Everything about Reality, Lifestyle & Documentary, eh?

Just in time for spring cleaning, The BIG Downsize, Season 3 premieres on VisionTV, April 5

Tell Tale Productions’ The BIG Downsize, Season 3 sees order meet chaos when professional organizer, Jane Veldhoven takes on two Nova Scotia households with too much stuff. The five-part documentary series premieres nationally on VisionTV, Monday, April 5 at 9 p.m. ET and runs until May 3.

Season 3 of The BIG Downsize, an exploration of why we love our possessions so much and the emotional baggage and stress that comes crashing down when there is no choice but to let go, sees Veldhoven helping freewheeling artist Doug Bamford prepare to move from a 3000-square-foot Victorian house in Lunenburg to an apartment and Dartmouth’s Sparks family downsize from their large family home to a much smaller one.

Host of this popular TV series, Veldhoven is the only Professional Organizer in Canada who is also a Certified Interior Decorator. An industry leader for the past 18 years, she has served on the National Board of Professional Organizers in Canada and is a founding member of the Nova Scotia Chapter. With a thriving business, Get Organized by Design, based in Halifax, Veldhoven is Past Chair of the Nova Scotia Interior Decorators’ Association and was a columnist with Herald Homes for 10 years. For more information on Veldhoven, visit: GetOrganizedByDesign.ca.

The BIG Downsize was produced by Edward Peill and Erin Oakes from Halifax’s award-winning Tell Tale Productions Inc., directed by Pamela Gallant, and written and story edited by Josh MacDonald. The series was produced in association with VisionTV with support from The Nova Scotia Film & TV Production Incentive and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit program.

For more information on The BIG Downsize, visit: TheBIGDownsize.
Follow: #TheBIGDownsize #JaneVeldhoven #GetOrganizedByDesign

About Tell Tale Productions
Tell Tale Productions Inc. develops and produces one-off documentaries and non-scripted series that resonate with audiences and have long lasting global appeal. The company has produced award-winning content for the CBC, Documentary Channel, Discovery, History, ZoomerMedia, AMI, NDR, and Super Channel. Recent productions include Spirit Talker, Drag Kids, The Big Downsize, and The Power of Play. Tell Tale also acts as a service producer for numerous series including top rated History series The Curse of Oak Island. Our award-winning productions have been viewed by millions of people in more than 100 countries on dozens of broadcasters including ABC, Amazon Prime, Al Jazeera, France 5, HBO Europe, ORF, Red Bull, NHK, and YLE.

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Production underway on new CTV Life Channel original culinary series, Mary Makes It Easy

From a media release:

CTV Life Channel, in association with Boat Rocker Studios, Unscripted through Proper Television, announced today that production has begun on new culinary series MARY MAKES IT EASY. Hosted by Canada’s culinary sweetheart Mary Berg, Canadian Screen Award-winner for Best Host, Lifestyle for CTV Original series MARY’S KITCHEN CRUSH, the new series for CTV Life Channel consists of 25 half-hour episodes, including a holiday special.

For Berg, cooking is life. Making and serving delicious food for friends and family is how Berg expresses her love for them. It’s also how she connects with fans and followers around the world who might need some help with their own cooking adventures.

Filming in Toronto at Berg’s home kitchen, MARY MAKES IT EASY follows Berg as she provides tips, tricks, and recipes to solve every day cooking woes. From ideas on what to make with a fridge full of leftovers, to lackluster chicken emergencies, Berg takes viewers through simple solutions, and leaves them with a newfound confidence to overcome any challenges they encounter on their culinary journey.

As part of the new series, Berg wants to know what cooking questions Canadians need answered. With submissions now open at AskMary.ca, people have the opportunity to send their inquiries to Berg, with some questions to be featured on MARY MAKES IT EASY.

Berg has spent most of her life cooking and baking for those she loves, and building a strong appreciation for the connective powers of beautiful, home-cooked food. Berg is the Canadian Screen Award-winner for Best Host, Lifestyle for MARY’S KITCHEN CRUSH, a CTV Original series. MARY’S KITCHEN CRUSH is a Canadian Screen Award-winner for Best Lifestyle Program or Series, and is currently sold in more than 100 countries. Berg is also the Season 3 winner of CTV’s MASTERCHEF CANADA, as well as a cooking expert on YOUR MORNING, THE SOCIAL, and THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW on CTV. Best-selling author of Kitchen Party: Effortless Recipes for Every Occasion, Berg is currently working on her second cookbook, which is set to be released in fall 2021.

MARY MAKES IT EASY is produced by Boat Rocker Studios, Unscripted through Proper Television, in association with CTV. Cathie James, Allison Grace, and Lesia Capone serve as Executive Producers and David Donohue as Series Producer.

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Season 3 of T+E’s Haunted Hospitals returns

From a media release:

T+E’s hit original series Haunted Hospitals (13×60’) returns for a third season with chilling stories of paranormal activity inside hospitals, asylums and long-term care homes. Featuring expert insight from paranormal investigators Morgan Knudsen, Christopher Brewer and Richard Estep, the new installment sees doctors and nurses stalked by tormented spirits; patients unlocking portals to other dimensions; and demonic entities lurking in corridors. These encounters are part of a paranormal pattern experienced by medical professionals and patients across Canada and around the globe. The documentary series takes viewers down spooky paths leading to unexpected twists, with shocking and hair-raising otherworldly encounters at every turn. Personal testimonies keep the storytelling authentic with a first-person production approach immersing audiences in fear. The world broadcast premiere of Haunted Hospitals airs Wednesday, March 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT exclusively on T+E in Canada, during the channel’s nationwide free preview event running until May 2 across more than 8 million Canadian households.

The first two episodes of Haunted Hospitals, Season 3 include:

Episode 1 – Dance of Death, The Feeder, Swept Away
March 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
The series opener shows viewers Marlon Brandon, a nurse who begins experiencing the ghost of a young man who died while fighting for social justice that has returned to the hospital seeking closure. A near death experience for Emily Walsh, a patient, opens her up to the unknown dangers of a ghastly creature and Stephanie Ferreira, a pregnant woman, falls ill only to encounter the spirits of an anguished mother and the otherworldly cries of a baby in distress at the hospital.

Episode 2 – Soul Taker, The Iron Lung, Water Problems
March 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
In this episode, a personal support worker, Paige Mitchell, is on the night shift tending to an elderly patient when she is stalked by an energy-sucking entity. Christina Anderson, a nurse in a Catholic hospital, encounters the tormented soul of a nun and Kenny Irish is terrorized and chased through an abandoned psychiatric hospital while on a service call.

Haunted Hospitals is produced by BGM Inc. Robin Bicknell is the Series Producer. Bruno Dubé, Marlo Miazga, Sean Connoly and Corinna Lehr serve as Executive Producers. Robin Bicknell and Patrick Hepburn are Directors. Sara Soligo is the Story/Post Producer and Juan Montalvo is the Director of Photography.

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Preview: HGTV’s Farmhouse Facelift updates history-filled homes

Kudos to the folks at HGTV Canada for debuting two new—and noteworthy—renovation series in the past several weeks. The first, Rock Solid Builds, follows a family-run business in small-town Newfoundland. The second debuts Wednesday.

Farmhouse Facelift, bowing Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the specialty network, catches up with siblings Carolyn Wilbrink and Billy Pearson as they update farmhouses in Southern Ontario. Not only is it nice to see homes being worked on outside of the Toronto area—Paris, Canning, St. Thomas, and Zorra are among the locations in Season 1—but Wilbrink and Pearson are charming and know their stuff.

Wilbrink, who owns CW Design and Co. with her husband, focuses mainly on the interior designs while Pearson wields the hammer on the projects, though both tackle many jobs.

“Billy and I collaborate on a lot of our work,” Wilbrink says during a phone interview. “And when we go in I always look at a space as a whole. Whatever I do is such a blend of keeping the old with the new. If we tear down a wall, Billy is peeling off all of the trim, hardware, and everything else to put it back up on the new walls.”

That’s evident in Episode 1 when Pearson re-uses old trim in a farmhouse kitchen to highlight a new pantry and repurposes materials for a drop-dead kitchen island.

“If something has lasted 150 years—and a lot of these houses are 150 years old older—why would you throw it out when you can re-use it and keep it beautiful and update with paint?” Pearson says. “People buy a farmhouse based on that charm and character and they don’t want to lose all of that history in a renovation.”

Farmhouse Facelift airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

Image courtesy of Corus Entertainment.

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The power of pop music is uncovered in new CTV original series This is Pop

From a media release:

From Auto-Tune to boy bands to the rise of country pop, CTV’s all-new original documentary series THIS IS POP dives deep into some of the most pivotal moments in pop music history over the past seven decades. Produced by Banger Films, the eight-part docu-series features exclusive interviews with the biggest names in music – including Shania Twain, Boyz II Men, and T-Pain – and explores their impact on the industry and pop culture. THIS IS POP airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT, beginning March 6, on CTV, and the all-new CTV.ca and CTV app.

Each 60-minute instalment of THIS IS POP is directed by an award-winning Canadian filmmaker – such as Jared Raab, Simon Ennis, and Lisa Rideout – who bring their own style and voiceto one common goal: to look at how these seminal moments unfolded, and left long-lasting legacies on pop music and culture which continue until today.

The eight game-changing moments that THIS IS POP explores include:

“Auto-Tune” (Saturday, March 6 at 10 p.m. ET) – Love it or hate it, Auto-Tune has changed pop music. From Cher’s “Believe” to Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown,” the sound has penetrated the globe and revolutionized music since its invention in 1997. Some say the pitch-correction technology has ruined music, while others have found fame by using the tool creatively. Tracing Auto-Tune’s roots to predecessors like the synthesizer, the good, the bad, and the ugly of this game-changing technology is revealed, grounded in a personal account of Auto-Tune’s most famous user, T-Pain. This episode also features interviews with Auto-Tune inventor Dr. Andy Hildebrand, British record producer Ken Scott (producer and engineer for The Beatles and some of David Bowie’s biggest albums), and synthesizer pioneer Suzanne Ciani. Directed by Jared Raab (NIRVANNA THE BAND THE SHOW).

“Hail Britpop!” (Saturday, March 13 at 10 p.m. ET) – Britpop. The word can elicit an eye roll, an itch to get on the dance floor, or a sudden urge to cry and sing “Wonderwall.” In the early ‘90s, when America was hooked on grunge, The Brits retaliated with a return to catchy, witty, and downright fun pop, speaking to their own stories and cultural roots. This musical zeitgeist known as “Britpop” went far behind the headlines of “Oasis vs. Blur” – bands like Elastica, Echobelly, Pulp, Lush, and Suede became international exports with a unique sound. With musical scenes in both London and Manchester, Britpop was the “perfect storm” of creative songwriting, eclectic personalities, and cultural forces behind some of the catchiest tunes on the planet. Featuring interviews with Blur’s Alex James and Dave Rowntree, Skin from Skunk Anansie, and Creation Records’ Alan McGee (who discovered Oasis). Directed by Reginald Harkema (Monkey Warfare).

“Stockholm Syndrome” (Saturday, March 20 at 10 p.m. ET) – Since 1974, when a little-known group named ABBA won Eurovision’s song contest with their track “Waterloo,” Sweden has been a global force in exporting pop music. Cassette players and bedroom walls have been filled with the likes of Roxette, Ace of Base, and Robyn, and ‘90s playlists featuring Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and *NSYNC would be obsolete without the work of Swedes Denniz Pop and Max Martin. Today, Swedish producers and songwriters continue to be the powerhouses behind the biggest pop stars. Featuring interviews with ABBA’s Benny Andersson, Ace of Base’s Ulf Ekberg, and The Backstreet Boys’ Brian Littrell, this episode explores how one – Scandinavian country came to dominate global pop music. Directed by Jared Raab.

“The Boyz II Men Effect” (Saturday, March 27 at 10 p.m. ET) – Before Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and 98 Degrees, there was a “boy band” from Philadelphia called Boyz II Men that ruled the charts. With their incredible vocal harmonies and preppy-cool style, Boyz II Men became the “soundtrack to our lives” with hits like “End of The Road”, “I’ll Make Love To You”, “Motown Philly,” and “One Sweet Day” – heard at weddings, proms, karaoke bars, and funerals alike. Going back to the band’s humble beginnings in Philadelphia, this episode pays homage to the influential R&B group who set the template for ‘90s boy bands. Featuring interviews with band members Nate Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, GRAMMY® AWARD-winning producer and musician Babyface, and Nick Lachey. Directed by Chelsea McMullan.

“When Country Goes Pop” (Saturday, April 3 at 10 p.m. ET) – It’s a tale as old as time – a country song goes “pop” and country music fans protest. From Dolly Parton to Shania Twain to Lil Nas X, the scrutiny around what makes a song “country” has been a raging debate that shows no signs of slowing down. Featuring renowned Canadian musician Orville Peck, pivotal and controversial moments of the Country Pop genre are examined in this instalment, as artists including Brandi Carlile and Twain herself share their stories to help demonstrate why country music has such a fetish with authenticity. Directed by Simon Ennis.

“The Brill Building in 4 Songs” (Saturday, April 10 at 10 p.m. ET) – New York City’s Brill Building and pop music go together like bread and butter, or in this case, like King n’ Goffin, Leiber n’ Stoller, or Barry n’ Kim. In the 1950s and 60s, songwriters, record producers, and wannabe pop stars flocked to 1619 Broadway in New York with dreams of churning out the next big hit. Full of small rooms with upright pianos, The Brill Building was labelled a “song-factory”, but its true spirit grew out of a community that collaborated and challenged each other to achieve greatness. The result would culminate in an incredible musical era known as “The Brill Building Sound” and would define pop music to this day, delivering hits like “Leader of The Pack,” “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” and “Sugar Sugar.” Featuring interviews with singer Andy Kim, Neil Sedaka, Steven Van Zandt, and singer-songwriter Linda Perry. Directed by Chelsea McMullan.

“What Can A Song Do?” (Saturday, April 17 at 10 p.m. ET) – For decades, musicians have been using music as their weapon of choice against social injustice, discrimination and marginalization. From Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” to Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” a song is one of the most powerful ways to transmit a message to a large audience. This episode explores the idea that music actually be a catalyst for change, with musicians like Chuck D, Arlo Guthrie, and Hozier sharing their unique approach to writing about injustice. Directed by Lisa Rideout.

“Festival Rising” (Saturday, April 24 at 10 p.m. ET) – There is no right of passage quite like the music festival. Millions of people attend them each year and now more than ever they infiltrate our culture from “festival wear” clothing lines to playlists. Taking a journey from ‘60s counterculture to modern-day “selfie” culture, the evolution of the music festival is explored to examine deeper ideas about the importance of collective experiences, and they act as a cultural mirror that reflect interests and ideals. Focusing on some of the most iconic festivals in history including Monterey Pop, Glastonbury, The US Festival, Woodstock 99, and Bonnaroo, accounts from Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady, Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew, and Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke bring to life to all the sights and sounds of the pop festival. Directed by Dylan Reibling.

THIS IS POP is produced by Banger Films in association with CTV. For Banger, Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen are Executive Producers and Amanda Burt is Series Producer.

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