Everything about Reality, Lifestyle & Documentary, eh?

Season three of Mind Set Go returns April 1 to AMI-tv

From a media release:

New participants. New Paralympians. New mindset. AMI is proud to announce Season three of Mind Set Go returns Wednesday, April 1, at 8 p.m. Eastern to AMI-tv.

An Anaïd and AMI production in partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee, Mind Set Go‘s newest eight episodes feature Integrated Described Video ensuring they are accessible to viewers who are blind or partially sighted.

The third season of Mind Set Go follows eight Canadians living with a disability, debilitating injury or chronic pain as they transform their physical, mental and emotional health over a 90-day journey of body, mind and soul. As previously announced, lead expert Stephanie Dixon—a 19-time Paralympic medalist—and fellow Paralympians provide encouragement, insight and advice to help the participants face their biggest physical and emotional obstacles heads-on.

From legal blindness, obesity and high blood pressure to neurological disease, Season three of Mind Set Go delves deep into understanding how negative sociological and psychological coping behaviours impact the participants’ health.

Each one-hour episode begins with a participant’s backstory and their struggles to adopt fitness activities while also working on their spiritual well-being. Each participant is there for a reason—whether it’s a need to build strength, gain independence or overcome feelings of low self-worth, they are all uniquely positioned to make a positive change to achieve optimal health. To bookend their journey, each sets a physically demanding goal to illustrate how their lives and attitudes have progressed after three months.

The Paralympians and athletes joining Stephanie Dixon include:

  • Michael Frogley
  • Michelle Stilwell
  • Jessica Tuomela
  • Adam Purdy
  • Michelle Salt
  • Richard Peter
  • Pamela LeJean
  • Shira Stanfield

Season three of Mind Set Go premieres Wednesday, April 1, at 8 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv. The complete first two seasons of Mind Set Go are available to stream online at AMI.ca or on the AMI-tv App.

The series is developed and produced by Anaïd Productions in association with Accessible Media Inc., with the participation of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, Canada Media Fund, Rogers Telefund, CHEK-TV and the Province of British Columbia Film Incentive BC. Assistance was also provided by the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

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CTV Life Channel whips up reboot of classic culinary series Cook Like a Chef

From a media release:

This March, the masterclass is in session as CTV Life Channel enrolls Canada in the ultimate culinary emersion: the reboot of iconic series COOK LIKE A CHEF, Fridays at 8 p.m. ET, beginning March 6. Produced in partnership with Gusto Worldwide Media, the 20-episode, half-hour CTV Life Channel original shows viewers tricks of the trade from some of Canada’s best and brighest chefs.

The award-winning series that ran for 165 episodes from 2001-05 stays true to the original with modern updates including cutting-edge innovations, diverse cultural influences, and an all-new cast.

Bringing their varied culinary backgrounds to the table, COOK LIKE A CHEF’s four new hosts includes former personal chef to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and executive chef for the Beckta restaurant group, Chef Katie Ardington, and head chef of Montréal’s Maison Publique and former protégé of Jamie Oliver, Chef Derek Dammann. As well, Argentinian ONE WORLD KITCHEN host, Chef Natalia Machado, brings her unique flavour to the series, along with owner of Asian-Caribbean Toronto restaurant Patois, Chef Craig Wong. 

In each episode of COOK LIKE A CHEF, the expert chefs focus on a single ingredient and dive deep into cooking techniques, tips, and tricks that give any home cook confidence in the kitchen.

In the series premiere, “Duck ”, (Friday March 6 at 8 p.m. ET), Chef Craig Wong demonstrates techniques for preparing the perfect duck. Chef Wong first prepares the classic Peking Duck using unique techniques including blanching, basting, roasting, and frying. Other creations in this episode include a simple pan-seared Maple Duck Breast with Rosemary and a Jerked Duck Confit.

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The Oland Murder peels back the curtain on a high-profile East Coast death

The story ticks all of the boxes for a true crime fan like myself.

On the morning of July 7, 2011, multi-millionaire Richard Oland, of the Moosehead Brewing family, was found beaten to death in his Saint John, New Brunswick, office. His son, Dennis, was quickly identified as the main suspect and convicted of the crime. After spending 10 months in prison, the verdict was overturned and Dennis was released.

That’s where Deborah Wainwright came in. The award-winning director and Gemini and Canadian Screen Award-nominated producer was there with her team to film everything that happened in the planning for the trail.

Debuting on Wednesday at 9 p.m. on CBC, the four-part The Oland Murder delves into the family, the police, the investigation and the result of the retrial in a truly compelling way. We spoke to Deborah Wainwright about the project.

How did you find out about this in the first place? 
Deborah Wainwright: Richard was murdered in 2011, but it was probably 2014 that I first sort of paid attention to the case. Of course, 2015 is when Making a Murderer hit. Everybody was talking about it. And this case kept popping up on my homepage and I didn’t really pay much attention except that patricide is certainly horrifying. And so when Dennis was convicted, I was like, ‘Yikes, that’s quite the story.’ And I started to pay attention as he was applying for bail, pending appeal, and he kept being turned down for bail, pending an appeal over and over again.

I thought that was curious. So I started reading all of the news articles and watching all the news clips that I could find on the story, trying to figure out why he wasn’t being granted appeal. And eventually, I thought this guy’s going to win his appeal. He’s going to be granted a retrial. So it just kept hopping across my home page and then I thought, ‘Well, wow, if I could find a way to be able to tell this story if he does get granted a retrial and I have the opportunity to follow that story as it’s happening, that would be a really unique situation.’ I can’t think of another case in Canada that did that.

How did you get Dennis to sign on and his mother to sign on? How did you convince them that you were a documentarian, that you weren’t going to take advantage of him?
DW: I’ve been asked that question a lot. And the first time someone asked, ‘How did I get access?’, I was so shocked. I said, ‘Because I asked.’ But I also think there was a little combination of the timing and the fact that I’m from the other side of the country.

Once I was in, they definitely expressed unease for agreeing. They definitely expressed unease with the way the case has been handled in the media. They didn’t feel it had been handled fairly by the media. So I do think that perhaps it was partly because I was from Vancouver and perhaps they hoped that I was coming with more of an open mind because as I say, I didn’t know the Olands. I didn’t know Moosehead. I didn’t know anything about it. I just saw this as an opportunity to tell the story of an ongoing trial.

Do you think maybe part of it was so that they could tell their side of the story?
DW: Absolutely. I mean, no one had been told their side of the story. And I think that’s a decision by the Oland’s to be quiet, to just be stoic and quiet and try and get through it together. Oh, I think it may have bitten them in the butt a little bit because people can only tell the stories that they are given access to. They knew because I’m a documentary filmmaker my goal was to tell the truth and to tell every bit of the story that I can. I can’t be one-sided.

And so they knew that they were going to be some things that were going to be uncomfortable. You mentioned Dennis’ mother, the widow. Having a sit-down interview with her was really something. And this was, gosh, six years later, seven years later, that I interviewed her after her husband had been murdered and her son had gone to prison and was still going through this. She was so brave and what a gift she gave me by allowing me to just sit down and ask her some really uncomfortable questions.

Something that I found really unique in your storytelling was the court transcripts. You couldn’t be in there with a camera so you used animation and it was wonderful.
DW: Oh, thank you so much. I will happily tell you, our animator is our wonderful graphic artist. His name is Vern Giammartino. He’s in Toronto and he is absolutely brilliant and also hilarious. We knew we wanted to animate it because of course, you can’t put a camera in the courtroom. So we talked about making it look like courtroom sketches. We really wanted the viewer to feel like that they had been sitting in the courtroom watching it go on.

What do you think happened?
DW: Of course I have an opinion on the verdict and who the killer is and so on. I and my colleagues sat through every day of the trial and all of the pretrial motions, so we have a lot of information that didn’t even make it into the film. We worked so very hard to craft a story that is balanced and fair and truthful.

The Oland Murder airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Cottage Life TV goes off the grid, braving the cold in all-new Series, Life Below Zero: Canada

From a media release:

Based on the popular BBC Studios format and multi-Emmy® Award-winning reality series, Life Below Zero, the long-awaited Canadian adaptation, Life Below Zero: Canada (8×60’) follows a diverse group of individuals from different cultural backgrounds, including Canadians, First Nations and Swiss trappers, giving viewers an unfiltered glimpse into how they survive in the coldest and most remote regions of Northern Canada. Filmed across the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Northern Ontario, with a crew of six people, 120 days travelling and over 500 hundred hours of footage shot, the eight-part docu-series captures the compelling stories of five ‘off the grid’ Canadians who must navigate through deadly weather, with limited resources, to seek out food, water and shelter. Life Below Zero: Canada airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT, starting March 17, exclusively on Cottage Life during the channel’s eight-week free preview event running from March 2 to May 3 across 10 million Canadian households.

From long, dark, frozen winters to sweltering, bug-infested summers, Life Below Zero: Canada captures the day-to-day trials of people living in unforgiving environments. The stars of the series include Becky Broderick, who left Sudbury, Ontario to start a family in the wilderness; Bentley Kakekayash, who was born in a remote North Caribou Lake First Nations community only knowing life in the bush; “Pike” Mike Harrison, a self-professed “lone-wolf”, who has spent the last two decades living in isolation in a cabin he built himself; and best friends Kim Pasche and Pierre-Yves Duc who moved from Switzerland 10 years ago to live off the land in the Yukon.

Life Below Zero: Canada is based on the original format, Life Below Zero, licensed and distributed by BBC Studios. The series is produced by Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company. Paul Kilback and Tara Elwood are the Series Producers. Paul Kilback, Victor Kushmaniuk and Mark Stevenson serve as Directors. Michael Kot, Betty Orr and Paul Kilback serve as Executive Producers. Overseeing the series for Cottage Life TV is Sam Linton, Head of Original Content for Blue Ant Media.

Meet the Canadian Stars of Life Below Zero: Canada:

Becky Broderick 
Location: Mendenhall River, Yukon Territory Łutsël K’e, Northwest Territories
At 30 years-old, Becky left her suburban life in Sudbury, Ontario to move to the remote north and settle down roots. Becky lives with her husband, newborn daughter and her beloved team of sled dogs. They live off grid and Becky aims to ‘up’ their game to be completely self-reliant. Becky wants to raise her daughter to be “a self-sufficient badass.”

Bentley Kakekayash
Location: Weagamow Lake, Northern Ontario (a remote North Caribou Lake First Nations community)
At only 25 years-old, Bentley Kakekayash is an experienced outdoorsman who has been working and living in the bush since the day he was born. Living in a remote First Nations community, Bentley works the same trap line that his ancestors did before him.

“Pike” Mike Harrison
Location: Lindberg Landing, NWT (670km west of Yellowknife)
Mike has been living alone in the woods for over 20 years and it’s left him extremely industrious… and a little loopy.  Mike is a professional handyman, constantly upgrading his cabin and gear with items he sources from the wilderness. Mike is a regular “MacGyver” when it comes to builds and general wilderness survival.

Kim Pasche and Pierre-Yves Duc
Location: Silent Lake, Yukon
Best friends Kim and Pierre are Swiss born hunters, trappers and bushmen who have lived in the Yukon for 10 years. They have been working one of the remote trap-lines in the Yukon Territories for the last six years.

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All-new season of Makeful TV’s Handmade Hotels debuts February 26

From a media release:

Step inside some of Canada’s most creative, inspiring and thoughtfully designed short-term rentals in the all-new season of Handmade Hotels (6×30’). Hosted by renovation specialist and design enthusiast, Katie Herbert, the Makeful original series follows ambitious homeowners who harness their creativity and DIY skills to revamp spaces for short term rentals. Handmade Hotels uncovers hidden gems, from a 1970s-themed chalet to a remote treehouse-inspired cottage and a former refrigerator factory turned high-tech loft, the spaces are as diverse as the holiday goers themselves. Season 2 of Handmade Hotels airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT, starting Feb. 26 on Makeful, during the channel’s eight-week nationwide free preview event, running until April 5.

In every episode, Katie Herbert explores three short-term rentals, each have something different to offer visitors, such as creative ways to accommodate large groups and children, eco-friendly homes, high-tech renovations, resort-style glamping and restored historic homes. The series is packed with unexpected ideas and inventive flourishes.

The first two episodes include:

Episode 1 – Take a Chance
Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
Katie discovers three short-term rentals that have made some big design decisions – with even bigger results. These extraordinary rentals include a bright cottage playhouse in the city filled with vibrant colours and textures, a hundred-year-old farmhouse transformed into a groovy 70’s-themed chalet and two deluxe glamping experiences on a rural farm.

Episode 2 – New Experiences
Wednesday, March 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
Katie explores three vacation rentals that let visitors step out of their comfort zone.  First up is a secret communal space in the city where guests can join pop-up concerts and secret dinner parties with local artists. Then, Katie visits a rustic loft above an active barn, where guests can get to know the resident horses. Finally, Katie travels to two off-grid experiments in Tiny Living, including a Scandinavian-themed Tiny Home and a converted silver retro trailer.

Handmade Hotels is produced by Architect-Films, in association with Makeful and distributed globally by Blue Ant Media. Jo Virgo is the Series Producer with Tanya Linton and Mike Sheerin serving as Executive Producers. Brian Quigley is the Director and Ryan West is the Story Editor.

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