Tag Archives: Blue Ant Media

Preview: Makeful’s Handmade Hotels explores luxury rentals

Unless I’m travelling for work, I refuse to stay in a hotel. I much prefer Airbnb for the convenience, homeyness and prices to what hotel chains offer. And, after watching Handmade Hotels, Katie Herbert has opened my eyes when it comes to booking a hotel for a group.

Debuting Tuesday with back-to-back episodes at 10 and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on Makeful, Herbert takes viewers on a journey to see a trio of short-term rentals designed for larger groups. A renovation specialist who isn’t afraid to think outside the box in her day-to-day gig, Herbert knows a unique design when she sees it. And Handmade Hotels has plenty to offer when it comes both whimsy and wow factor.

After a bit of a history lesson—short-term rentals date back to boarding houses of the 19th century when workers and their families came to the city and needed somewhere to stay when they weren’t on the job—Herbert visits the first location, a home dating from 1880. After renovating it for her family, homeowner Abigale now offers it as a short-term property for up to nine guests. One of the unique and eye-catching items in the property is a clawfoot tub in the kitchen with a very cute story behind it. As Herbert says, that tub is just the type of item to garner attention when folks search online for somewhere to stay and makes for a great conversation piece.

Herbert’s next stop is a 6,000-foot place, The Darling Mansion, that can easily host 10. Among the highlights in Tanya’s former doctor’s home turned art spaces are antiques and visual curiosities, a room called “The Opium Den” with open shower, and “The Magic Carpet Ride,” boasting a bed suspended from the ceiling.

Upcoming instalments spotlight hidden rooms, eco-friendly homes, tiny homes and historic properties, all part of the short-term rental market.

Handmade Hotels is the latest original production from Blue Ant Media and it’s the perfect fit to a brand offering great homegrown shows like Blown Away, Great Canadian Cottages and Brojects. I’m looking forward to seeing more.

Handmade Hotels airs Tuesdays at 10 and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on Makeful.

Images courtesy of Blue Ant Media.

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Danielle Bryk renovates her family’s getaway in The Bryk Cottage

When Danielle Bryk agreed to renovate her family cottage, she had no clue that—partway through the project—cameras would arrive on the scene to capture everything for a television show. She’d been consulting on the renovation of sister Terry and brother-in-law Norman’s dilapidated, outdated Georgian Bay property but Norman had been running the project. Then a television producing job came calling and Norman had to leave.

“He said, ‘Oh god, you need to take over. You need to help Terry out,” Bryk (Home to Win) says over the phone. “I’m the resident renovator in the family, so I couldn’t really refuse.” Then, totally by coincidence, Cottage Life came calling and asked if Bryk had any projects on the go. She mentioned the cottage reno and they jumped on board.

The Bryk Cottage, debuting Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life, isn’t your typical renovation series. This is a true documentary that, over the course of six episodes, shows Bryk organizing and executing the project under the watchful eye of Terry. Episode 1 introduces the folks involved and expectations; Terry and Norman bought the property years ago and it’s served as a homey getaway for the burgeoning family. Now it’s time for an upgrade. Terry has high-end plans for the home and it’s up to Bryk to keep costs down and the project on schedule.

“My sister is such a great sport,” Bryk says. “She has no filter. We finished filming one bit and she said, ‘Great, I’m probably going to come off as a total b-word!’ I said, ‘Dude, you knew they were rolling!’ She is a great sport and she knows it does make for great TV.” It certainly does.

But aside from the siblings butting heads over materials and budgets, The Bryk Cottage is educational. Constructing a passive building is explored for Terry and Norman. Bryk first heard of the concept about 20 years ago in a book by Sir Terence Conran. The idea of keeping a home heated or cooled passively stuck with her and she jumped at the chance to capture and utilize the sun’s heat to its full advantage through the use of windows and insulation. She recalls filming The Bryk Cottage through the winter and the building being nice and toasty thanks to just a small space heater the drywall guy was using. The Bryk Cottage is educational and entertaining, but it’s also telling a story many can relate to.

“The crux of all this is family and of connection,” Bryk says. “It’s so important these days to carve out spaces and time to do that kind of thing. To me, it’s the only thing that matters.”

The Bryk Cottage airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life.

Image courtesy of Blue Ant Media.

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Intervention Canada premieres on T+E, April 1 at 9 p.m. ET

From a media release:

As announced today, the next season of the powerful docu-series Intervention Canada will premiere on its new home, T+E, beginning April 1 at 9 p.m. ET. In each episode, viewers get an up-close and personal look at the life of an addict and their family who are desperately trying to help them. The series premieres on T+E during its current free preview, which began March 4 and runs until May 4.

Intervention Canada provides an unflinching glimpse at the horrifying reality of the life of an addict, as well as the gut-wrenching toll their addiction takes on their family and friends. With the help of professional interventionists Andrew Galloway, Maureen Brine, Jesse Hanson, and Geri Bemister, each episode culminates in a dramatic intervention where the subject must make a life-and-death decision – continue their descent to rock bottom alone, or accept the offer of a clear path to recovery in one of Canada’s top addiction treatment facilities. This season, the series looks at addictions and dependencies on alcohol, crystal meth, cocaine, opioids, and eating disorders. Intervention Canada is based on the hit A+E format and is now in its fifth season.

Select storylines on this season of Intervention Canada include:

  • An expectant mother in BC who is determined to free her partner from a deadly fentanyl addiction before the birth of their child;
  • Three Ontario born siblings struggling to save their father from the grips of crippling alcoholism;
  • A four-time Canadian MMA fighting champion grappling to overcome an addiction to crystal meth both for the sake of his son, and ultimately his own life.

Intervention Canada is produced by Open Door Co. and Insight Productions, in association with Blue Ant Media. Executive Producers are Tom Powers for Open Door Co. and John Brunton and John Murray for Insight Productions. The Series Producer is Thomas Chenoweth. Sam Linton is Head of Original Content at Blue Ant Media.

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Cottage Life celebrates spring with seven new and returning series

From a media release:

After a long winter, Cottage Life is celebrating spring with an eight-week, national free preview running until May 5, with a slate of brand new series that showcase weekend and lakefront living. Headlining the new lineup is The Bryk Cottage (6×30), a documentary series that follows professional contractor and TV contractor and designer, Danielle Bryk, as she knocks down and rebuilds her sister’s beloved, but dilapidated cottage with thoughtful design and eco-friendly materials. Also new this spring, the channel gives audiences an advanced look at the first episode of the fan favourite series Life Below Zero: Canada (1×30), which will air in full in 2020. Popular Canadian-shot series Lakefront Luxury (10×30) and Hope For Wildlife (10×60) are both back with new seasons and Bondi Vet: Coast to Coast (10×60) introduces new vets to Bondi Vet fans.

As an added springtime bonus, Cottage Life fans in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton have the chance to meet Danielle Bryk, Hope Swinimer, two of the Australian Bondi Vets, as well as Sue Aikens from the original Life Below Zero series at different upcoming Cottage Life consumer shows. For more information on the TV talent lined up for each Cottage Life Show visit shows.cottagelife.com.

Free Preview Premieres on Cottage Life

World’s Wildest Weather (Canadian Premiere, season two)
Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT starting March 11
From freak tornadoes to hailstones the size of footballs, this fast-paced, adrenaline-filled documentary series charts some of the most extreme weather from around the world with first-hand, witness statements and personal footage, bringing viewers right into the panic and drama of being caught up in a storm.

Lakefront Luxury (World Premiere, season two)
Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT, starting March 14
The second season of this aspirational series, gives viewers more stunning views, gorgeous waterfronts and serene sunsets. With unlimited budgets and endless wish lists, each episode explores three opulent properties, which a featured buyer chooses from.

Bondi Vet: Coast to Coast (World Premiere, season one)
Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT, starting March 27
Fan favourite series Bondi Vet has been revamped and will introduce five new Australian vets from across the Australia who offer a myriad of exciting animal stories, ranging from the exotic and wild to our favourite domestic creatures.

The Bryk Cottage (World Premiere, season one)
Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT, beginning March 28
This documentary series follows contractor and designer Danielle Bryk as she knocks down and rebuilds her sister and brother-in-law’s much-loved, but dilapidated cabin into a new stunning vacation home. Danielle deals with real-life issues as she works with a team of local contractors to use passive building standards that create a low carbon footprint cottage and a new getaway the entire family can cherish for generations.

Hope for Wildlife (World Premiere, season nine)
Friday at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, beginning April 5
A brand new season follows beloved nature advocate Hope Swinimer and her team as they rescue animals at her Halifax-based wildlife refuge and release them back into the wild. In this season, Hope forges a new partnership with an expert rescue crew.

Log Cabin Fever (Canadian Premiere, season two)
Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m PT, starting on April 6
New episodes follow southern jack of all trades Charlie Norman, as he and his crew travel throughout Tennessee and the Carolinas to salvage log cabins, barns, churches and old mills. To the Log Cabin team, they are hidden gems waiting to be mined for rare raw materials or carefully resurrected.

Life Below Zero: Canada (30-minute premiere episode; World Premiere Sneak Peek) This 30-minute, premiere episode airs Sunday, April 21 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
Based on BBC’s successful format, Life Below Zero: Canada is an observational documentary series about people who live off the grid in remote regions of northern Canada. The new series is being shot on location in Canada with a focus on Canadian people and stories. The full series airs on Cottage Life in 2020.

Engage with Cottage Life: @cottagelife #cottagelife

Cottage Life, is a Blue Ant Media multi-platform brand, celebrating the people, activities and places that make leisure time special. Exclusive content covers real estate, food, DIY projects and much more. Both informative and entertaining, no one captures the essence of weekend living like this.

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Preview: Makeful’s Blown Away celebrates gorgeous glass creations

There are a plethora of competition shows on television. Some involve folks racing around Canada, while others feature people cooking intricate recipes. Even more spotlight everyday Canadians making clothing or living together in the same abode for weeks on end. I thought I had seen everything the competition genre had to offer.

And then came Blown Away.

Debuting Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Makeful—during the specialty network’s free previewBlown Away pits 10 professional glass blowers against one another. The grand prize? A residency at the world-renowned Corning Museum of Glass in upstate New York. It’s one heck of an interesting twist on the reality genre and, from the get-go, a lot of fun to watch.

According to Blown Away‘s host, YouTube star Nick Uhas, glass blowing dates back to Roman times. Not a lot has changed since then: a furnace is heated to thousands of degrees and a gob of molten glass is attached to a tube. Once affixed, air is blown into the blob, which expands. But Blown Away isn’t about who makes the roundest sphere of glass. It’s about intricacy and creativity. The set—called “The Hot Shop”—is expansive and there are obvious safety issues here. High temperatures and working with glass means there is always a chance someone could get hurt. I imagine the producers, marblemedia, had cartons and Band-Aids and pump bottles of Polysporin at the ready.

The 10 competitors vying for the title, and $60,000 US, are a mixture of glass artists, visual artists, sculptural artists and people who worked in the medium in their pasts. Aside from the competition itself, Blown Away is an education into the glass blowing industry for a newbie like me. The job of different tools, punties, annealers and—ahem—personal glory holes are all explained along the way, as is the science and timing involved in adding colour to glass and the myriad ways to shape it. Gravity, heat and cold all play important parts too.

In Wednesdays debut, the competitors are tasked with using six hours to create something that is a snapshot of who they are. For 22-year-old Edgar, that means showing how small we really are in this world. For Kevin, it’s recreating a surfing experience and the calm he feels doing that. For Momo, it’s thanking those who have helped her on her life journey with a classic glass piece. With renowned glass blower Katherine Gray as the show’s resident judge, alongside guest judge Chris Taylor, executive director at Pilchuck Glass School, the 10 present their creations.

The direction, camera work and cinematography is top-notch on Blown Away. Glowing furnaces and dancing sparks are contrasted by the inner glow of molten glass, and the gleam of a sweaty arm or a finished piece of art. It’s a truly visual, educational and inspiring series I can’t wait to see more of.

Blown Away airs Wednesdays t 9 p.m. ET/PT on Makeful.

Images courtesy of Blue Ant Media.

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