Everything about Trickster, eh?

APTN announces fall 2021 lineup

From a media release:

This fall, APTN is bringing the heat with new and returning shows that celebrate the many sides of Indigenous lives. From Indigenous change makers and visionaries, to the rustic kitchens of global Indigenous chefs, to survivalists, supernatural encounters and the raw drama of daily life, APTN is here to deliver straight-up Indigenous excellence. You’re going to laugh, you’re going to cry, and you’re going to get hungry, so bust out the napkins and get ready to eat!

APTN continues to be committed to showcasing Indigenous languages and cultures while providing engaging educational content for television viewers. For those who consume programming online, the network’s growing Indigenous-focused streaming service, APTN lumi, will have lots of new binge-worthy content.

The new season will roll out on APTN from September to January and will include the following programs.

Mouthwatering entertainment

Every Tuesday night, tune in for a mouth-watering celebration of food. Learn about Indigenous cuisine on the fan favourite series, Moosemeat & Marmalade and on brand-new programs:

New: Wild Game – Season 1 (Premieres Sept. 7, 2021)
Chef Rich Francis is an advocate for decolonizing food and has one goal in life: to reinvent Indigenous cuisine. Rich visits First Nations across Canada to hunt and gather only the best ingredients nature has to offer. The result: imaginative, improvised, Indigenous cooking that combines traditional practices with modern methods, with the most creative and tasty results.

New: On Country Kitchen – Season 1 (Premieres Sept. 7, 2021)
Comic Derek Nannup and one-of a-kind Indigenous Chef Mark, tour around the beautiful South-West of Western Australia, seeking out some of the best local produce in the world, and meeting some characters along the way.

New: Easy Eats – Season 1 (Premieres Sept. 7, 2021)
A unique culinary experience featuring presenter, Hera Te Kurapa, as she creates a rustic, but delicious fine dining menu filled with mouth-watering dishes.

Thrilling docuseries

Returning: Skindigenous – Season 3 (Premieres Sept. 15, 2021)
Profiling some of the most talented Indigenous tattoo artists in the world, this season highlights more Canadian artists than ever before. The adventure once again takes us deep into various Indigenous communities from around the world using the art of tattoo as a lens.

New: Michif Country – Season 1 (Premieres Sept. 12, 2021)
This documentary series explores the unique landscape, culture and language of the Michif community of Saint Laurent, Man. In this series, Indigenous celebrities embark on traditional hunting, trapping and fishing expeditions with the locals. The result is a comedic, exhilarating and inspiring exchange of culture and knowledge. ​

New: Life Below Zero: Canada – Season 1 (Premieres Oct. 31, 2021)
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. Follow the cast as they survive in the coldest and most remote regions of Northern Canada.

French-language content

Returning: Sans Réserve – Season 3 (French Premiere Sept. 6, 2021)
In a cozy and conducive atmosphere, the host Charles Bender welcomes the secrets of his guests with warmth and concern. This French-language series lifts the veil on Indigenous and non-Indigenous personalities who have a profound social, political and cultural impact.

Exploring the supernatural

Returning: Spirit Talker – Season 2 (Premieres Sept. 15, 2021)
Follow Mi’kmaq medium Shawn Leonard as he travels from coast to coast using his psychic abilities to connect the living with the dead and bring hope, healing, and closure to Indigenous communities.

New: Trickster – Season 1 (Premieres Sept. 16, 2021)
Showcasing a vast amount of Indigenous talent, the show follows Jared who is a teenager in the town of Kitimat, B.C. Like his mom and dad, Jared uses drugs and alcohol to escape the daily grind of poverty, violence and abuse. Jared starts seeing weird things like talking ravens, doppelgängers and monsters. To his relief, and terror, he isn’t crazy: he’s inherited magical abilities from his mom and someone he didn’t know existed: his biological dad.

Returning: Red Earth Uncovered – Season 3 (Premieres Sept. 15, 2021)
Tom Jackson and Shayla Stonechild lead the investigation of archaeological discoveries and ancient myths to uncover how Indigenous Peoples may have played a role in historical events and legends.

Returning: The Other Side – Season 7 (Premieres Oct. 28, 2021)
Follow the talented trio helping spirits and their loved ones find peace under the guidance of an Indigenous Elder. Opening the door to the spirit world can have unexpected results. That’s why the team of The Other Side approach every investigation with respect. Intuitive Jeff Richards, researcher Erin Goodpipe and Spirit Guide Tom Charles know that they won’t escape unchanged – and neither will viewers. This year features an episode inside APTN’s head office in Winnipeg.

Big drama

New: Unsettled – Season 1 (Premieres Sept. 10, 2021)
When urban Indigenous power couple Darryl and Rayna Keetch uproot their family and abandon their affluent life in Toronto and move home to the rez, everything they’ve worked for is compromised, including their marriage.

Returning: Tribal – Season 2 (Premieres Oct. 21, 2021)
Tribal returns where interim Tribal Chief Samantha Woodburn (Jessica Matten) attempts to overcome political red tape and must also prove herself amongst the old-white-boys club of the Metro Police. She navigates politics and procedure as she clashes with her partner, Chuck “Buke” Bukansky (Brian Markinson), a seasoned but broken-down Metro Police detective.


Canadian Screen Award nominees: Joel Oulette and Peter Mooney

It’s Canadian Screen Awards week and we’re celebrating all week long in a very special way. We’ll feature exclusive interviews with the actors and creative folks who are nominated in the television and web series categories.

Today, it’s Joel Oulette, nominated for 2021 Best Lead Actor, Drama Series for Trickster; and Peter Mooney, nominated for 2021 Best Lead Actor, Drama Series for Burden of Truth.

Joel Oulette, nominated for 2021 Best Lead Actor, Drama Series for Trickster

How do you feel the Canadian TV industry is faring during these pandemic times?
I feel more people are streaming and binge watching a lot of TV shows due to this pandemic – hopefully Trickster on CBC Gem is one of them. I have respect for the industry during this time – they are really taking in all the protocols, making sure we are each doing a part and still creating diversified magic.

How have you fared during these pandemic times?
It is difficult, with not only the pandemic but also the news surrounding the second season of Trickster. However, things are starting to look a little bit brighter. I am currently in Tkaronto (Toronto) isolating while I try to stay healthy and be fit skateboarding and making my own home gym. I have to admit though, Xbox comes in handy while isolating, also auditioning and studying my script for my next TV family series, Ruby & The Well.

Do you think Canadian TV is stronger than ever when it comes to telling our stories?
I feel like it’s taken a small step into the right direction. I feel like there still needs to be work done, to create more jobs and room for Indigenous people, whether it is directing, acting, casting. I would like to see more diversity and inclusivity with not only casting but behind the scenes. The auditions I am doing now are a lot stronger than back in the day, though. I am looking forward to Canadian TV honouring the traditional territories, acknowledging the true history and the stories that have made Canada today, I hope to see more Indigenous youth behind and on the screen. There are over 500 nations in Canada alone.

Does an award nomination/win serve as validation for you or is it just a nice nod that you’re on the right track, career or choice-wise?
I am so grateful and humbled for the recognition and for the nomination. It clarifies that the hard work, the perseverance, and commitment is worth it. I wouldn’t be here without my family and many mentors that were on Trickster. My family is the most important thing in my life. I am beyond grateful for them always being on my side and helping push me in the right direction. I seek validation in how I feel about my own work, within my own support system and community. The rest is just a bonus.

What will you wear during the Canadian Screen Awards?
Something comfy but something that looks good. I didn’t bring a lot of clothes to Toronto so I’m going to have to start looking online. I’m always wearing my sister’s matriarch necklace, though.

What will you eat/drink/snack on during the Canadian Screen Awards?
I would probably treat myself and order something nice off DoorDash. There is this nice pizza place called Pi Co. so I’ll probably get like three different kinds with truffle oil. Make some popcorn on the side. Delicious.

Is there someone who served as a mentor when you were starting out in this industry that you’d give a special shout-out to in your acceptance speech if given the chance?
I would have to say my mom. She was the one to get me in my first film when I was five, as an extra playing dead from smallpox in the film Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and many more. She was the thrusters to my rocket. She would do anything for her kids, and I have to give my all for her putting me in this industry.

Peter Mooney, nominated for 2021 Best Lead Actor, Drama Series for Burden of Truth

How do you feel the Canadian TV industry is faring during these pandemic times?
I don’t know the statistics, but I feel like it’s been a banner year for Canadian TV. In terms of recognition (Schitt’s Creek being the most notable example) and in terms of interest and production. Maybe it’s because our industry is smaller and nimbler than the one to the south, but it felt like we were up and running pretty quickly and, from my experience, safely. There’s so much in flux still while we wait out what is hopefully the last months of this pandemic, but when the dust all settles, I think Canadian production will be better off than before.

How have you fared during these pandemic times?
Like everyone, I’m ready for it to be over. My daughter just had her second pandemic birthday – there’s so much uneaten cake in the fridge. But I’ve been incredibly fortunate throughout. We shot the final season of Burden of Truth, and despite the limitations, managed to tell our best story yet. I am ready for that vaccine, though! I’m one age bracket away and walking around with my sleeve rolled up in anticipation.

Do you think Canadian TV is stronger than ever when it comes to telling our stories?
These things come in waves, but we are certainly at a crest now, and I think there’s more to come. There is so much content, and while that might make it difficult for a lot of shows to find a large audience, it gives a platform to so many more voices than before. And, because people can find content that really speaks to them, there’s real passion and engagement from the audience. I feel like there’s real confidence in our stories now. We don’t have to genericize our world – Toronto can be Toronto and not City X, and increasingly Winnipeg can be Winnipeg and Halifax, Halifax – it’s that specificity that draws people in. And it’s a double win. We get to tell our own stories and see ourselves reflected back, but we also get to be a part of this rich world of international television. When I think of what I watched over the last year, it wasn’t only shows from Canada and the U.S., but shows from Ireland and Israel and all over the world. It’s nice to be a small part of that international exchange of storytelling.

Does an award nomination/win serve as validation for you or is it just a nice nod that you’re on the right track, career or choice-wise?
That might be easier to answer if television was a more singular pursuit like painting or distance running, but it’s such a collaborative process that I’m really only the proxy nominee for a whole bunch of people. It’s a performance category, but that performance wouldn’t exist without the writing, editing, or the scene partner (thanks Kristin!). It is validating to see the show recognized, and it does make me think I’m on the right track, in the sense that these things can’t happen without working with great people, and I hope I keep getting the opportunity to do so.

What will you wear during the Canadian Screen Awards?
The top half of the suit I got for last year. Still got the tags on.

What will you eat/drink/snack on during the Canadian Screen Awards?
I recently moved to Prince Edward County, and one of my favourite breweries, Slake, is just a few fields away. They came out with a killer IPA called Slow Slow, but it sold out almost immediately. Finger’s crossed they’ll have a fresh batch in time for the awards, and if so, that. Maybe some take out from Bermuda or Judy’s BBQ too – win or lose, I plan to take the night off dishes.

Is there someone who served as a mentor when you were starting out in this industry that you’d give a special shout-out to in your acceptance speech if given the chance?
Sherry Bie took over as the artistic director of my old theatre school the year I started. She really eschewed the whole “break one down to build them up” method of teaching, acting in favour of a more holistic and experimental approach. She’s a wonderful woman. Plus, she let me in. I’d decided at the time that if I didn’t get into theatre school, I’d be a painter – and I am a pretty mediocre painter, so I can only imagine how that would have turned out.

Stream the Canadian Screen Awards on the Academy websiteTwitter and YouTube.

Check out the list of nominees.

Thursday, May 20, 2021
7 p.m. ET: Canadian Screen Awards – Cinematic Arts, Presented by Telefilm Canada, Supported by Cineplex (Narrator: Nahéma Ricci)

8 p.m. ET: 2021 Canadian Screen Awards (Narrators: Stephan James and Karine Vanasse)


Still Standing, Schitt’s Creek and Trickster top 2021 WGC Screenwriting Awards

From a media release:

In a funny, engaging and lively virtual ceremony, held this evening, host Emma Hunter announced the winners of the 25th-annual Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards.

Some winners of 2021’s top prizes include Daniel Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Tracey Deer & Meredith Vuchnich (Beans), Penny Gummerson (Trickster), and Jonny Harris, Fraser Young, Graham Chittenden and Steve Dylan (Still Standing).

Special Awards were also presented to Kate Hewlett, winner of the Sondra Kelly Award, and Travis McDonald, who was awarded the Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize. Morwyn Brebner, creator and showrunner of hit CBC series Coroner, received the night’s final prize, the WGC Showrunner Award.

The 26th Annual WGC Screenwriting Awards are set for April 25, 2022 at Toronto’s Koerner Hall, where the WGC will also celebrate the 25th anniversary milestone. In the meantime, 2021’s presentation will be posted to the WGC YouTube Channel.

Odd Squad Mobile Unit, “Slow Your Roll” I Written by Mark De Angelis

Schitt’s Creek, “Happy Ending” I Written by Daniel Levy

Still Standing, “Rankin Inlet” I Written by Jonny Harris, Fraser Young, Graham Chittenden, Steve Dylan

Trickster, “Episode 105” I Story by Michelle Latimer and Tony Elliott and Penny Gummerson, Teleplay by Penny Gummerson

Beans I Story by Tracey Deer, Screenplay by Tracey Deer and Meredith Vuchnich

Gourmet Detective: Roux the Day I Written by Becky Southwell & Dylan Neal

Dino Dana, “The Sound of Dinosaurs” I Written by J.J. Johnson

Try to Fly I Written by Simone Swan & The Affolter Brothers

Utopia Falls, “The World is Yours” I Written by Joseph Mallozzi & R.T. Thorne

Kate Hewlett

Magnificent I Written by Travis McDonald

Morwyn Brebner


Link: After loss of shows like Schitt’s Creek, experts say CBC ‘needs more great Canadian storytelling’

From Victoria Ahearn of The Canadian Press:

Link: After loss of shows like Schitt’s Creek, experts say CBC ‘needs more great Canadian storytelling’
Tuesday’s Canadian Screen Award nominations featured many gains for the CBC but also highlighted its massive losses. Continue reading.


CBC cancels Trickster

From a media release:

We have had many conversations over the last few weeks with a view to continuing production on a second season of Trickster. Those conversations included producers, writers, actors, and the author of the books on which Trickster is based.

Fully respecting everyone’s perspective, season two will not move forward as planned, unfortunately.

CBC is extremely proud we were able to bring this compelling story to the screen and are grateful to the many talented individuals who made it possible.

We are as committed as ever to telling other important Indigenous stories, of which there are many. In fact, CBC currently has eight such scripted projects in development and we look forward to sharing more details about what’s next in the coming months.

Statement from author Eden Robinson:

“One of the best parts of 2020 was watching the young, Indigenous cast soar. The outpouring of support for the first season was magical. I’m deeply grateful that CBC and Sienna respect this situation. It gives me hope that future collaborations with Indigenous creatives can be done with care and integrity.”