Tag Archives: AMI-tv

AMI’s Kelly and Ramya debuts January 9, 2023, on AMI-tv

From a media release:

New name. New platform. Same great hosts. Today, Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) pulls back the curtain on Kelly and Ramya.

Beginning Monday, January 9, 2023, Kelly and Ramya launches on AMI-tv while continuing to be a staple of AMI-audio and podcast platforms, where over 1,500 episodes have been broadcast as Kelly and Company.

Airing weekdays from 2 to 4 p.m. Eastern from AMI’s state-of-the-art new production studio in Toronto, Kelly and Ramya gives a dynamic and compelling voice to the disability experience in Canada.

On Kelly and Ramya, viewers join hosts Kelly MacDonald and Ramya Amuthan for the latest on lifestyle and entertainment, community events across the country and thoughtful discussion on issues that impact the disability community. Joining the duo are over 30 contributors, who share expert advice on everything from assistive technology to human rights, employment, health and wellness, all through a disability lens. Additionally, eight community reporters from across the country—all from the blind and partially sighted community—share local events and happenings viewers and listeners should be aware of.

“I look forward to being able to smile at our audience every day and share with them the joy I feel about coming into their homes,” Kelly MacDonald says. “I can’t wait for new viewers to meet our amazing contributors, learn from them and to see how diverse and inclusive Kelly and Ramya is.”

“Moving to TV directly involves us with the conversations, and actions, around descriptive video and accessible TV experiences,” Ramya Amuthan says. “I’m very opinionated and vocal about my own TV-watching—what makes good descriptive video, where it can be improved, how we can make experiencing TV better and easier for people with disabilities—so I’m thrilled that I have a full-on opportunity to voice my lived experience and thoughts through this transition to TV.”

Kelly MacDonald
Kelly MacDonald’s radio career began in the dorms of the W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind in Brantford, Ontario, with a Mr. Microphone and an FM transmitter. His love for radio only grew, earning himself a HAM radio ticket and call sign (VE3ONA) at the age 14, and later attending Fanshawe College’s Broadcasting program. Kelly has been a part of AMI since the company’s fledgling days as VoicePrint, where he joined as a studio producer. A ubiquitous presence in the blind and partially sighted community, Kelly launched Kelly and Company in 2016 to share a wealth of information, entertainment and thoughtful discussion on disability issues. His jovial persona makes every minute of Kelly and Ramya fun and inclusive!

Ramya Amuthan
An alumna of Seneca College’s Broadcasting – Radio program, Ramya Amuthan is a second-generation broadcaster following her mother, an acclaimed Tamil radio and TV personality. Ramya is also a talented jazz vocalist, voice over artist and avid volunteer. Her efforts in the community as Board Member of PAL Reading Services and Co-Chair of Fighting Blindness Canada’s Young Leaders Program have created programs that connect people with disabilities across the country. Soon after becoming an intern at AMI in 2017, Ramya joined Kelly and Company as a contributor in the early days of the show. Ramya began mentoring Kelly and Company’s team of contributors and took up the co-host seat a year later, where she has offered blind and partially sighted audiences her unique brand of quick-witted humour and insightful perspectives as a woman of colour with low vision.

Beginning Monday, January 9, 2023, Kelly and Ramya airs weekdays from 2-4 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv and AMI-audio. Download the podcast version of Kelly and Ramya on demand from your favourite podcasting platform.


TV, Eh? Podcast Episode 251: Moonshine and the Lisa LaFlamme debacle

After a little break, where not a lot was going on, Greg and Amy go through debuts and returns on the Canadian TV calendar.

Then, we cover the latest Canadian TV news, including CBC renewing Moonshine for Season 3; ET Canada giving Sangita Patel co-hosting duties; Boat Rocker teaming with Jay Baruchel; AMI-tv’s fall schedule; and the CTV/Lisa LaFlamme debacle.

This podcast brought to you by coffee and Harvey’s Sussex Best.


AMI-tv announces its fall 2022 programming schedule

From a media release:

Today, Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) unveiled its AMI-tv schedule for the 2022 fall broadcast season, with a lineup of exciting new and returning AMI originals available in described video for the blind and partially sighted community in Canada.

AMI original productions are the centrepiece of AMI-tv’s schedule, broadcast in the coveted 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. timeslots from Monday to Friday.

Double Tap TV is back for Season 5! Returning on Tuesday, September 13, at 8 p.m. Eastern, Double Tap TV brings viewers discussions on everything tech—all with an eye on accessibility—to television. Each week, join hosts Steven Scott, Marc Aflalo and a range of contributors as they help viewers better understand how technology can assist in everyday life.

Debuting on Wednesday, September 14, at 8 p.m. Eastern is the new series Healthy at Home. Produced by Honey Cut Studios (#IGotThis), fitness instructor Bobbi Janzen guides viewers through a home workout that tones and strengthens for everyday living. As someone who is a member of the blind and partially sighted community, Bobbi gives step-by-step detailed instruction and often focuses on the muscle groups overused when using a white cane or guide dog. This quick workout is the best way to start or end your day and can even be done on the go!

In addition to Double Tap TV and Healthy at Home, viewers can catch up on previous seasons of AMI originals Dish with MaryBeyond the Field#IGotThisOur CommunityMind Your Own Business and the award-winning Employable Me.

Complementing AMI’s original programs are a slate of acquired series offered in described video.

Weekday afternoons boast family drama with Seasons 1-6 of When Calls the Heart—which follows the adventures of a young teacher who swaps big-city life for a small coal-mining town in 1910 Canada—at noon Eastern, followed by Seasons 9-15 of Heartland—the multi-generational drama set in Alberta and starring Amber Marshall, Michelle Morgan, Shaun Johnston and Chris Potter—at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Sundays on AMI-tv include a comedy block consisting of Season 1 of Son of a Critch—the heartfelt family sitcom based on the life of comedian Mark Critch—at 6 p.m. Eastern followed by Seasons 5-8 of Mr. D, starring stand-up comedian Gerry D as a hapless elementary school gym teacher, at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

Past seasons of award-winners Murdoch MysteriesCoronerBurden of TruthSchitt’s Creek and Kim’s Convenience continue on AMI-tv. Other returning favourites include American Greed, Attitude and Frankie Drake Mysteries. Saturday and Sunday nights on AMI-tv boast the biggest feature films out of Hollywood, featuring described video.

“I’m very excited about AMI’s upcoming broadcast season,” says John Melville, Vice-President, Content Development & Programming, AMI-audio/AMI-tv. “We’re honoured to bring a wide range of programming to the blind and partially sighted community in Canada.”

AMI programming features Integrated Described Video (IDV), making it accessible to individuals who are blind or partially sighted. 

All dates subject to change. Additional fall programming will be announced in the coming weeks. Stream past episodes of AMI original programming on demand post-broadcast on AMI.ca or via the AMI-tv App.

AMI-tv’s fall returns and debuts (all times Eastern)

9 a.m. – NOW with Dave Brown (Mon.-Fri.)
Noon – When Calls the Heart (Mon.-Thur.)
1 p.m. – Heartland (Mon.-Fri.)
4 p.m. – Schitt’s Creek (Mon.-Thur.)
4:30 p.m. – Kim’s Convenience (Mon.-Wed.)
8 p.m. – Beyond the Field
8:30 p.m. – #IGotThis
9 p.m. – Murdoch Mysteries (Mon.-Fri.)

8 p.m. – Double Tap TV (Season 5 debuts Sept. 13)
8:30 p.m. – Mind Your Own Business

8 p.m. – Healthy at Home (Debuts Sept. 14)
8:30 p.m. – AMI originals

8 p.m. – Our Community
8:30 p.m. – Dish with Mary

Noon – Frankie Drake Mysteries 
8 p.m. – AMI originals

3 p.m. – Coroner
4 p.m. – Burden of Truth
8 p.m. – Employable Me
9 p.m. – Saturday Night Movie

6 p.m. – Son of a Critch 
6:30 p.m. – Mr. D 
7 p.m. – Murdoch Mysteries
8 p.m. – Attitude
9 p.m. – Sunday Night Movie


Bruce Cook tackles his biggest project yet in Season two of By Hook or By Cook, debuting June 16 on AMI-tv

From a media release:

Bruce Cook is back, and taking on his biggest project ever. Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) announced today that Season two of By Hook or By Cook, starring freestyle motocross rider Bruce Cook, returns Thursday, June 16, at 10 p.m. Eastern on AMI.

In Season two, Bruce Cook, a stunt motocross rider who is disabled, wants to help others with disabilities enjoy life’s possibilities with unique innovations that he and his friend, Christian Bagg, create. Bruce has been depressed since COVID-19 shut down most activities which, in turn, has given him a lot of time to think about the reality of the injuries he sustained eight years ago. When given an opportunity to make a remote lake lodge more accessible for those with disabilities he jumps at the chance.

Working with Christian, who has been in a wheelchair for 25 years, Bruce learns about perseverance. He also learns valuable lessons from people who are also adapting to life with a disability which—over the course of the season—will allow Bruce to gain more insight into who he is at his core and what his abilities really are. He learns more about himself, his spirit and his tenacity than he’s ever imagined.

In the premiere episode of By Hook or By Cook on Thursday, June 16, at 10 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv, family friends enlist Bruce’s help making a 100-year-old lodge deep in the mountains accessible, and it’s up to the adrenaline junkie and accessibility advocate to bring his imagination and innovation to the test.

Watch an exclusive preview of Season two.

“Bruce’s story, honesty and sense of humour really connected with our audience in Season one,” said John Melville, Vice-President, Content Development & Programming, AMI-audio/AMI-tv. “Viewers are in for the ride of their lives in Season two.”

Season one of By Hook or By Cook received a 2022 Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Writing, Factual.

A series of digital exclusives—which can be streamed on AMI.ca and the AMI-tv App for iOS and Android—give fans a behind-the-scenes look at production on Season two of By Hook or By Cook, including updates by Bruce and Christian, and a sneak preview of what’s to come. By Hook or By Cook is produced by Render Digital Media.

Season two of By Hook or By Cook features Integrated Described Video (IDV) making it accessible to individuals who are blind or partially sighted. 

AMI and Render Digital Media are excited to announce that casting is now open for Season three of By Hook or By Cook.

Render Digital Media is looking for participants with all ranges of disability and dreams. No matter how big or small, they want to hear your story. Interested applicants can apply now via the Render Digital Media website.

Host Bruce Cook

Bruce Cook began his professional motocross career in 2005, touring across Canada. In 2014, he joined Nitro Circus, which features world-class athletes and daredevils performing outrageous and risky stunts. His first show found him attempting the world’s first double front flip on a motorcycle and when the trick did not go as planned, Bruce suffered a broken vertebra and a damaged spinal cord, resulting in paralysis. After regaining his strength and confidence, Bruce was back on a modified bike and landed the world’s first backflip as a paraplegic, 10 months after his accident.

Bruce shares his experiences with friends, family and followers like an open book told in a stream of consciousness of hope, humour, and raw emotion. He cannot escape the enormity of daily life as it is faced by a paraplegic, but he is navigating his way through life with determination, enthusiasm and a lot of creativity.

Follow Bruce Cook on Instagram.

Christian Bagg

Before breaking his back on the slopes during a distance jump competition, Christian Bagg was an apprenticing machinist: a young tinkerer, adventurer, and outdoorsman.

In 1996, he found himself experiencing life from a chair that neither fit his impressive six-foot-five frame, or his expansive personality. Eager not just to participate, but to excel at outdoor adventures, Christian has spent the last 20 years designing and building adaptive equipment that aren’t merely functional, but transformative.

What started out as a way to solve his own problems grew into an outlet to help others experience the very outdoors that he loves so much. Christian lives in pursuit of greatness not only for himself, but for those around us. He builds a better future.

Follow Christian’s company, Bowhead Corp., on Instagram.

By Hook or By Cook debuts Thursday, June 16, at 10 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv. Stream episodes on AMI.ca and the AMI-tv App.About Render Digital Media

Render Digital Media is an independent production house based in Kelowna, BC, specializing in authentic, original television programming for broadcast. Our team is passionate about character driven live-action documentaries and lifestyle series that make the viewer think, laugh and feel. Learn more at Render Digital Media.


Exploring disability representation through the eyes of six performers with disabilities, AMI’s Breaking Character debuts April 27 on AMI-tv

From a media release:

AMI, in partnership with Winterhouse Films Inc. (Wild Archaeology, Three Lives of Kate), is pleased to announce the debut of Breaking Character, Wednesday, April 27, at 8 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv.

In the past decade, less than three percent of films featured a character with a disability. And, often, these rarest of roles have been taken by neuro-typical and able-bodied actors. But the industry is at a tipping point as it feels the push for a more inclusive representation. Major broadcasters have committed to auditioning actors with disabilities. Advertisers are creating campaigns that reflect disabilities in a relatable manner while promoting their products. Those leading the fight aren’t just the ones in front of the camera but the people representing them.

Breaking Character is a candid 10-part documentary series capturing the journey these mold-breaking performers make as they navigate the fast-paced and sometimes cutthroat entertainment industry in Hollywood North. Each episode delves into the performers’ daily lives and takes us behind the scenes as they go through the audition process, hone their craft, eagerly await news of whether they got the gig, and adapt to the pressures of life in the business.

Meet the performers

Alexia Vassos — Stage and Screen Actor, Little Person
Alexia was the first Little Person to graduate from her university’s theatre and drama program. After leaving the safe haven of academia, she’s embarking on a journey to find her place in the industry—whether on stage, screen or in an audio booth. Alexia is open to many avenues, but one thing’s for certain: she will not be tokenized.

Dan Barra-Berger — Comedian, Legally Blind
Dan, a stand-up comic who is partially sighted, made the long list of CBC’s Next Up competition series. Now he just needs to become a regular on the comedy club circuit. Though humour is at the core of everything he does, so is storytelling. With the support of his partner, Michelle, Dan is on a path to combining those talents to make people laugh, subvert their expectations and advocate for a more accessible world.

Caeden Lawrence — TV/Film Actor, Hard of Hearing
A bartender by day, Caeden has scored multiple bit parts in both film and TV. But after being diagnosed with genetic progressive hearing loss, he’s navigating new barriers in the industry. Caeden worries that the powers-that-be see him as a “liability” on set, and wonders if he would he be better off finding security in the restaurant industry.

Tai Young — Performer/Personality, Wheelchair User
At 17, Tai is already a seasoned performer having appeared in numerous musical theatre productions, commercials and TV shows. As a wheelchair user, he’s passionate about disability representation in the media and has been part of national advocacy campaigns. Tai counts photography, makeup, fashion, tennis and skiing among his many interests. As for what happens after he graduates, Tai refuses to be pinned down.

Catherine Joell McKinnon — Actor/Filmmaker/ASL Coach, Deaf
An established actress who is Deaf, Catherine was raised on the east coast and has lived in Toronto since the ‘90s. One of the highlights of her career was playing—in the same year—Alexander Graham Bell’s wife on-screen in Murdoch Mysteries and his mother on stage in Silence. Besides acting, Catherine has made a name for herself as a Master Dialect Coach and Deaf consultant for major productions. Though juggling being in front and behind the camera has its challenges, Catherine is determined to make it work.

Rachel Romu — Model/Musician/Activist, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
A Thunder Bay, Ontario, native, Rachel is a model, musician and activist with a connective tissue disorder and a history of multiple surgeries for spinal tumours. After having to re-invent themselves post-surgery and diagnosis, they are hellbent on becoming a disability mogul one record and runway at a time.

Season one of Breaking Character features Integrated Described Video (IDV) making it accessible to individuals who are blind or partially sighted. Breaking Character was filmed under strict local COVID-19 protocols.

Breaking Character debuts Wednesday, April 27, at 8 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv. Episodes can be streamed on demand on AMI.ca and the AMI-tv App for Apple and Android.