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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault to keynote at BANFF 2021

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is proud to announce that the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, will speak on Thursday, June 17, participating in a virtual keynote conversation during the Festival’s MARKETPLACE WEEK (June 14-18, 2021), which kicks off a month of curated online programming.

Now in its 42nd year, BANFF is Canada’s international conference and marketplace where new business partnerships are forged and new TV, film, and digital media projects are ignited. BANFF’s inbound trade mission model has a proven record of success at scale, bringing the Canadian screen industry and its innovative businesses together with large numbers of global production partners and investors, resulting in the launch of significant new business ventures and new screen-based projects that are “green-lighted” at home and abroad.

“In these difficult times, we couldn’t be more proud to support a creative, dynamic and innovative industry that brings culture to the forefront. The Banff World Media Festival is a must-attend international marketplace where the world’s largest broadcasters and digital media companies discuss issues and trends, forge relationships, and provide unique networking opportunities. New projects and co-productions take shape at this festival, allowing Canadian creativity to shine and spread to audiences across the globe.” —The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

With delegates from more than 50 countries, BANFF attracts the world’s top creators, producers, showrunners, talent, networks, studios, streamers, press and media companies. The 2021 edition of the Festival is poised to build on the success of last year’s virtual event, with a purpose-built online platform that will connect the global media industry in real-time to ignite new projects and support business development.

“This is a watershed year with monumental challenges and paradigm change shaping the present and future for Canadian and international cultural and media industries” said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director, Banff World Media Festival. “As the hub for important conversations that effect action and point the way forward, we are thrilled to host Minister Guilbeault at BANFF 2021. We look forward to working with the Canadian government and all industry stakeholders at this year’s Festival and beyond.”

Taking place online from June 14 – July 16, the Banff World Media Festival attracts the world’s top creators, producers, showrunners, talent, networks, studios, streamers, press, and media companies. The 2021 virtual edition of the Festival is poised to build on the success of last year’s virtual event, with an all-new purpose-built online platform that will facilitate thousands of real-time meetings, chat, personalized video suites, a project lounge, multiple events, keynotes, master classes and panels as well as a thriving online delegate lounge. It is the world’s most effective online market for development, co-productions, and business development, connecting the global media industry to ignite new projects and support new ventures.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SONDRA KELLY AWARD
Kate Hewlett

JIM BURT SCREENWRITING PRIZE
Magnificent I Written by Travis McDonald

SHOWRUNNER AWARD
Morwyn Brebner

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CBC welcomes Wes Hall to Dragons’ Den for Season 16; Jim Treliving and Lane Merrifield depart

From a media release:

CBC today announced that a new Dragon will enter the Den for Season 16 of DRAGONS’ DEN. Wes Hall, Executive Chairman and Founder of Kingsdale Advisors and Founder and Chairman of The BlackNorth Initiative, brings a diverse range of expertise to the Den. Recently named to Maclean’s Power List ranking of the 50 most powerful people in Canada, Hall is an innovator and entrepreneur who is revered as one of Canada’s preeminent power brokers.

Hall strives to be a positive influence for emerging entrepreneurs. As a child in rural Jamaica, he was raised by his grandmother; he moved to Canada at 16, and set himself on track to become one of the most influential business people in Canada. As the Executive Chairman and Founder of Kingsdale Advisors, he has delivered an unparalleled track record of success leading some of the highest profile deals and activist campaigns in North America. Most recently, Hall made headlines when he founded The BlackNorth Initiative, which he believes can end anti-Black systemic racism by using a “business-first mindset” to create more opportunities for Blacks and all of those in the BIPOC community across Canada.

Hall joins Arlene Dickinson, Michele Romanow, Manjit Minhas and Vincenzo Guzzo, as beloved longtime Dragon Jim Treliving and virtual game changer Lane Merrifield depart the Den. After 15 seasons and an incredible history of betting on winners, Treliving plans to focus on his role as Chairman of Boston Pizza International, in addition to remaining active with his other commitments as a business advisor, investor, entrepreneur and dedicated philanthropist. Having recently sold his latest venture FreshGrade to the California company behind the world’s largest network of Montessori schools, Merrifield will be taking a sabbatical to enjoy some time focused on travel and adventures with his children.

“I have so much gratitude for the production team at CBC. As the first Dragon signed to the show, I have been so fortunate to have developed great friendships with my fellow Dragons and CBC staff,” said Treliving. “To the viewers of the show, I can’t thank you enough for your support and kindness over the years.”

“Our thanks to Jim and Lane for their commitment to Canadian entrepreneurs,” added Dettman. Once a Dragon, always a Dragon – and while we will miss them in the Den, we look forward to seeing what they do next.”

Hall’s track record extends beyond the corporate boardroom as well. As an entrepreneur, Hall is the owner of QM Environmental, a leading national environmental and industrial services provider with over 450 employees; he owns Titan Supply, a top manufacturer and distributor of rigging and wear products serving industries in the oil and gas, construction and transportation sectors; and Harbor Club hotel, one of St. Lucia’s premier resorts. He’s also a proud investor and supporter of many burgeoning small businesses.

Additionally, Hall is an instructor at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto, where he teaches Black Entrepreneurship & Leadership in Canada, a first-of-its-kind course in North America that provides students with a deep understanding of the systemic anti-Black racism faced by Black entrepreneurs, the cultural impacts and how to navigate the system.

Known for his generosity, Hall leverages his business success to benefit others with a number of impactful charitable initiatives and serves as a Board Member with the SickKids Foundation, Pathways to Education, Toronto International Film Festival, and most recently, The Black Academy. He is the Founder and Chairman of The Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism and The BlackNorth Initiative, committed to the removal of anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians.

Production on Season 16 of DRAGONS’ DEN’s will begin later this spring at CBC in Toronto. Tracie Tighe is executive producer and Molly Middleton and Amy Bourne are senior producers. Dianne Buckner hosts.

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Trailer Park Boys celebrate their 20th anniversary

From a media release:

It’s hard to believe that the iconic Canadian mockumentary television series, Trailer Park Boys is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The show that follows the misadventures of Ricky, Julian and Bubbles in Sunnyvale Trailer Park premiered on Showcase on April 22, 2001.

The show has seen 13 seasons, 3 feature films, 2 animated series, 2 Out of the Park series, 6 specials and live concert tours throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America. It seems there is no stopping the comedy trio who continue to be loved by fans around the world.

Trailer Park Boys Jail, the 13th season of the show, can be seen on their very own streaming service app, Trailer Park Boys/Swearnet. Appearances by David Lawrence (Terry from Fubar), Alex Lifeson (Rush) and directed by Bruce McCulloch of Kids in the Hall fame, the show feels like a Canadian comedy, group hug.

How do the Boys plan on celebrating this milestone? “I am going to smoke 20 joints today” – Ricky. “I am out of the vodka hustling game and into crypto currency and NFT’s, it’s the future” – Julian. “I am just thankful that we are all still together and love each other, plus the 20 years of free cat food has been deecent.” – Bubbles.

The TPB brand will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary throughout the year with a roster of tier-one licensing partnerships from publishing to apparel and beyond. New product releases will kick-off in July. A major 20th Anniversary event is slated for October 2021 which will include retail partnerships and a major contest giveaway.

Also, stay tuned for some NFT’s of your favourite Trailer Park Boys characters. Even Ricky, Julian and Bubbles know about the trendy technology and are creating some digital art for their fans. Sunnyvale has just levelled up.

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BGM Sphere announces new pre-school series “Gabby’s Farm” to debut on TVOkids on May 17

From a media release:

Premiering May 17, 2021 on TVOkids, Gabby’s Farm is an engaging new preschool series from award-winning production company BGM, part of Sphere Media. TVOkids has also greenlit BGM’s Backyard Beats for a second season. This Canadian Screen Award-nominated music and arts series will be hosted again by Monica Brighton of That TVOkids Show.

TVOkids Original Gabby’s Farm (30×7) guides young viewers who are three-to-five years old through the world of farming and agriculture, encouraging their curiosity about nature, food, animal care and more. Hosted by Gabby, an adventurous six-year-old girl who’s passionate about farming, her family, and learning about all about the exciting things that happen on the farm, the series will give viewers a close look at all of the animals, equipment and activity that Gabby encounters on her family farm. Gabby’s Farm will introduce preschoolers to Gabby’s friends and neighbours, as well as farm activities like milking cows, riding tractors and exploring beehives.

Gabby’s Farm will be accompanied by the short-form series Count with Gabby! (20×2), which explores Gabby’s love of math and counting while exploring the farm.

BGM and TVOkids are also pleased to announced That TVOkids Show host Monica Brighton will return for season two of the Kidscreen Award-winning and Canadian Screen Award-nominated series Backyard Beats. Picking up on the fun and games from season one, Brighton will show school-age kids in Grades 1-3 how to create their own DIY “craft-struments” using common household items. She’ll also be joined by professional musicians who demonstrate their skills on various instruments.

Watch Gabby’s Farm on TVOkids and the TVOkids YouTube channel starting May 17, 2021. Season two of Backyard Beats will premiere Late Fall 2021.

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