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Link: Women behind Canadian TV: Helen Shaver

From Bridget Liszewski of the TV Junkies:

Women behind Canadian TV: Helen Shaver
One would be hard pressed to find a director with a more impressive resume than Helen Shaver. After spending 23 years in front of cameras as an actress, with roles in films like Amityville Horror, Desert Hearts and The Color of Money, she successfully made the transition behind the scenes as a director. She is now one of the industry’s most in demand and sought after directors. Continue reading.


Family Channel’s premiere week includes Lost & Found Music Studios

From a media release:

Family Channel rolls out the red carpet for Series returns as part of premiere week featuring new episodes daily

  • Series returns as part of premiere week featuring new episodes daily

From Monday, January 9 – Friday, January 13 new programming floods the network with new seasons, new series and new specials airing daily at 4:30 p.m. ET/PT. The exciting week all leads into the main event, the eagerly awaited return of Lost & Found Music Studios on Friday, January 13 at 4:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Headlining Family Channel’s Premiere Week, Lost & Found Music Studios joins the network’s afterschool lineup on Friday, January 13 at 4:30 p.m. ET/PT. The tween drama follows the lives of aspiring musicians who are part of a unique music program. The series return will see new relationships blossom and musical collaborations form, alongside the typical drama that comes with being a teen. In next Friday’s new episode, Leia gets involved in a problem that isn’t hers and winds up hurting a friend in the process. New episodes will continue to air weekly Fridays at 4:30 p.m. ET/PT, with encore presentations at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Premiere Week officially kicks off on Monday, January 9 at 4:30 p.m. ET/PT with the season three premiere of Nowhere Boys, followed by the debut of the new sketch comedy show OMG on Tuesday. OMG will keep kids laughing for days with epic rap battles, bromances and more. On Wednesday, viewers can tune in to part one of the origin story of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir before watching a new Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street on Thursday.

Fans of Lost & Found can sing all the way to Family.ca where the music continues with brand new “Jam Sessions.” The weekly webisodes feature performances from the show, studio covers and music lessons taught by the cast. New episodes of Lost & Found Music Studios along with the other series debuting during Premiere Week will also be offered through Family OnDemand and on The Family Channel App as they become available weekly, beginning January 13.

Lost & Found Music Studios stars Shane Harte as Luke; Keara Graves as Leia; Alex Zaichkowski as John; Sarah Carmosino as Rachel; Deshaun Clarke as Jude; Ella Jonas Farlinger as Eva; Levi Randall as Theo; Maranda Thomas as Mary; Alyssa Baker as Maggie; Rakim Kelly as Isaac; Olivia Solo as Annabelle; Jeni Ross as Clara; Katrina Hachey as Hannah; and Matthew Bacik as Nate; Michael Torontow as Mr. T and Ali Milner as Parker. A companion to The Next Step, the series also features Trevor Tordjman as James; Victoria Baldesarra as Michelle; Jordan Clark as Giselle; and Brittany Raymond as Riley.

Produced by Radical Sheep Productions, a division of Boat Rocker Studios, in association with Family Channel, Lost & Found Music Studios is executive produced by creator Frank van Keeken (The Next Step, Wingin’ It), Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier (The Next Step, Wingin’ It) and Laura Harbin (The Next Step, Wingin’ It). Lost & Found Music Studios is also produced with financial assistance from The Shaw Rocket Fund and the Canada Media Fund. Boat Rocker Rights serves as the series’ worldwide distributor.


Working It Out Together: Lucina Gordon–Inuk School Days

This episode of Working It Out Together examines a topic dear to my heart: Indigenous education. Through the lived experiences of an Inuit student from Nunavut, it takes a hard look at the effects that the Residential School System continues to inflict upon Indigenous youth across Canada today.

Carol Rowan, Professor of Education at Concordia University–Inuit Studies, describes the way Inuit children were educated by the community and through their experiences on the land prior to colonization. “The land was teacher and land was pedagog. Children learned through a caring relationship with the land.” This attitude to education was in stark contrast to what we today understand conventional education to be.

Morley Hanson, Coordinator, Nunavut Sivuniksavut describes the process of colonization as it manifested in the far north. “Waves of outsiders would arrive, predicated on the continued use of the natural resources.” There was a European whaling industry, followed by fur traders and missionaries. The people began to convert to Christianity, and were also encouraged and/or coerced to move off of the land to live in larger communities.

Melissa Irwin, Instructor, Nunavut Sivuniksavut explains how the Residential School System was a “colonizing tool that was designed with ill intent to take away our culture, our language, our pride, and our voice. It separated families physically, but also psychologically. It introduced violence, pain, disconnect, and abuse.” As a result of colonization, the value of education has been deflated within Indigenous communities across Canada. If however Indigenous ways of knowing are incorporated into school curriculum, interest in attending school and understanding its value will act to improve student success rates.

We follow 20 year old Lucina Gordon on her quest to become a school counselor. In order to complete her college degree at John Abbott College, she must travel more than 1500 km. Lucina is 1 of only 2 youth from her community to make it to the final college semester. We see through Lucina’s eyes the difficulties students face when they leave their tightly knit communities in the north to attend school in a large urban centre.

We are also introduced to the Nunavut Sivuniksavut program that helps Inuit students make the transition from their communities to post secondary education.  Using culturally relevant topics, students, so far removed from home and family, recognize their own sense of self and the program gives them ongoing support as they seek to complete higher education.

Admittedly, I am biased when it comes to Indigenous education but this episode really is jam packed with the issues that face Indigenous education and educators in Canada today. I have only touched on a few themes addressed in the episode and were I to truly do it  justice (at least in my mind) this recap would be twice as long as it is. Given the heavy media coverage that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s  Calls to Action have received across Canada, educational reform for Indigenous youth is a very timely topic. So my advice is simple, if you missed this episode just go watch it here: Working It Out Together