Tag Archives: Great Pacific Media

Wapanatahk Media, in partnership with Great Pacific Media, announces development deal with the winners of The Amazing Race Canada, Anthony Jonson and Dr. James Makokis

From a media release:

Wapanatahk Media, founded and led by Indigenous producers Tania Koenig-Gauchier and Shirley Mclean, in partnership with Great Pacific Media, is excited to announce a development deal with Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis, Season 7 winners of The Amazing Race Canada.

The couple made television history as the first Two-Spirit Indigenous couple to win the highly popular CTV Series. After receiving a cash prize of $250,000, Johnson and Makokis invested their winnings into their dream property, Nizhoni Acres. A new series featuring the couple and Nizhoni Acres is now in development, as they welcome some lucky Canadians into their home and take them on transformational journeys.

Wapanatahk Media and Great Pacific Media are already in discussion with multiple broadcasters about the series.

In addition to developing and pitching this new series with Johnson and Makokis, Wapanatahk Media is currently in principal photography on their first series this month, Dr. Savannah: Wild Rose Vet. That series has already been sold and will air on APTN and Cottage Life in 2022.

ABOUT WAPANATAHK MEDIA
Wapanatahk Media, in partnership with Great Pacific Media, develops and produces top-quality unscripted, scripted, digital and animated content for broadcasters and streaming platforms, with a focus on telling original and authentic Indigenous stories and providing training and hiring opportunities for BIPOC employees in the television industry. Wapanatahk Media is co-owned and headed by Indigenous producers Tania Koenig-Gauchier and Shirley Mclean, in partnership with Great Pacific Media.

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Wapanatahk Media launches to focus on original and authentic Indigenous stories

From a media release:

Wapanatahk Media, co-owned and headed by Indigenous producers Tania Koenig-Gauchier and Shirley Mclean, launches today in partnership with Great Pacific Media, the Factual and Scripted Division of Thunderbird Entertainment. Wapanatahk Media’s vision is to create an array of top-quality production content, for broadcasters and streaming platforms that tell original and authentic Indigenous stories. The studio also prioritizes the training and employment of BIPOC peoples in the television industry.

Wapanatahk Media’s first green-lit series, Dr. Savannah: Wild Rose Vet, goes into production in April 2021 and will feature a training program to mentor up-and-coming Indigenous filmmakers. The 9×30 series follows the adventures of Métis veterinarian Dr. Savannah Howse-Smith as she keeps rural Alberta’s pet and animal population healthy and thriving, all while learning more about her recently confirmed Métis bloodline. The series will employ Indigenous production staff in Vancouver and Alberta, and sponsor apprenticeships throughout the summer of 2021. The series is scheduled to air on APTN and Cottage Life in 2022.

Tania Koenig-Gauchier is a Métis (Cree) television producer whose family originates from Northern Alberta. She has more than 20 years of experience in broadcasting and independent production. She has worked as a producer for CTV, APTN and CBC, and has a background in business management, marketing and promotions for television. Tania is very excited to be partnered with Great Pacific Media (Thunderbird Entertainment), as they mentor her in the development and licencing of content for mainstream broadcasters and streaming platforms. Tania’s passions are creating opportunities for emerging Indigenous talent and in telling authentic Indigenous stories. Most recently, she spent five years in the position of manager of programming (western region) at APTN.

Shirley Mclean is a talented and respected storyteller, who has strong links to the creative communities of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, crew and producers. She is of Tlingit and Tagish descent from the Dakl’aweidi Killer Whale clan and is a member of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation in the Yukon. Her extensive history in broadcasting spans two decades. Currently, she is working on various productions at Great Pacific Media as a series producer, director, story editor and story producer. Prior to this, she spent eight years with APTN as a national reporter/producer in their Whitehorse bureau. Throughout her career, she has worked as a story producer, director and reporter for Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon, CBC North, and the national news magazine series called First Story for CTV in Vancouver.

ABOUT WAPANATAHK MEDIA
Wapanatahk Media develops and produces top-quality unscripted, scripted, digital and animated content for broadcasters and streaming platforms, with a focus on telling original and authentic Indigenous stories and providing training and hiring opportunities for BIPOC employees in the television industry. Wapanatahk Media is co-owned and headed by Indigenous producers Tania Koenig-Gauchier and Shirley Mclean.

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Production underway on Thunderbird’s Mud Mountain, a second spin-off from the hit Highway Thru Hell franchise

From a media release:

Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TSXV: TBRD) (OTC: THBRF) (Thunderbird or the Company) announced today that production is currently underway on  the new original factual series, a second spin-off of the global hit Highway Thru Hell franchise. Bell Media’s Discovery has ordered eight one-hour episodes of Mud Mountain (working title).

Mud Mountain (wt) is set in the high mountains of British Columbia, just down the road from the Highway Thru Hell, where giant logs and bigger pay days beckon men to take huge risks. And no one is willing to go deeper in the mud than the Lebeau brothers, Craig and Brent, who are third generation family loggers, with very different styles, and separate operations. Now, wicked weather, and an even more frigid economy, has forced the brothers to bury the hatchet, and work together to survive road building, logging and brotherhood on the steepest, muddiest mountains anywhere.

Thunderbird has implemented strict health and safety cultures on all of its shows, which has enabled the Company to remain fully operational throughout COVID-19. These protocols and measures were key to the safe development and production of the new Mud Mountain series.

Mud Mountain will be distributed around the world by Bell Media.

The series is produced by Great Pacific Media, Thunderbird’s factual division, and Bell Media Studios. Executive Producer is Mark Miller. The Series Producer is Jeff Kinnon.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Preview: Cut-off Canadian communities rely on High Arctic Haulers

I’ve made no bones about the fact I love to watch documentary series about folks doing unique jobs in the most inhospitable of climates. Great Pacific Television produces some of the best, including Highway Thru Hell and Heavy Rescue: 401.

Now Great Pacific Television is back with a new series called High Arctic Haulers. Debuting Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBC, the seven-episode adventure heads north, way north, to spotlight the people who bring goods to Canadians via ship. How far north are these communities? So far that food and the necessities of life come once a year. It’s imperative the ships and their cargo get through in the short summer months.

Filmed in Nunavut, High Arctic Haulers kicks off in the ice-choked Ungava Bay, where the Sedna Desgagnés is trapped. Surrounded by icebergs and growlers, Captain Michel Duplain and his first mate, Simon Charest, attempt to shake free of the ice.

Meanwhile, over on the Taïga Desgagnés, Captain Olivier Nault is having issues of his own. Steaming through the Foxe Basin north of Hudson Bay, shallow water, high winds and unpredictable conditions could spell disaster. Awaiting the Taïga is the community of Hall Beach, population 748. Built in 1957 as a military base to detect Soviet Union bombers at the height of the Cold War, the community is relying on the Taïga to deliver critical items like septic tanks, plumbing, housing materials, vehicles, clothing and food. But with screaming winds coming across the bow, it may be too dangerous to use the crane to offload items to the ship’s tug boat and barges.

Next up for the Taïga is the town of Igloolik, where citizens converge to gather supplies and send items south. Among them are sculptures by Bart Hannah, destined for spots in art galleries in Ontario.

The secret to the success—and why I watch—series like High Arctic Haulers is the focus on what the ships and their crews mean to the communities they serve. I learned more about Nunavut from one episode of High Arctic Haulers than I ever have in a Canadian history class. I look forward to learning more.

High Arctic Haulers airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of CBC.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Wicked weather and wild wrecks: Highway Thru Hell returns to Discovery for Season 7, Sept. 4

From a media release:

Battling massive mudslides, whiteout snowstorms, torrential rain, or dangerous rockslides, the highway heroes of Discovery’s most-watched original Canadian series HIGHWAY THRU HELL are set to return for Season 7 with an unprecedented 17 action-packed episodes, more than ever before! Airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, beginning Sept. 4 on Discovery, Season 7 kicks off with an exclusive behind-the-scenes episode featuring heavy rescuer Jamie Davis alongside friendly competitors Al Quiring, Ken Duperon, and Jason Davis reflecting on epic recoveries and discussing the various ups and downs they face in one of Canada’s toughest industries.

Following the premiere episode at 11 p.m. ET, viewers are invited to pose their questions to HIGHWAY THRU HELL star Jamie Davis in Discovery’s first-ever Facebook Live aftershow at Facebook.com/DiscoveryCanada.

Featuring stories of remarkable strength and fearless dedication, HIGHWAY THRU HELL chronicles the lives of these heroic rescue teams who often put their own lives at risk to help keep vital transport highways open and communities safe. Dropping everything to respond, it is their duty to remove the often-dangerous cargo, clean up the twisted metal, clear the road, and get traffic rolling again for thousands of drivers.

HIGHWAY THRU HELL Season 7 also sees Davis make a bold move, turning to vintage machinery to tackle modern-day wrecks. Davis’ team is not only tested by unforgiving weather conditions but also faced with the challenge of mastering old iron equipment to combat some of the most spectacular wrecks the crew has ever seen.

Discovery primes viewers for the new season with a full-day marathon of HIGHWAY THRU HELL Season 6 on Saturday, Aug. 25 beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Season 6 is also currently available for streaming on the Discovery GO app, Discovery.ca, and CraveTV.

HIGHWAY THRU HELL has consistently attracted impressive audiences, ranking as a Top 10 series on entertainment specialty television in Canada for total viewers and the A25-54 demographic. The series has made Discovery the most-watched entertainment specialty channel in its timeslot among total viewers as well as the A25-54 and A18-49 demographics.

Toyota returns as the show’s exclusive automotive sponsor, featuring the capable, rugged, full-size Tundra pickup in HIGHWAY THRU HELL’s seventh season.

About HIGHWAY THRU HELL Season 7:
Jamie Davis is shifting gears once again. After years of keeping the highways open with some of the most modern heavy wreckers – the legendary tow man is staking his future on old iron equipment.

At Davis’ yard in Hope, B.C., Classic Holmes tow trucks – some nearly half a century old – are slowly replacing newer, costlier wreckers. For Davis, the vintage trucks are more than just a passion – they represent survival. Under pressure to reduce costs and stay competitive, Davis is confident this winter he and his crew can tackle some of the toughest jobs – on and off the Coquihalla Highway – using an ageing, rebuilt fleet.

This winter season, Davis is counting on one truck more than any other – the “Mighty Mo”. After rolling out of his garage at the end of last winter, the beautifully restored Holmes 850, named after a World War II battleship, is ready for war. Known as the most powerful tow truck of its day, the hulking 40-ton wrecker will need to shoulder the biggest jobs as Davis prepares to sell his last modern truck.

After a challenging first winter working the mountain passes, former prairie operator Colin McLean is back in Hope for more adventures as Davis’ lead driver. But having run some of the best top-of-the-line hydraulic trucks, Davis’ “old iron” is going to take some getting used to.

Each one-hour episode follows the Jamie Davis Motor Truck team as well as their competitors – Quiring Towing, Mission Towing, Aggressive Towing, and Reliable Towing – as they brave the harsh conditions of the Coquihalla Highway. Ready to navigate extreme roads and weather, each team prepares to put themselves on the line in order to keep some of the most economically important and travelled trucking routes in North America open and accessible for all.

HIGHWAY THRU HELL is produced by Great Pacific Media in association with Discovery Canada. Executive Producer is Mark Miller. The series producer is Neil Thomas.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail