Tag Archives: HGTV Canada

Making It Home’s Kenny Brain is feeling at home on HGTV Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic caused chaos in the film and television industry. When productions weren’t completely shut down, contact between cast and crew was deeply restricted. For Kenny Brain, it meant he wasn’t able to really get to know his co-star, Kortney Wilson until cameras were rolling on Season 1 of Making It Home with Kortney and Kenny.

“The first time Kortney and I met face-to-face was about an hour before they yelled, ‘Action!'” he says with a laugh. “We did some online stuff but nothing in-person until we showed up to film.

“My legs were shaking when I walked in,” he recalls. “I’m thinking, ‘How did I end up here? Did I make the right decision?'”

Those worries were for naught. As viewers see when they tune in, there is a connection, chemistry and repartee between the duo. That’s even more pronounced in Season 3 of Making It Home with Kortney and Kenny. Currently airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada, each instalment follows Wilson and Brain as they visit properties in dire need of a makeover. With her spunk and design know-how and his consummate contracting skills, it’s a wild, funny and tear-filled ride.

It’s been quite the journey for Brain. The Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, native first made waves on Canadian TV when he appeared on Season 2 of Global’s Big Brother Canada. Once his stint on reality TV came to an end, Brain didn’t plan on returning to the small screen.

“I thought Big Brother Canada would be a one-off,” Brain says. “A really cool, massive experience, but I never dreamed I would end up where I am today.” Brain was quite comfortable transforming properties across the country, something he fell in love with in his 20s when he helped friends renovate their home and cabin. Putting the time and energy into something with his own hands that provided a tangible result had great allure. It quickly turned into his every day.

Now Brain finds himself standing among some of the biggest names in Canadian DIY, mentioned alongside Bryan Baeumler, Scott McGillivray, Sarah Richardson, Jonathan and Drew Scott, Mike Holmes, Sarah Keenleyside and Sebastian Clovis. It’s not something he takes for granted.

“HGTV Canada is such a staple in people’s homes,” he says. “To be a part of that family and to feel supported, I have to pinch myself because I never imagined my life being where it is right now.”

Making It Home with Kortney and Kenny airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

Image courtesy of Corus Media.

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Preview: HGTV’s Sarah’s Mountain Escape heads West for stress and adventure

Happy anniversary HGTV Canada! Launching back in October of 1997, the Canadian specialty channel is celebrating 25 years on the air with some of its most iconic hosts featured in new series or new seasons of series.

One of those is Sarah Richardson. The OG of HGTV Canada has spent over two decades starring in programming for the network and her latest, Sarah’s Mountain Escape, is a doozy.

Kicking off on Wednesday, October 19, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada, Sarah, her husband Alexander Younger and their two daughters tackle perhaps their biggest project to date: renovating a lodge in Whistler, B.C.

Like her 2017 venture, Sarah Off the Grid, Sarah’s Mountain Escape is part renovation series, part family escapade. Unlike Off the Grid, the building featured in Mountain Escape is going to strictly be an income property (Scott McGillivray would be proud) and has to pull in the biggest per-night amount it can. It’s a daunting task.

Sarah’s business ventures in Ontario mean she has to hire contractors in Whistler and rely on others to make sure the job gets done when they can’t be there. Wednesday’s debut is a tough slog, as Sarah and her family visit the 5,000 square foot 1970s Bavarian-style lodge for the first time since it was purchased. Things that were quaint, like chicken tchotchkes and quirky corners, are downright scary when observed in the sobering light of post-purchase and there were several moments when the family honestly thought they’d made a mistake. But half the fun of a show like this is seeing how projects are completed, and the initial step of a downstairs renovation is simply stunning to see.

Sarah’s Mountain Escape is going to be an adventure, and I’m here for it.

Sarah’s Mountain Escape airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

Image courtesy of Corus Media.

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Pamela Anderson returns to her roots in Corus Studios’ Pamela’s Garden of Eden

From a media release:

HGTV Canada welcomes global icon Pamela Anderson to the network with the highly anticipated debut of Pamela’s Garden of Eden (8×60), premiering on Thursday, November 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The Corus Studios Original series follows Pamela as she takes a break from her Hollywood life and embarks on a massive restoration of her grandmother’s legacy property on Vancouver Island. A project this scale tests Pamela’s patience and her personal life as she tries to remain focused on her dream for the property: to embrace her family’s past and fulfill her vision for the future.

Pamela’s passion for design and gift for renovating spaces has inspired her to redevelop the expansive six-acre waterfront property she purchased from her grandmother 25 years ago. The property encompasses three main areas: The Roadhouse, The Boathouse and The Cabin; and Pamela has major plans for each. Pamela has an ambitious timeline and hopes to finish the “crown jewel” of the property, The Boathouse on the shoreline, before the Christmas holidays and make it into an architectural masterpiece. Pamela enlists a team of contractors, an architect, a designer, and input from her parents and son to execute her romantic and glamorous vision. Over the course of the season, they work alongside Pamela through the stresses, struggles, budget and time constraints of this extraordinary renovation.

In the premiere episode, “I Love Laundry!”, Pamela and her dream team start with a small but essential project, transforming the unfinished Roadhouse basement into a charming laundry area, pantry and mudroom. As they prepare for demolition, Pamela takes a trip down memory lane, going through archival designer clothes and shoes from her Hollywood life that have been stored in her basement for years. 

Pamela’s Garden of Eden is produced by Fireworks Media Group with Marni Goldman as Executive in Charge of Production for HGTV Canada.

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Randy Spracklin and his team are rockin’ it in Rock Solid Builds

One of the most creative and entertaining home renovation shows on the air right now is Rock Solid Builds.

Airing Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada, Rock Solid Builds is a flurry of construction, music, practical jokes and unique terminology all set in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and its surrounding communities. At the heart of the whirlwind is Randy Spracklin.

Spracklin is a third-generation builder and co-owner of Newfound Builders, based out of Brigus, Nfld., who reveals that despite wanting to grow his family-run business via additional staff—like his dad Scott, and team members Nikki, Paul and Josh, who appear on-camera—television wasn’t in his plans. In fact, if it wasn’t for checking his email’s junk folder and seeing one from production company Cineflix one day, Rock Solid Builds never would have happened.

“I got an email from Cineflix looking for an east coast TV show,” Spracklin remembers. “I looked at it and thought, ‘Is this real? Is this something?'” He responded to the email, did some Zoom calls, created a sizzle reel for Cineflix and things went from there.

“We’ve joked about TV over the years, but little did we think that we would be on it,” he says. “I guess the universe was saying, ‘You thought about it… here it is.”

Spracklin is Rock Solid Builds‘ jovial host, serving as the viewers’ guide to countless projects, from new builds to additions, kitchen and bathroom renovations and even the odd root cellar needing an update. A dramatic storytelling point in shows like these is when things go wrong, like a septic line being cracked or a floor suddenly needing to be re-supported. But where most hosts roll their eyes and worry for a segment or two, Spracklin takes it all in stride, usually with a joke and a crooked smile while wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the word Mint. What you see on camera is exactly what Newfound Builders tackle every day from sun-up to sun-down, including weather that can suddenly turn nasty, to supply chain issues that can occur when you live and work on an island.

“We’re looking for specialty items and they can be manufactured all over the world and sometimes the only way to get here is by boat or by plane,” Spracklin says. “And, what we’ve faced in the past year are even more shortages so, yeah, there are cases where we can’t move forward and finish the plumbing or close in the ceilings. You have to be creative and try to work around that.”

Some of those items are simply stunning, serving as showcases to the magnificent work unveiled at the end of each instalment of Rock Solid Builds. Those reveals are immediately followed by the obligatory feast in the homeowners’ kitchen, a legit part of Newfoundland life.

“If you can’t have a drink with the homeowners, then you didn’t do a good job,” Spracklin says. “To be able to sit around a table with them and the team—because everyone puts a lot of work into it—and have a cheers about it… cameras or no cameras, we would be doing it.”

Rock Solid Builds airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

Images courtesy of Cineflix.

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Preview: Rock Solid Builds returns for more jobs in Season 2

Last year at around this time, I previewed Season 1 of Rock Solid Builds. I praised the storytelling, setting and projects featured. I wasn’t alone in liking it. Rock Solid Builds was second only to Murdoch Mysteries for the positive comments it received here at TV, Eh?

Season 2—kicking off Thursday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada—sticks with its winning formula of spotlighting Randy Spracklin of Newfound Builders and his team of equally entertaining folks renovating and building homes on The Rock. Supported by a sprightly soundtrack, Randy, Scott, Nikki, Paul and Josh jump between jobs in the spring, juggling projects in St. John’s and their homeport of Brigus, working on old and new homes, with a few quirky projects thrown in. Aside from new additions to the Newfound Builders family in the form of canines, there are new responsibilities too as Nikki wants to add more to her plate.

The first project to visit is in St. John’s, where homeowners Ros and Katie want to make changes to their 100-year-old abode. The plan? To demo the existing kitchen and turn it into a music room while moving the existing music room in favour of a massive kitchen. Also on tap are updating two bathrooms. It’s a big job, but Randy is confident it will all look great in the end.

Meanwhile, across Conception Bay in Carbonear is a 19th-century root cellar that needs attention. The owners want theirs repaired and Randy is happy to oblige, first doing some demolition and then, alongside his father Scott, showing the traditional way of building a rock wall.

And, aside from the work, there is plenty of play … and laughs. Rock Solid Builds showcases the beauty of Newfoundland and its people with episode-ending opportunities to step ‘er down and reinforce that feeling of family Randy has instilled in the company.

Rock Solid Builds airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

Image courtesy of Corus Entertainment.

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