Tag Archives: Bell Media

Vice and Bell Media join forces for innovative new partnership in Canada

From a media release:

Bell Media and VICE Media announced today a new, long-term, far-reaching agreement that delivers the best of VICE programming, original VICE productions, and a new media sales relationship.

The arrangement sees Bell Media become the exclusive Canadian broadcast home to new original programming from VICE’s U.S. linear network, VICELAND, along with hundreds of hours of library VICE programming, all debuting on multiple Bell Media platforms, including CraveTV, in the fall of 2018.

New VICE programming such as the upcoming THE HUNT FOR THE TRUMP TAPES WITH TOM ARNOLD and MUNCHIES GUIDE TO will exclusively air on television on Bell Media channels. Bell Media has also acquired the TV, digital, and SVOD rights to more than 650 hours of VICE library programming, including the Emmy®-nominated GAYCATION, WHAT WOULD DIPLO DO? starring James Van Der Beek, MOST EXPENSIVEST starring Grammy Award-winner 2 Chainz, SLUTEVER, F*CK THAT’S DELICIOUS with Action Bronson, VICE GUIDE TO FILM, MY HOUSE, KING OF THE ROAD, HAMILTON’S PHARMACOPEIA, and ABANDONED.

Both companies will also explore co-production opportunities for Bell Media platforms in Canada and VICE platforms around the world. It was announced today that The Movie Network (TMN) has commissioned the sequel to the acclaimed VICE documentary DOPESICK, entitled DOPESICK2: THE FUTURE OF ADDICTION.

The two companies will also utilize their respective expertise by forming an advertising sales relationship that will see VICE and Bell Media combine their capabilities to bring innovative, multi-platform solutions to clients.

VICE programming will also be available on the upcoming CTV Super Hub and in a VICE-branded collection on CraveTV. SnackableTV, Bell Media’s new short-form video app, will become home to VICE videos like SMOKE SHOW and TEENAGE EXORCISTS.

Bell Media has previously showcased VICE programming on HBO Canada, including the Emmy-winning documentary series VICE (Fridays at midnight ET) and Emmy-winning weeknight series VICE NEWS TONIGHT (Monday-Thursday at midnight ET). VICE special reports like A WORLD IN DISSARAY are available on HBO Canada On Demand.


Amazing Race Canada: Balloons, balls and ballet in Winnipeg

Let’s be honest. Zainab and Monica’s luck was going to run out eventually on The Amazing Race Canada. It happened last week, leaving six of the strongest teams left to battle for top position as the midway point to the season was reached.

With two flights of three departing for Winnipeg, that meant split-ups and, perhaps, a little more drama when it came to airplanes. Taylor and Courtney looked very strong headed into this Leg of the Race and are definitely the team to beat. But with the season’s first head-to-head competition, would the RCMP officers prevail? They, along with Mel and Nancy and Leanne and Mar were all on the treasured first flight while Martina and Phil, Dylan and Kwame and Courtney and Adam had to settle for departure No. 2.

There was no indication of how much of an advantage Flight No. 1 had over No. 2 other than the second trio saw the first depart, destined for Winnipeg and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. Leanne and Mar got there before the other squads but the task was a great equalizer. Teams had to pair quotes with the images of the human rights activists who uttered them; with 11 galleries to scour, this was going to be tough. With viewers having no idea how long the task took, it was the cheerleaders who emerged first. The back half trios arrived at the museum while Nancy and Mel were still there, so there wasn’t too much lag time between flights out of Toronto. Martina and Phil’s plan of dividing and conquering paid off and they jumped to third place. Nancy and Mel and Courtney and Adam teamed up to finish their boards.

The Leg’s Detour, as usual, offered two options. In Tights, Racers made their way to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet to learn some key steps from Swan Lake. In Bites, Racers used Skip the Dishes to deliver two bags of food to hungry citizens. Leanne and Mar, of course, chose Tights. Having several dance-themed challenges this season has really played to their strengths. Taylor and Courtney opted for ballet too, much to the former’s chagrin who was disturbed by the thong up his “arse.”

Meanwhile, Phil and Martina chose Bites, as did Courtney and Adam, leaving Nancy and Mel to dance … and Kwame and Dylan out in the cold. They exited the museum for Bites in last place. A parking ticket (it was a warning) gave Adam the opportunity to highlight the friendliness of Canadians before wishing Fran a happy birthday and hot pizza. Martina and Phil botched the location of their second delivery (apartment buildings are a pain) but got positive reviews. (Um, how much food did Fran and Travis order??)

Leanne and Mar, predictably by this point, nailed the ballet in their first attempt and departed for the Face Off to throw darts at the Royal Canadian Legion. Once there, the first team to hit all segments of the board would be their ticket to advance. Leanne and Mar faced off against Courtney and Taylor. It was the siblings who won, leaving Leanne and Mar to take on Nancy and Mel. Leanne and Mar were triumphant, leaving Nancy and Mel to throw down against Martina and Phil. Martina and Phil won, leaving Nancy and Mel to face Dylan and Kwame. Kwame, who had never thrown a dart in his life, made it look easy and they moved on, leaving Nancy and Mel vs. Adam and Courtney. Not even Mel’s two bullseyes could stop Adam and Courtney, who left the rodeo star and Olympian in last place to wait out a time penalty.

Now in first place, Courtney and Taylor drove to The Forks Market and the Road Block. Here, Racers had to complete the cup and ball trick and create a balloon animal. Courtney, Leanne and Martina all took the test head-on (Martina’s facial expressions killed me), with Courtney finishing it quickly. Honestly, she was really good at both tasks and had the enthusiasm needed to deliver a quality magic trick. Dylan looked amazing decked out in his magician’s outfit but struggled to complete the task.

The Leg’s Pit Stop was located in the Leo Mol garden in the heart of Assiniboine Park where Jon welcomed Courtney and Taylor in first place for the third straight time. Martina and Phil, who have proved to be a lot better in reality than perhaps they were on paper, arrived in second place. Adam and Courtney seemed destined for a decent finish until they got lost on the way to the park. Still, it made no difference and they arrived on the mat ahead of Nancy and Mel.

In a turn of events that I should have seen coming, Jon revealed this was a non-elimination Leg and Nancy and Mel were still in the mix. They’ll have to complete an additional task next week in Prince Edward Island.

Do you think this should have been a non-elimination Leg? Can Martina and Phil win it all? Let me know in the comments below.

Here’s how the teams finished this Leg of the Race:

  1. Courtney and Taylor (trip for two to New York City)
  2. Martina and Phil
  3. Leanne and Mar
  4. Dylan and Kwame
  5. Courtney and Adam
  6. Nancy and Mel (non-elimination Leg)

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


CTV dishes out a sixth season of hit culinary series MasterChef Canada

From a media release:

Following MASTERCHEF CANADA’s youngest-ever winner, Beccy Stables being crowned earlier this summer, CTV announced today Season 6 of its hit culinary competition series MASTERCHEF CANADA for the 2018/2019 broadcast season. Casting for passionate home cooks looking to follow their food dreams is now open at CTV.ca/MasterChefCanada, with production set to begin this fall in Toronto on a new 12-episode season from Proper Television.

Marking a return to the MASTERCHEF CANADA Kitchen are distinguished Canadian judges Michael Bonacini (O&B restaurant empire), Alvin Leung (Bo Innovation in Hong Kong), and Claudio Aprile (Copetin Restaurant & Bar). The esteemed trio are poised to once again mentor and challenge everyday Canadian home cooks to elevate their cooking and presentation skills to a professional level, as they compete in high-stakes cooking challenges to secure the MASTERCHEF CANADA title and take home a $100,000 cash prize.

Canadians maintain a strong appetite for MASTERCHEF CANADA. A Top 15 program on Canadian television with all key demos this past spring, Season 5 of MASTERCHEF CANADA averaged 1.2 million total viewers weekly.

Casting for Season 6 of MASTERCHEF CANADA is now open at CTV.ca/MasterChefCanada. Passionate and talented Canadian home cooks hungry for an opportunity to capture the life-changing title of Canada’s next MasterChef have until Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. ET to apply online. Further to online casting submissions, invitation-only auditions will be held across Canada this summer, so home cooks are encouraged to get their applications in soon. In addition, an in-person Open Casting Call will be held in Toronto on Sunday, Sept. 30 – for more information, visit CTV.ca/MasterChefCanada.

Viewers can relive all the culinary action from the MASTERCHEF CANADA Kitchen with Season 5 episodes available on demand at CTV.ca, CTV GO app. Season 5 is also available on CraveTV™ and airing Mondays at 7 p.m. ET on Gusto.

The MASTERCHEF format and finished programmes are represented internationally by Endemol Shine Group, and is based on a format originally created by Franc Roddam.

MASTERCHEF CANADA is produced by Proper Television in association with CTV. Proper’s Co-President Cathie James is the Executive Producer and Showrunner and Co-President Lesia Capone is Executive Producer.


Amazing Race Canada: Dancing and Double U-Turns in Toronto

Last week in Stratford, Ont., Zainab and Monica were once again saved from elimination when it was revealed the Leg wasn’t over and that teams were headed to Toronto. That also meant that I—along with fellow journalists and social media influencers—would continue our travels as well.

Shortly after Taylor and Courtney landed on the mat in first place, we headed for the production vehicle and hit the highway for Canada’s largest city. Humidity and rain showers threatened as they, and we departed. Teams were tasked with, once they’d arrived in Toronto, visiting the observation deck at city hall to locate a flag marking the location of the next clue. (Behind the curtain: we skipped the observation deck, a personal bummer, and set up shop in Yonge-Dundas Square to see who would arrive first. We heard several teams were slowed down by weather and traffic.) Taylor and Courtney saw the flag right away, Adam and Courtney ended up at Queen’s Quay, and Phil and Martina arrived at city hall and quickly spotted the flag.

In the Road Block, teams had to pack a pile of kitschy items into the back of a Chevrolet Spark and then back another Spark into a parking space. Taylor took on the test. Because they were in the lead, Taylor took some time to figure out which things should go into the car first. Martina felt rushed and quickly fell behind. Nancy and Mellisa, meanwhile, managed to shake Dylan and Kwame at city hall. Taylor knocked over one cone backing up and had to re-do the task. He was still done way in advance and he and Taylor left Yonge-Dundas Square in first. (Behind the curtain: As I just typed, Taylor and Courtney were done and gone quickly. Editing made it look like it was far closer than it really was. Also? There was a super-fan yelling while the Road Block was happening. I’m surprised I couldn’t hear her during the broadcast.)

The next stop? One of the most unique bookstores in the world. The Monkey’s Paw bookstore features the Biblio-Mat, a machine that vends odd books. I’ve used it and was given a book on the history of hanging in England. Anyway, the Racers had to use public transit to get there while our production vehicle drove us over. The Monkey’s Paw was also the location of a Double U-Turn.

Back at Yonge-Dundas Square, Martina and Phil completed the task, followed by Nancy and Mel, an impressive Dylan and Kwame (the super-fan gave them directions), Adam and Courtney and Leanne and Mar. Zainab and Monica ran right past the square and into the building next door, delaying their arrival.

Taylor and Courtney used the Biblio-Mat and received the Detour locations. In Latte Art, Racers had to make two lattes at Versus Coffee and then produce the same intricate foam art that the barista did. In Walk the Park, Racers ventured to El Convento Rico, a Latin nightclub, to vogue their way to their next clue. (Behind the curtain: we were camped out here. This compact, sweaty little club was jam-packed with dancers and audience members. It was a blast to see the excitement as teams arrived and the support the audience gave them during the challenges.)

Martina and Phil opted for Latte Art. (Behind the curtain: we were in The Monkey’s Paw when Phil and Martina arrived. I was secretly hoping to make it on TV—we were asked to act like customers—but were left on the cutting-room floor.) Nancy and Mel, meanwhile, were again shadowed by Kwame and Dylan as they sprinted to the bookstore and then to the club. Courtney and Adam, worried about their own safety, U-Turned Monica and Zainab.

Taylor and Courtney nailed the routine in their first try (the energy in the club was electric when they finished) and departed first, followed by Leanne and Mar. (We left after the cheerleaders too, for our final destination.) Mel and Nancy vogued to success next, followed by Dylan and Kwame and Kwame’s Hammer pants. That left Adam and Courtney and Zainab and Monica fighting to complete the routine first. Of course, Monica and Zainab still had to make the lattes.

The North York Harvest Food Bank was the next stop for the Racers, where they teamed with Dempster’s to prep and pack boxes of baked goods for shipment across the region to families in need. Taylor and Courtney kept their heads, stayed organized and filled the boxes before anyone else had arrived. They departed for Ireland Park, steps from the ferry to Billy Bishop Airport, and the Pit Stop. Mar and Leanne misread the clipboard and began collecting boxes of baked goods instead of bags. It wasn’t until they asked Mel and Nancy what they were doing that the cheerleaders realized their mistake and got back on track. That lost them a higher ranking to Mel and Nancy, who completed the Leg in second place.

Taylor and Courtney, who led this Leg and the last one, landed on the mat in front of Jon Montgomery and Season 5 winners Sam and Paul. (Behind the curtain: check out the video of that happening above. Sorry, the sound is a little bad, we weren’t allowed to be very close. Also? Every team we watched arrive did it from behind the cameras and lights and had to re-do the run down the pier.)

As expected, Zainab and Monica’s luck ran out during this Leg and they couldn’t come back from being U-Turned by Adam and Courtney. They were eliminated from the Race.

Once again, a big thank you to Bell Media, Insight Productions and CTV’s public relations team for inviting me along on this fun and very full day. It was a thrill to watch filming and get the opportunity to stand on the mat at the end of the Leg.

Who do you think can win it all this season? Let me know in the comments below!

Here’s how the teams finished this Leg of the Race:

  1. Taylor and Courtney (trip for two to Hong Kong)
  2. Mel and Nancy
  3. Martina and Phil
  4. Leanne and Mar
  5. Dylan and Kwame
  6. Courtney and Adam
  7. Zainab and Monica (eliminated)

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV.

Club images courtesy of Bell Media.


The Amazing Race Canada: The Heroes depart

It usually takes me a couple of legs of The Amazing Race Canada before I decide which teams I like and have the best chance of winning. Thanks to Bell Media, I had an edge going into this Heroes Edition because I got to interview the teams before they headed out on the Race. (Check those interviews out here, here and here.)

As a result, when Tuesday finally rolled around for the first episode of this season, I was expecting big things from former Canadian Air Force pilots Chewy and Happy, Toronto Argos cheerleaders Leanne and Marielle and RCMP officers Taylor and Courtney. No disrespect to the others; it was just my gut feeling. And, as it turned out, my gut was dead wrong in one case.

Things had started out so swimmingly for all of the teams. This Heroes Edition version of The Amazing Race Canada spotlights those who give of themselves for the better of others, so expect plenty of inspirational speeches and tales of hardship and triumph. Jon Montgomery, who has become the voice of the summer months in this country despite competing in the Winter Games, gamely took his pride of place in front of the 10 teams participating this year. After introducing all of the teams and their stories, they assembled in front of Jon at Hatley Castle in Victoria, B.C., and were poised for the finger drop.

Martina and Phil were the first to depart the castle in their Chevy, headed to a mainland ferry before driving to Squamish, B.C. In second were Happy and Chewy, followed by Courtney and Taylor and everyone else … except for Kwame and Dylan, who literally missed the boat and suffered a two-hour setback. You’d think that would be an insurmountable feat, but not on The Amazing Race Canada. With nine other teams in the running, there was plenty of time for a rookie mistake.

Once the ferries docked, the teams drove to Squamish and hopped on board gondolas to collect their next clue. The Amazing Race Canada camera crews always do a stellar job capturing the beauty of this country, and this episode was no exception. The stunning mountain peaks, roaring rivers and twisting roads made me long for an excuse to head west. Happy and Chewy were the first to arrive at the gondola, followed by Nancy and Mellisa, Leanne and Marielle, Todd and Anna, Courtney and Taylor and Martina and Phil. Zainab and Monica were hopelessly lost in Vancouver as Kwame and Dylan drove off their ferry.

The first Road Block of the season tasked players with pulling themselves along ropes high above a canyon floor to retrieve a stuffed beaver from its spot hooked to the rope. Chewy went first, and just missed snagging the little beast before continuing on his bungee cord course to the bottom of the canyon. He would have to try again. Nancy grabbed the beaver on her first try and she and Mellisa vacated the scene in favour of the Squamish Days Festival. Leanne succeeded next, as did Todd, Taylor, Phil and Dylan. Adam and Akash missed on their first tries too but the trio all grabbed the beaver on their second tries.

The second Road Block took place at the Festival site, where the other team member had to make like a lumberjack and climb a massive 80-foot pole to retrieve the next clue card. Two height-related challenges in the same episode? Interesting choice by the producers. As an aside, it was great to see two all-female teams leading the first leg of the Race. (Quote of the night: “I’ve got slivers in my crotch!”) Mellisa and Nancy were unstoppable as they departed for Darrell Bay and the next clue to fish for regulation-sized crab. Trouble was, they didn’t realize the buoys were attached to the crab traps and paddled their tandem board right on by, leaving Leanne and Marielle to take the lead.

All teams headed for the Brittania Mine Museum (where several features and TV shows, including The X-Files, have filmed) to seek out Mill No. 3, and the first Pit Stop of Season 6. Argos cheerleaders Leanne and Marielle made it to the mat first, scoring a trip for two to Tokyo. Nancy and Mellisa were steps behind, followed by Todd and Anna, Dylan and Kwame and Taylor and Courtney. The five-team scramble to haul in the right sized crab meant Happy and Chewy were in last place on the drive to the Mine Museum. Zainab and Monica, Martina and Phil and Adam and Courtney all hit the mat within seconds of each other, leaving Joseph and Akash and Chewy and Happy in a footrace for the final spot. Chewy was steps behind his partner, but too late to save them from elimination.

What are your thoughts regarding the teams racing this season? Let me know in the comments below!

Here’s how the teams finished this Leg of the Race:

  1. Leanne and Marielle (trip for two to Tokyo)
  2. Nancy and Mellisa
  3. Todd and Anna
  4. Dylan and Kwame
  5. Taylor and Courtney
  6. Zainab and Monica
  7. Martina and Phil
  8. Adam and Courtney
  9. Joseph and Akash
  10. Chewy and Happy (eliminated)

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.