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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Rick Mercer to host Giller Prize gala

From a media release:


  • The 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize will be broadcast on CBC Television at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. AT / 10:30 NT) on Monday, November 10, 2014

CBC has announced that Rick Mercer will host the 2014 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE gala on Monday, November 10, 2014. Mercer will join presenters Kim Coates, Jessica Paré and Naomi Klein on stage to celebrate the finest works in Canadian fiction for the year.

The shortlist is:

  • The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis
  • Tell by Frances Itani
  • Us Conductors by Sean Michaels
  • The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill
  • All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
  • The Ever After of Ashwin Rao by Padma Viswanathan

The SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE gala will be broadcast at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. AT /10:30 NT) on CBC Television from the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Toronto. It will also be live-streamed on CBC Books with a concurrent live chat, enabling Canadians across the country to be part of the Giller experience. With the finalists being celebrated and an author awarded the prize that night, the presenters will join the authors onstage to celebrate the year’s biggest achievements in Canadian arts and letters. An appearance on Q the following morning will be the first national broadcast feature interview for this year’s winner.

The six authors on this year’s shortlist were selected by a distinguished jury made up of some of the finest writers in North America and the UK: Canadian author Shauna Singh Baldwin, British novelist Justin Cartwright and American writer Francine Prose.

Why Horror documentary premieres on Super Channel

From a media release:

New Documentary “WHY HORROR?” to premiere in time for Halloween

  • Premieres Tuesday, October 28 – 9:00 pm (ET) on Super Channel
  • Click here to view the WHY HORROR? trailer

horrorTal Zimerman loves horror. He writes about it in the genre’s leading magazines. He lectures about it at conventions. He’s even an avid collector of it. But lately he’s been asking himself why he, and millions of other people around the world, are obsessed with horror. On Tuesday, October 28 at 9:00 p.m. Super Channel premieres WHY HORROR?, a feature documentary that follows Tal Zimerman around the world as he tries to understand why we love to be scared. WHY HORROR? gives fans unparalleled access to genre-defining creators such as Elijah Wood, John Carpenter and Eli Roth.

Horror entertainment instantly attracts or repulses audiences – and yet, it’s a global phenomenon. Millions of people love it, yet horror fans are often misunderstood. In WHY HORROR?, Tal Zimerman takes us on a journey to understand why horror fans like himself thrive on blood and guts found in movies, books, music, graphic novels and video games.Horror is popular worldwide, but different cultures present it in unique ways. Tal travels to Japan, England, Mexico and across North America to explore how local traditions and beliefs shape the creation and perception of horror in the biggest horror consuming countries.

Directed by Rob Lindsay and Nicolas Kleiman and produced by Don Ferguson Productions, WHY HORROR? includes in-depth conversations with international horror filmmakers such as George A. Romero, Takashi Shimizu, Alexandre Aja, Ben Wheatley, Alex de la Iglesia and Canadian scare Queens Jen and Sylvia Soska, as well as countless other writers, historians, scientists and psychologists.

In addition to making its Super Channel broadcast premiere on October 28, 2014, WHY HORROR? will be screening at Toronto After Dark Film Festival on Oct. 23 at 9:30 pm. Other international film festivals include: Feratum in Mexico (Oct. 4), Sitges in Spain (Oct. 10), and Razor Reel Flanders Film Festival in Belgium (Nov. 11).


The Other Side II in production for APTN

From a media release:

The Other Side II Uncovering Paranormal Activity on the Prairies

Halloween might only come around once a year, but that doesn’t stop ghostly activity from happening year-round at the Park Town Hotel.

For years, rumours have circulated about this Saskatoon landmark, about the spirt of a young girl who plays piano, and an older man who haunts the swimming pool. Next week, on the eve of Halloween, a team of paranormal investigators will venture inside the hotel and attempt to uncover this and possibly other eerie activity for television.

Angel Entertainment from Saskatoon and Redcloud Studios from Toronto are currently in production on the second season of The Other Side. The 13-part half-hour documentary series follows a team of paranormal investigators who, with the guidance of an Aboriginal Elder, seek the truth behind Canada’s real life hauntings and most unsettled spirits on the Canadian prairies.

The Other Side will investigate the Park Town on October 30. Joining them for the day is a paranormal fan from Saskatoon, who entered a contest on website PostMyGhost and won the opportunity to visit the set and participate in a real-life paranormal investigation.


Active spirits, sometimes playful, other times angry and violent, have pushed through to our world from beyond. The Other Side is an innovative examination of spirits, fears, and how different beliefs can be brought together to understand them.

Intuitive Jeff Richards, paranormal investigator Bill Connelly, researcher Priscilla Wolf and Aboriginal Elder and Spirit Guide Tom Charles embark on a paranormal expedition to find out why. The team engages the spirits through a mix of technology, intuition, and Aboriginal spirituality and ceremony, all with the hope of restoring balance between our world and the world where spirits walk.

For each investigation, Jeff uses his abilities to initiate contact and reach out to the spirits, Bill attempts to capture evidence of their existence, and Priscilla digs for the story while seeking cultural guidance. The team does their best to answer why the location is suspected of paranormal activity, who the spirit is, and why they’re communicating. They also take steps to best enable the unsettled spirit to move on to the other side.


Season one saw the team investigate spooky prairie locales like the Western Development Museum, Gladeau House, Regina College Building, and the 102 year-old Bekevar Church.

In season two, the team returns to explore new places, like the Park Town Hotel. A Saskatoon landmark, the property was developed over a number of years. At one time there were several houses in back that were used as rooming houses.

The property is close to the river, and water is a known source of energy for spirits. As well, it has several crawl spaces and shafts that run below the west wing and in a corner that buttresses the pool area, the Cedar Room and the boiler room.

There are numerous spirit activities that revolve around the Cedar Room, which is now an event hall and was at one time a nightclub. In addition, it is believed the spirit of a man who drowned in the pool two decades ago still haunts the place to this day. An employee, who at that time tried to revive him, still works at the hotel.

There are numerous reports of an older man, who may have once owned a home on the property, making his way through the hotel. Other reports cite a little girl, sometimes heard playing the piano in the Cedar Room. There is at least one guest room reportedly haunted, and it sits just above the Cedar Room.

The Other Side team plans to comb through the crawl spaces, investigate the Cedar Room, and spend a night in one of the haunted rooms, all in the hope of contacting some of these spirits to learn who they are and what message they might have for the living. They will also interview one of the owners, and several of the loyal staff – some of whom have worked there nearly 30 years.


The Other Side II will air on APTN in 2015. Principal photography is currently underway, at locations throughout the prairies. The Other Side II is a co-production between Saskatoon’s Angel Entertainment and Toronto-based RedCloud Studios, with producers Bob Crowe, Wally Start and Jennifer Podemski.