returned to a large urban centre where they began to use alcohol or other substances as sedatives, particularly when they had suffered abuse.

The underlying theme of this episode of Taken focuses on the lateral violence and intergenerational trauma Indian Residential School survivors and their families face. Multiple generations across Canada were forced to attend these schools; as a result when these children grew into adults, the life partners they chose also struggled with the same issues of depression and PTSD. This results in descendants of these families living with the symptoms of their parents’ trauma as their own trauma.

Once again, this episode brings attention to the discriminatory clichés authorities sometimes use to repeatedly brush off this sexualized and racialized violence.

Taken airs Fridays at 7:30 p.m. ET on APTN.

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Link: Undercover In ISIS: Great “Canadian” TV

From Jim Bawden:

Link: Undercover In ISIS: Great “Canadian” TV
I just knew I had to get a preview copy of the new Canadian made TV documentary Undercover In ISIS when I spotted the filmmaker’s name: Martin Himel.

I remember him way back in 1983 when I was TV critic at the Toronto Star and he was CTV’s man in the Middle East. Continue reading. 

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Scott McGillivray and Bryan Baeumler take over Sundays on HGTV

Scott McGillivray and Bryan Baeumler are, arguably, the faces of HGTV Canada. They’ve both got long-running series on the air in Canada and around the world, co-starred in the home giveaway series Home to Win and allowed TV cameras to follow their lives both on and away from the construction site.

Now the pair is taking over Sunday nights—beginning this week—on HGTV Canada with projects that peel back the curtain on their family lives. Yes, there is still plenty of renovation drama in Moving the McGillivrays and Bryan Inc.—it’s what put food on the table long before the TV cameras came into focus—but there is personal footage fans have seen only snippets of in the past and been clamouring for.

(l-r) Layla, Scott, Myah and Sabrina McGillivray
(l-r) Myah, Scott, Layla and Sabrina McGillivray

The first up is Moving the McGillivrays at 9 p.m. ET/PT, a surprisingly intimate look at the journey Scott, wife Sabrina and daughters Myah and Layla go through on the path to creating their forever home while Scott keeps his responsibilities to Income Property, his production company, McGillivray Entertainment, helping Habitat for Humanity and his public speaking engagements. What appeared to be a fairly straight-forward case of finding the right house for his family turned into a nightmare. Scott and Sabrina, a teacher, knew they needed a house with storage, near their parents and close to a good school. After winnowing the list down to three properties, the couple made their pick. Episode 1 covers those first steps into renovating … and the most emotional footage of Scott I’ve ever seen on camera.

“As tough as it was for me in those moments, it was even tougher for me to see my kids seeing that,” McGillivray says during a press day at HGTV Canada’s headquarters. “It’s been a tough show and a bit of a roller coaster for sure.”

But as dramatic as the renovations on their new home are, fans will get a kick out of Sabrina and Scott’s relationship. She’s not afraid to put her husband in his place, call him out on bad jokes or roll her eyes at his confidence. And, thanks to some unearthed early footage of Scott walking around his first-ever income property, you understand why he became the success he is. Forget the orange shirt and floppy mop of hair in that grainy video: the then 21-year-old Scott McGillivray had a plan.

“After I bought the first property, at 21,” he recalls. “I was in university and had a student loan and I almost didn’t buy that first property. I just kept running the numbers in my head and realized, ‘We’re gonna make money on this property. This is insane.’ And when it actually worked, it was a massive confidence booster. I literally got a cheque for that first property, for $30,000 and I asked my friend, ‘Why isn’t everybody doing this?’ I’m still saying that today.”

Sarah and Bryan Baeumler
Sarah and Bryan Baeumler

But while Moving the McGillivrays reveals Scott’s wife and kids, Bryan Inc.—bowing Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT—spotlights the role Sarah Baeumler has had for years alongside her husband. While viewers have seen Sarah weighing in on design tips during House of Bryan: The Last Straw, where the couple built a forever home, and participating in Season 1 of Home to Win, she’s been part of Baeumler Quality Construction since Day 1.

“I’ve always been involved in the company, but more on the office side,” she says. “Bryan’s the guy on-site managing the projects and I was part of the office team looking at marketing and branding. I dabbled in design in House of Bryan. This is the first time Bryan has said, ‘I think it would be good for you to see our side of the business and understand what it means, from the ground up.'”

“I think the view out there is that Sarah shops,” Bryan says. “She runs the Baeumler Family Foundation, totes our four kids around and has been heavily involved in the construction company for 15 years. The only difference with this show is that we’re filming Sarah’s involvement.”

The education starts immediately on Sunday night when the pair purchase two homes, with a plan to renovate and flip them for profit. Sarah, project manager, quickly learns working within home-buying and design budgets is easier said than done. Throw in designing the company’s offices, keeping their media company and production company on track and … oh yeah … parenting four kids, and the duo have a tough task ahead of them. Episodes catch the pair on the construction sites, in the office, with the children … just a typical day in the Baeumler’s lives.

“There are big, big stakes with this show,” Bryan explains. “There is a name on the side of my truck that my father threatened me with my life if I ruined. The reality of that, versus let’s just break the bank to get exactly what we want … I think people will get a welcome peek into that side of it.”

Moving the McGillivrays airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

Bryan Inc. airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

Images courtesy of Corus Entertainment.

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Corus Entertainment brings three new lifestyle series to MIPCOM

From a media release:

Corus Entertainment today announced three unscripted, lifestyle series for international sale at MIPCOM. The company continues to grow its slate of outstanding original unscripted series developed for its portfolio of Women and Lifestyle channels and this season debuts Home to Win (10×60), Backyard Builds (8×30) and $ave My Reno (14×30) to the international market.

Unscripted series being sold at MIPCOM include:

Home to Win (10×60)
The hit series Home to Win brings 20 of its HGTV Canada celebrities under the same roof to pool their extraordinary expertise, creativity, and reno know-how. Celebrity builders and designers include Scott McGillivray (Income PropertyMoving the McGillivrays), Bryan Baeumler (Leave it to BryanBryan Inc.), Mike Holmes (Holmes on HolmesHolmes and Holmes), and Sarah Richardson (Sarah’s Rental Cottage, Sarah 101). Together they will completely remodel an average, run-of-the-mill house into a dramatic, inspirational dream home. Home to Win will culminate in a one-hour challenge episode where home-winning hopefuls will compete to win this spectacular house. Produced by Architect Films in association with Corus Entertainment.

Backyard Builds (8×30) – In Production
When indoor space isn’t enough, Backyard Builds showcases the endless opportunities outdoor areas can provide. The series stars contractor Brian McCourtand design expert Sarah Keenleyside who work with homeowners to maximize their backyard potential to create tailored, one-of-a-kind structures. Whether it’s a converted shipping container, cake studio, treehouse village, or poolside oasis, this contractor and designer duo can extend any living space on a budget. Produced by Frantic Films in association with Corus Entertainment.

$ave My Reno (14×30) – In Production 
In the upbeat new series $ave My Reno, cash-conscious homeowners finally catch a break when Sebastian Clovis, the savvy contractor with contagious energy, and Sabrina Smelko, the resourceful DIY designer, toss out overpriced reno quotes and make dreams come true with a slashed budget and spectacular renovation. Sebastian and Sabrina save by putting homeowners to work and hunting for salvaged goods. Sabrina is a wiz at finding restored pieces at great prices while creating amazing designs and crafted items. Sebastian is the master at smart spends for breakout builds and custom surprises. Together, they give homeowners the reno they want on a budget they can afford. Produced by Great Pacific Mediain association with Corus Entertainment.

Corus Entertainment has a longstanding history of international success in the Kids programming category through its production and distribution giant Nelvana, and in more recent years the company has expanded its content offering into the unscripted Women and Lifestyle genre. As commissioning broadcaster and distributor of Canadian series that have achieved international success, withMasters of Flip now available in more than 90 territories worldwide and Buying the View in more than 60 territories, Corus brings its production, broadcast and distribution expertise to this new slate of internationally appealing series. Corus’ Women and Lifestyle networks include: Food Network Canada, HGTV Canada, W Network, Slice™, Lifetime, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada), CMT (Canada) and Cosmo TV.

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