The National Parks Project premieres March 19 on Discovery World HD

From a media release:

The Power of Nature. The Magic of Art. Just in time for The 2011 JUNO Awards, The NATIONAL PARKS PROJECT Premieres March 19 on Discovery World HD

  • Narrated by The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie, 13 national parks representing each province and territory offer an inspirational spark to an eclectic group of musicians and filmmakers in multi-disciplinary 13-part HD series
  • Four 2011 JUNO-nominated artists among the 39 musicians and 13 filmmakers who participated in the project, including Sarah Harmer, rap artist Shad; and Broken Social Scene’s Ohad Benchetrit and Andrew Whiteman


National Parks Project – Trailer from Ryan J. Noth on Vimeo.

Some of the world’s most extraordinary natural beauty is right on our own doorstep. And now, in the spirit of The Group of Seven, see how Canada’s extreme landscapes inform and inspire the creative process in the groundbreaking, 13-part new Canadian series, NATIONAL PARKS PROJECT. Showcasing Canada’s national parks through the eyes of 39 of the country’s most innovative musicians and 13 acclaimed filmmakers, the original production for Discovery World HD premieres on Saturday, March 19 just in time for CTV’s broadcast of THE 2011 JUNO AWARDS the following weekend. Narrated by The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie, this extraordinary exploration of the creative process, stripped down and primed for inspiration in the wilderness, airs Saturdays with back-to back episodes at 8 and 8:30 p.m. ET/10 and 10:30 p.m. PT on Discovery World HD. NATIONAL PARKS PROJECT is complimented by rich online content at and

Celebrating the centennial of Parks Canada – the first national parks service in the world – the series draws together 39 of the country’s most diverse and cutting-edge musicians and 13 acclaimed filmmakers as they venture out on a creative voyage of inspiration in Canada’s most majestic national parks. Featuring three musicians, one filmmaker and one breathtaking park (one national park from each province and territory) in each 30-minute episode, see what happens – inspiration or implosion – when art and nature collide. With 2011 JUNO-nominated artists including Sarah Harmer, rap artist Shad; and Broken Social Scene’s Ohad Benchetrit and Andrew Whiteman; filmmakers Zacharias Kunuk and Sturla Gunnarsson; and stunning sites ranging from one of the largest polar bear denning areas in the world in Manitoba, to the centre of Haida culture in BC, this ambitious series touches all the senses in stunning high definition.

The 13 episodes premiering on Discovery World HD offer an intimate and exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the musical collaborations and filmmaking process behind the creation of 13 independent short films, each with its own style and voice. The films themselves will be available for viewing online at, providing stunning and sometimes surprising postscripts to each episode in the series.

Highlights from the first episodes of NATIONAL PARKS PROJECT include:


Saturday, March 19 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

Vancouver filmmaker Scott Smith (Falling Angels) joins singer/songwriters Sarah Harmer, Bry Webb (Constantines) and Jim Guthrie on a mission to capture the essence of Gwaii Haanas National Park and Haida Heritage Site in British Columba. Struggling with stormy weather, dense rainforest and the park’s haunted history, the downtown artists explore the challenges of creative collaboration in the wilderness, with amazing wildlife and the rich culture of the Haida people as inspiration.



Saturday, March 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET/10:30 p.m. PT

Oscar nominee Hubert Davis (Hardwood) travels to northern Manitoba with rockers Sam Roberts, Matt Mays and Kathleen Edwards, to make a short film and soundtrack about Wapusk National Park, a noted polar bear sanctuary. Together they investigate the wonders of the tundra, get chased by a polar bear and explore the joy of creative collaboration.



Saturday, March 26 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

The Northwest Territories’ South Nahanni River is one of the world’s legendary waterways and an unlikely place for Toronto rapper Shad and Montreal psych-rockers the Besnard Lakes to collaborate with director Kevin McMahon (Waterlife). Battling whitewater rapids, freak storms and the river’s sinister reputation, the group visits the Nahanni National Park Reserve in search of inspiration.



Saturday, March 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET/10:30 p.m. PT

Kluane National Park & Reserve in the Yukon protects an extreme natural environment. Guitarist Ian D’Sa (Billy Talent), bassist Mishka Stein (Patrick Watson’s Band) and multi-instrumentalist Graham Van Pelt (Miracle Fortress) are joining Montreal director Louise Archambault (Familia) on a trip to Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan. But frosty weather, a large bear population and a harrowing flight over the Kluane Icefields stand in their way.