From a media release:
CBC, Insight Productions and The Gurin Company today announced production details for their new original Canadian factual competition format CANADA’S ULTIMATE CHALLENGE, with sports broadcaster Nikki Reyes and professional snowboarder and CBC Sports analyst Craig McMorris onboard as hosts. Shooting this summer, CANADA’S ULTIMATE CHALLENGE turns the entire country into one giant obstacle course with challenges in Whitehorse, YK; Squamish, BC; Kelowna, BC; Hinton, AB; Sudbury, ON; Thousand Islands, ON; and Québec City, QC; culminating with the finale on the Confederation Bridge between New Brunswick and PEI. The series (8×60) is set to premiere on CBC and CBC Gem in winter 2023.
As hosts, Craig McMorris and Nikki Reyes anchor the show, bringing their energy, humour, insight, and impressive broadcast credentials to bear, while connecting viewers to the heart of the action and guiding them through the entire competition. McMorris and Reyes call the play-by-play and interview the players as they experience the agony of defeat and the joy of victory, capturing all the drama of this unique competition series.
Each episode of CANADA’S ULTIMATE CHALLENGE takes place at an awe-inspiring location where the players – 24 Canadians from across the country – compete in spectacular solo, tandem, or team challenges that put their skills to the test. Six iconic Canadian athletes coach and mentor six teams of four through physical and mental challenges, making strategic decisions and motivating their players to victory.
Craig McMorris is a 2019 X Games medallist as well as the only snowboarder to ever compete in an X Games real snow competition and free ride world tour event in the same year. He has worked as an analyst for CBC Sports since 2014, providing snowboarding commentary at the 2014, 2018, and 2022 Olympic Winter Games and serving as cultural commentator for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. In 2017, McMorris hosted the CBC Sports series ‘Good Times with Craig McMorris’ in which he engaged with some of Canada’s most interesting action sports athletes. He is currently the star of a self-produced snowboard film, ‘Fixin.
For the past two decades, Nikki Reyes has worked as a sports television anchor, reporter, and producer. Prior to CANADA’S ULTIMATE CHALLENGE, she anchored TSN’s flagship show Sportscentre, was a sideline reporter for Toronto Raptor’s broadcasts and was the co-host of Raptors Game Day on TSN 1050, providing commentary and analysis during the pregame/halftime/postgame broadcasts. Reyes was also an anchor and field reporter at Sportsnet and NESN in Boston covering the NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL. Quick on her feet, Reyes has extensive experience interviewing athletes at critical moments during competitions.
CANADA’S ULTIMATE CHALLENGE Coaches:
Donovan Bailey – sprinting legend, two-time Olympic champion, and recent Order of Canada recipient
Waneek Horn-Miller – co-captain of the Canadian water polo Olympic team in Sydney; gold medal winner at the Pan Am games; the first Mohawk woman from Canada to compete in the Olympics; and advocate for Indigenous sport
Clara Hughes – six-time Olympic medallist in cycling and speed skating; mental health advocate; the only athlete to have won multiple medals in both summer & winter Olympics
Gilmore Junio – three-time Olympian in speed-skating; won his first ISU World Cup event in 2014 in Salt Lake City
Jen Kish – former captain of Canada’s Olympic bronze medal-winning rugby sevens team; her team won the gold medal at the Pan Am Games held in Toronto in 2015
Luke Willson – NFL Super Bowl Champion with the Seattle Seahawks and competitive cyclist
A CBC original series, CANADA’S ULTIMATE CHALLENGE is executive produced by John Brunton and Mark Lysakowski for Insight Productions (A Boat Rocker Company) and Phil Gurin for The Gurin Company; Jeff Thrasher is the series producer for Insight Productions.