Jonny Harris is back with Still Standing, celebrating small-town Canada with big laughs. Returning Tuesday with what’s quickly becoming a summer staple for CBC, the likable Harris sheds his Constable Crabtree duds and spikes his hair to hit the road, shining a spotlight on communities of folks ekeing out a living in the place they call home.
Tuesday’s return finds the young Newfoundlander in British Columbia, where the 800 citizens of Skidegate are struggling to keep their Haida culture intact amid a history of boom and bust.
Shop owner Rose Russ discusses the local artisans, tourism and an economy that once did well thanks to fishing and logging; Haida elder Diane Brown gives a history of the area and reveals she is one of a mere handful who still know their ancient language; and Jags tells of the once-thriving community of Skedans that was decimated by smallpox.
As with Season 1, Harris successfully tells the history of the community he’s visiting without a hint of malice. He’s there to point out the hard and good times, but there’s no meanness in his comedy. There are references to Europeans arriving in the area and promptly stealing totem poles (“How are you going to show that off to your friends and not look like a complete a-hole?”). And it’s not all bad news in Skidegate: Ben Davidson is a renowned local artist creating Haidi works, a heritage centre promises to educate the youth on their history and language and the Skidegate Saints kick butt on the basketball court.
Upcoming stops in Still Standing‘s season include Omemee, Ont., Inuvik, NWT., and Georgetown, PEI.
Still Standing airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.