All posts by Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.

Former competitors prepare for redemption in Masterchef Canada: Back To Win

From a media release:

Through the previous six seasons of MASTERCHEF CANADA, 82 competitors earned a coveted white apron, but only six rose to the very top earning the sought-after title. For the all-new season, talented and passionate former competitors return to the MASTERCHEF CANADA Kitchen for an unprecedented second chance in MASTERCHEF CANADA: BACK TO WIN. Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT beginning Feb. 14 on CTV, and the all-new CTV.ca and CTV app, MASTERCHEF CANADA: BACK TO WIN sees former competitors from previous seasons compete for another chance at the life-changing title, $100,000 cash prize, and a “Chef’s Culinary Package” courtesy of long-running series partner and official major appliance sponsor, Miele.

MASTERCHEF CANADA judges and 2020 Canadian Screen Awards nominees for “Best Host or Presenter, Factual or Reality/Competition”, Michael Bonacini (O&B restaurant empire), Alvin Leung (Bo Innovation in Hong Kong), and Claudio Aprile (Xango in Toronto), return to advise, mentor, and critique the cooks as they compete in a series of culinary challenges. This season, the judges’ expectations are higher than ever, putting experienced cooks to the test as they face the toughest hurdles ever seen in the MASTERCHEF CANADA Kitchen.

The 12 returning cooks vying for the MASTERCHEF CANADA title are:

  • Andre Bhagwandat – Season 6, 2nd place – Private Events and Pop-Ups, from Whitby, Ont.
  • Andrew Al-Khouri – Season 2, 10th place – Restaurateur from Halifax, N.S
  • Andy Hay – Season 5, 2nd place – Food Content Creator from Dartmouth, N.S.
  • April Lee Baker – Season 3, 5th place – Private Chef and Caterer from Calgary, Alta.
  • Barrie McConachie – Season 4, 3rd place – Private Chef and Culinary Events, from Vancouver, B.C.
  • Christopher Siu – Season 2, 5th place – Bakery Owner from Markham, Ont.
  • Dora Cote – Season 1, 11th place – Former Restaurateur/Plumber from Wainwright, Alta.
  • Jen Jenkins – Season 5, 8th place – Culinary Student from Niagara Falls, Ont.
  • Jeremy Senaris – Season 3, 2nd place – Private Chef from Winnipeg, Man.
  • Mai Nguyen – Season 4, 4th place – Dumpling Business Owner from Edmonton, Alta.
  • Marissa Leon-John – Season 5, 7th place – Private Chef from Montréal, Qué.
  • Thea Vanherwaarden – Season 4, 2nd place – Recipe Developer and Content Creator from Vancouver, B.C

The 12 competitors span all previous six seasons, and include a range of former finalists and tough competitors who were taken out too soon. With sky-high stakes, the competitors will need to prove to the judges that they’ve further honed their skills, knowledge, passion, and creativity – they have a tougher mountain to climb as they vie for the title for the second time. The cooks will take on everything from high-intensity skills tests to gruelling challenges, while impressing special guests and world-renowned chefs. In the end, the top cooks face off in the finale showdown. Visit TheLede.ca for cook bios and photos.

Throughout the season, fans are invited to visit CTV.ca/MasterChefCanada for exclusive content, including information on the Season 7 finalists and the MASTERCHEF CANADA judges, as well as interviews, highlights, recipes, and more. CTV.ca and the CTV app also offers viewers a behind-the-scenes look at this season’s challenges, delectable dishes, victories, and defeats

Leading up to the Season 7 premiere, viewers across the country can satisfy their MASTERCHEF CANADA cravings and relive all the culinary action from previous seasons of the series available on the all-new CTV.ca and on the CTV app, along with Seasons 4-6 now streaming on Crave. New episodes of MASTERCHEF CANADA are available on-demand the day following their broadcast premieres on CTV.

The MasterChef format and finished programs are represented internationally by Banijay. With over 60 local adaptations broadcast in more than 200 countries, MasterChef is the world’s most successful cookery television format. MasterChef was created by Franc Roddam.

MASTERCHEF CANADA is produced by Proper Television in association with CTV. Proper’s Co-President Cathie James is the Executive Producer and Showrunner and Co-President Lesia Capone is Executive Producer.

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Preview: Cottage Life revisits extreme storms with The Weather Files: Total Impact

January 2020 marked a historic day in Newfoundland weather history. A blizzard event with 140km/hr winds was quickly dubbed “Snowmaggendon,” when it dropped 76 inches of snow on the province. That, and more, are revisited in Season 2 of The Weather Files: Total Impact.

Returning Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life, the events highlighted in The Weather Files: Total Impact are truly fascinating and terrifying. Told through the eyes of survivors, scientific experts and first responders, it brings harrowing true human stories to wild weather.

Monday’s first instalment of eight episodes digs deep into the blizzard that pummeled Newfoundland early last year. What began as a southern winter storm tracking northward from the U.S. slammed into the colder North Atlantic air, triggering a true monster. Original footage shot on cellphones shows the devastation, as wind and snow paralyzed the region with feet of the white stuff. Though snow is a way of life in this part of the country, they weren’t prepared for this much.

Not just a recap accented by shaky cell footage, The Weather Files: Total Impact focuses on the human stories on Monday, like a young mother-to-be who went into labour as the blizzard was kicking in, and the Wall family, whose son, Josh, ventured out into the gloom. Pair that with experts describing the hows and whys of blizzards—and an analysis of snow, its benefits as well as dangers—and this Saloon Media project is compelling stuff.

The Weather Files: Total Impact, airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life.

Image courtesy of Blue Ant Media.

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Season 4 of TVO Original series Political Blind Date dives deep into the issues that matter most, beginning January 19

From a media release:

Season 4 of the ground-breaking TVO Original series Political Blind Date returns Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 9 p.m. ET on TVO, tvo.org, and the TVO YouTube channel. Produced by Open Door Co. and Nomad Films, in association with TVO, this season shines a spotlight on hotly debated issues facing all Canadians in a pre- and post-COVID 19 world: hospital capacity, the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, the safety of Great Lakes water, threats to migrant labourers, religious symbols in Quebec’s public spaces, and protection of Ontario’s green spaces.

Each of the six half-hour installments matches two politicians – each with a different point of view on an important issue affecting Canadians – and sends them out into the community on a “date.” Through meaningful conversation and an effort to find common ground, each politician introduces the other to interesting people and places that best bring to life his or her side of the debate.

Season 4 of TVO Original Political Blind Date includes the following episodes, airing weekly:

January 19 – Hallway Medicine
Sara Singh, NDP MPP and Deputy Party Leader (Brampton Centre, ON), and Natalia Kusendova, Conservative MPP and emergency room nurse (Mississauga Centre, ON), kick off the season by diving into discussion concerning the challenges of hospital capacity, bed shortages, and health program cuts in Ontario, in a pre- and post-COVID climate. Will hospital capacity and services be overtaxed again and are the Ontario government’s plans to transform much needed health services going to be enough?

January 26 – Pipeline Politics
Elizabeth May, Green Party MP and Former Party Leader (Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.) and Cathy McLeod, Conservative MP and Shadow Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations (Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, B.C) unwrap the pros and cons of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and its impact on Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities across British Columbia. What does the building of a second parallel pipeline mean for those living along its route?

February 2 – Clean Water
Karen Weaver, former Mayor of Flint, Michigan (2015-2019) and Mitch Twolan, Mayor of Huron-Kinloss, ON explore how to ensure clean water for the nearly 40 million Canadians and Americans who live around the Great Lakes. They debate the Flint Water Crisis and the potential building of nuclear waste repositories near the Lake Huron shoreline in Ontario. Can politicians on both sides of the border truly listen for the future of Great Lakes water?

February 9 – Migrant Labour
Taras Natyshak, NDP MPP (Essex, ON) and Dave Epp, Conservative MP (Chatham-Kent-Leamington, ON) debate potential solutions to the problems that face the migrant labour population in Southwestern Ontario, where workers have been exposed to COVID-19 in living conditions that some critics call inhumane. Can politicians share empathy for both foreign workers and Canadian farmers to find real solutions?

February 16 – Religious Symbols
Michael Coteau, Liberal MPP (Don Valley East, ON) and Christopher Skeete, Coalition Avenir Québec MLA (Sainte-Rose, Québec) face off about Bill 21, the law in Québec that bans public servants (eg.judges, police officers, teachers) from wearing religious symbols while carrying out their duties. Is Bill 21 a human rights infringement or is it a continuation of Quebec’s evolution as a secular society free of religion in public life?

February 23 – Cities and the Environment
Andrea Khanjin, Conservative MPP and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (Barrie-Innisfil, ON) and Jennifer McKelvie, Toronto City Councillor (Scarborough-Rouge Park, ON) review the Ontario government’s environmental record and discuss what needs to be done to preserve green spaces in Toronto and across Ontario. Can governments work together to find the right balance between economic growth and responsible environmental stewardship?

Political Blind Date is produced by Open Door Co. and Nomad Films, in association with TVO. Creator and Executive Producer is Tom Powers of Open Door Co., alongside Executive Producer, Writer, and Director Mark Johnston and Executive and Series Producer Amanda Handy of Nomad Films. From TVO, Jane Jankovic is Executive Producer of Documentaries, Linda Fong is Independent Production Officer, and John Ferri is Vice President of Current Affairs and Documentaries.

6 x 28 min episodes broadcast each Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET, beginning January 19.

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Uvagut TV Breaks Ground as Canada’s First Inuit-Language TV Channel

From a media release:

At 12:01 a.m. Monday, January 18, Nunavut Independent Television (NITV) makes history when it launches Canada’s first all-Inuit Inuktut TV channel.

Uvagut TV (“Our” TV) will broadcast 168 hours a week of Inuit-produced culture, arts, movies and information programming available nationally to more than 610,000* Shaw Direct customers as well as Arctic Co-ops Cable subscribers in Nunavut and NWT. Other satellite and cable systems will be added over the months ahead. Viewers around the world can stream Uvagut TV online 24/7 at uvagut.tv
(* Subscriber count current as of November 30, 2020)

Breaking ground as the first Indigenous–language channel and, with APTN, only the second Indigenous television service among 762 broadcasting in Canada, Uvagut TV increases total Indigenous-language television programming available to Canadian audiences by 500%.

Uvagut TV builds on the hard work of countless people over the past four decades who dreamed it was possible to deliver Inuktut television to Inuit audiences to preserve, promote and revitalize Inuit culture and language. The team behind Uvagut TV represented Canada at the 2019 Venice Biennale of Art, presenting the Inuit-language film One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk to mark the 2019 United Nations Year of Indigenous Languages.

“For me, Uvagut TV is a dream come true – to see Inuit culture and to hear our language full time on TV,” says Lucy Tulugarjuk, NITV Chair and Executive Director, and director of the Inuit-language children’s film, Tia and Piujuq. “As our elders pass away, we are fighting against time to keep Inuit culture and language alive for our children and grandchildren. TV in Inuktut all day every day is a powerful way to keep a living language for future generations.”

Filmmaker Dr. Zacharias Kunuk O.C., NITV co-founder and Head of Isuma, welcomes the historic breakthrough. “We’ve been independent from day one and after 35 years we finally have our own channel,” he says. “Our ancestors survived by the strength of their wits and their community. These new ways of storytelling can help Inuit survive for another thousand years. People who turn on Uvagut TV any time of day or night will see our own stories in our own language.”

Uvugat TV broadcasts five hours every day of Inuktut children’s programs including Inuit Broadcasting Corporation’s award-winning Takuginai series and programs by Inuvialuit Communications Society; shows by Isuma, Arnait Video, Artcirq, Kingulliit and Taqqut Productions; award-winning Inuktut movies like Atanarjuat The Fast Runner; classic series, documentaries and new programs like Silakut Live From the Floe Edge and Tunnganarnik broadcasting live from Nunavut communities and the remote arctic wilderness. Uvagut TV also will include live coverage of the upcoming Nunavut Impact Review Board Public Hearings into the controversial Baffinland Iron Mine Phase 2 expansion, bringing vital transparent coverage of this issue live to Inuit, national and global audiences.

About Uvagut TV & NITV
Uvagut TV is Canada’s first 24/7 Inuktut television channel created by Nunavut Independent Television Network (NITV) and IsumaTV with programs from Inuit Broadcasting Corporation and other Inuit independent producers hosted on www.isuma.tv. NITV is an Inuit-owned and controlled non-profit Northern Online Distributor and Eligible Broadcaster. Founded in 1991 in Igloolik, Nunavut, as a training centre for Inuit community filmmaking, NITV is dedicated to the enhancement and preservation of Inuktut and Inuit culture through the creation and exhibition of Inuit video art linking Nunavut communities through Internet television channels and local access internet-TV, media training and digital literacy initiatives, and the production and distribution of Inuktut video, film, and now broadcast television.

Uvagut TV gratefully acknowledges launch support provided by the Indigenous Screen Office.

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