Newsmagazine shows are a dime a dozen. They all cover red carpet arrivals, celebrity gossip and the latest movie premieres, but rarely do they report on current issues in society, something Canada in Perspective does with every broadcast.
Returning Sunday on AMI-tv, Season 4 of Canada in Perspective boasts a new logo, refreshed set and new production company in Varner Productions Limited (Four Senses) to complement host Anna-Karina Tabuñar. The mandate of the 19-episode season is the same: to spotlight those in the disabled community in a respectful way.
“This is very much a marginalized community,” Tabuñar says. “This show is the perfect opportunity to give them a forum and give them what they need.” Filmed in Toronto’s airy Corus Quay building, Tabuñar hosts a diverse panel of guests who analyze the issues and present their personal experiences and perspectives on the everyday and unique. We visited the set just as two guests finished participating in a segment about dating and sex, and watched former Holmes on Holmes star Damon Bennett outline his ongoing mandate to give work to injured Canadian soldiers.
“We make it a point to be welcoming to everybody,” the energetic Tabuñar explains. “Whether they have a guide dog or a motorized wheelchair or have some special needs, we’re attuned to that. You don’t always get that on the TV set where it’s file to deadline.” Most importantly? Canada in Perspective doesn’t focus on the “dis” in the word “disability.”
Director Jeff Blundell notes extended, more documentary style field pieces profile people and their stories, a tact used to great effect in Four Senses. Topics covered in Season 4 include the Parapan Am Games in Toronto, refugees, end of life, embedded technology, TV casting and parenting. Sunday’s return explores Canada’s transit systems and how the needs of disabled citizens are being met.
“We wanted to look at things in a more global way this season,” Varner says. “Rather than a story like, ‘I can’t get into my apartment,’ we ask why accessible buildings aren’t everywhere.”
Canada in Perspective returns Sunday, May 31, at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT on AMI-tv.