Tag Archives: The Amazing Race Canada

Original entertainment productions for Bell Media’s English-language services announced

From a media release:

Bell Media confirmed today the new and returning original prime time entertainment series, documentaries, and specials fueling its English-language services and produced in partnership with independent production partners.

Bell Media’s English-language original programming is some of the most watched and most awarded in the country:

  • THE AMAZING RACE CANADA is not only last year’s #1 Canadian series, but also Canada’s most-watched summer program for seven years straight in the A25-54 demo. The fan-favourite series won six 2020 Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Reality/Competition Program or Series.
  • TRANSPLANT quickly became the most-watched Canadian drama during its first season on CTV, while JANN was the #1 new Canadian comedy of 2018-19, and received three 2020 Canadian Screen Award nominations, including Best Comedy Series.
  • CORNER GAS ANIMATED reigned as the #1 series on CTV Comedy Channel last broadcast year and won three 2020 Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Animated Program or Series.
  • Discovery hit DISASTERS AT SEA was named Best Factual Series at the Canadian Screen Awards, while HEAVY RESCUE: 401 is a Top 5 series for the channel among total viewers across all seasons.

Among today’s announcements:

  • CTV announced today along with NBCUniversal International Studios that a Season 2 renewal is underway for TRANSPLANT, the #1 Canadian drama and Top 20 hit from Sphere Media, hot on the heels of NBC’s earlier acquisition of the series’ first season.
  • As well, hit comedy series JANN, starring Jann Arden, has been renewed for Season 3 ahead of its second season premiere this fall on CTV, announced earlier today.
  • The CTV Originals slate also includes the previously confirmed comedy CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING from the producers of LETTERKENNY; new paranormal series THE SURREALTOR from the producers of SPINNING OUT and VAGRANT QUEEN; music documentary series THIS IS POP, recounting the most pivotal moments in pop music history; the newly retitled series HOLMES FAMILY EFFECT; and new seasons of CORNER GAS ANIMATED, THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, and WYNONNA EARP, along with the special all-star edition of MASTERCHEF CANADA: BACK TO WIN.
  • In addition to a strong roster of original documentaries (see below), Crave confirmed today that fan-favourite series LETTERKENNY is returning for Season 9.
  • Discovery Networks adds MUD MOUNTAIN HAULERS (working title) from the producers of returning hits HIGHWAY THRU HELL and HEAVY RESCUE 4O1, as well as two additional new series marking a new partnership between fishing adventurer Cyril Chaquet and Discovery. A new season of DISASTERS AT SEA is also set to return.
  • Plus, Bell Media confirms new documentaries BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: POWER IN THE BLOOD and HOWIE MANDEL: BUT, ENOUGH ABOUT ME, along with new Crave Original documentaries THE NEW CORPORATION, the unfortunately necessary sequel to 2003’s THE CORPORATION; THE GRIZZLY TRUTH about the former NBA team the Vancouver Grizzlies; and INCONVENIENT INDIAN, based on the stinging bestseller by Thomas King.

Bell Media’s English-language prime time Original Entertainment Productions slate from independent producers includes:

CTV Originals

  • CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING – New Series
    As previously announced, CTV’s new, half-hour comedy showcases one couple’s efforts to maintain a piece of their old lives which are continually thwarted by their young children in surprising and absurd ways. But somewhere in the toy-filled, pee-stained wreckage of what they once had, they find a new life that’s pretty good, too. Produced by New Metric Media, CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING is created by veteran comedy writer and producer Kurt Smeaton (SCHITT’S CREEK) and executive produced by Chuck Tatham (MODERN FAMILY) and Mark Montefiore (LETTERKENNY). (New Metric Media)
  • CORNER GAS ANIMATED – Season 3
    As previously announced, the Canadian Screen Award-winning series CORNER GAS ANIMATED is back for Season 3, and sees the return of the beloved ensemble cast starring Brent Butt, Gabrielle Miller, Eric Peterson, Fred Ewanuick, Lorne Cardinal, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Nancy Robertson, and Corrine Koslo. Season 3 also features a varied and star-studded list of guest-stars including comedy icon Andrea Martin, Jason Priestley, TSN’s Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, Canadian country singer Brett Kissel, Grammy-winning rock band Arcade Fire, and professional wrestlers Lance Storm, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, and Trish Stratus. (Prairie Pantoons, Moving Mountoons, and Smiley Guy Studios)
  • HOLMES FAMILY EFFECT – New Series
    Featuring Canadian TV icon and professional contractor Mike Holmes, along with his daughter Sherry, and son Michael, the brand-new inspirational series follows the Holmes family as they tackle their most ambitious projects to date. Each heart-warming episode focuses on the Holmes family as they transform the working spaces of inspiring organizations dedicated to making a difference in their communities. (Make It Right Productions)
  • JANN – Season 3
    CTV’s hit comedy series JANN returns for a third season. Starring multi-platinum award-winning Canadian singer, songwriter, broadcaster, and author Jann Arden as a fictionalized version of herself, Season 3 will see Jann’s hilarious and self-deprecating, attention-drawing antics continue, as she struggles to balance the demands of her family, career, and love life. Today’s announcement comes ahead of the Season 2 premiere of the series this fall. Season 1 of the critically acclaimed comedy reigns as the most-watched new Canadian comedy series of the 2018-19 broadcast year. (Project 10 Productions and SEVEN24 Films)
  • MASTERCHEF CANADA: BACK TO WIN
    In the all-new, special all-star edition of hit culinary competition series MASTERCHEF CANADA, judges Michael Bonacini (O&B restaurant empire), Alvin Leung (Bo Innovation in Hong Kong), and Claudio Aprile (Xango Toronto), are back for MASTERCHEF CANADA: BACK TO WIN, which offers some of the country’s best competitors from the past six seasons a second chance at winning $100,000 and the life-changing MASTERCHEF CANADA title. (Proper Television)
  • THE AMAZING RACE CANADA – Season 8
    As previously announced, multiple Canadian Screen Award-winning THE AMAZING RACE CANADA returns for an eighth season on CTV. Hosted by Olympic Gold Medallist Jon Montgomery, the adventure continues as an all-new cast of racers head to the starting line to push themselves out of their comfort zones in a non-stop, action-packed race. Season 7 of THE AMAZING RACE CANADA was the most-watched in four years, with a season average of 1.9 million viewers, earning the title of Canada’s most-watched program for a seventh year in-a-row with A25-54. (Insight Productions Inc.)
  • THIS IS POP – New Music Documentary Series
    From the Brill Building to Auto-Tune, from Boyz II Men to ABBA, from Orville Peck to  Shania Twain: the biggest names in music tell the untold stories of the most pivotal moments in pop music history. Each director-driven episode is a documentary film with its own style, voice, and one goal in common: to look at how these game-changing moments unfolded, and why their impact on pop music and culture continues today. (Banger Films)
  • THE STAND-UP SHOW WITH JON DORE – New Series
    Filmed at the 2019 Just For Laughs festival in Montréal, renowned Canadian comic Jon Dore steps up to the mic to thrill audiences and spotlight some of the biggest and up-and-coming names in comedy, including Sasheer Zamata, Kyle Brownrigg, LETTERKENNY’s Mark Forward, and Jackie Pirico. (Just For Laughs)
  • THE SURREALTOR – New Series
    In THE SURREALTOR, realtor Nick Roman and an elite team of specialists handle the cases that no one else can: haunted and possessed houses that literally scare would-be buyers away. Researching, investigating, and “fixing” the things that go bump in the night, the team works to create closure – and closings – even as they struggle with demons of their own. Executive produced by Lance Samuels and Daniel Iron (SPINNING OUT, VAGRANT QUEEN), along with George Olson who will also serve as showrunner. (Blue Ice Pictures)
  • TRANSPLANT – Season 2
    A second season renewal is underway for TRANSPLANT, the most-watched Canadian drama. The series will continue to follow Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq, THE INDIAN DETECTIVE), a Syrian doctor with battle-tested skills in emergency medicine who made the difficult decision to flee his country with his younger sister Amira. Together they build a new life in Canada, as Bash rebuilds his career in medicine at York Memorial Hospital. The series just wrapped its first season, generating an average audience of 1.4 million viewers. 1.7 million Canadians also watched the season finale.Season 2 will see the return of Hamza Haq, Laurence Leboeuf (19-2), John Hannah (MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.), Jim Watson (MARY KILLS PEOPLE), and Ayisha Issa (Polar). It will be produced by Sphere Media, in association with CTV and NBCUniversal International Studios, a division of Universal Content Group.
  • WYNONNA EARP – Season 4
    This back-by-popular demand cult-hit sees the return of stars Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Katherine Barrell, and of course the inimitable Melanie Scrofano as the titular star. In Season 4, the Earp Curse is broken, and witty and wild demon hunter Wynonna Earp would love to be celebrating with cold whisky and hot donuts. Too bad she has to rescue everyone she loves, save the town of Purgatory, and take on her most diabolical, Earp-hating enemy yet – all without her trustworthy gun, Peacemaker. And that’s just Monday. (SEVEN24 Films / Crave)

Crave Originals

  • LETTERKENNY – Season 9
    The multiple award-winning and international sensation Crave Original series, LETTERKENNY, returns for its much-anticipated ninth season. Starring Jared Keeso and produced by New Metric Media, the half-hour, small-town comedy revolves around the dustups Wayne (Keeso) and his buds get into with their small-town rivals. The Hicks, The Skids, and The Hockey Players get at each other about the most mundane things, often ending with someone getting their ass kicked. Keeso is executive producer, co-writer, and creator, Jacob Tierney is executive producer, director, and co-writer, and for New Metric Media are Mark Montefiore as executive producer and Kara Haflidson as producer. (New Metric Media)

Discovery Networks Originals

  • CHASING MONSTERS – New Series
    From giant barracudas to 500lb stingrays, CHASING MONSTERS takes viewers on a high adrenaline quest to seek out the world’s most colossal underwater creatures in remote and dangerous corners of the planet. Hosted by extreme angler and adventurer Cyril Chauquet, this high-stakes series explores the elusive monster fish living in the hidden depths of the oceans, lakes, and rivers. (Untamed Productions)
  • DISASTERS AT SEA – Season 2
    DISASTERS AT SEA from Bell Media Studios’ Exploration Productions Inc. features experienced and dedicated marine investigators tracking down new evidence and solving the mysteries behind some of the most devastating and unexpected real-life marine disasters in recent history. (Exploration Productions Inc.)
  • HEAVY RESCUE: 401 – Season 5
    Smash-hit original series HEAVY RESCUE: 401 returns for Season 5 with new episodes featuring compelling extreme winter wrecks and roadside rescues on Ontario’s notorious 400-series highways – extending from Windsor in the west to the Québec border in the east. The series takes viewers on a riveting ride through tense situations in intense environments. (Great Pacific Media)
  • HIGHWAY THRU HELL – Season 9
    Featuring stories of remarkable strength and fearless dedication, HIGHWAY THRU HELL chronicles the lives of 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. (Great Pacific Media)
  • MUD MOUNTAIN HAULERS (Working Title) – New Series
    From the producers of HIGHWAY THRU HELL and HEAVY RESCUE: 4O1, MUD MOUNTAIN HAULERS (working title) is a new eight-episode, one-hour docu-series that follows Craig LeBeau and his three-generation LeBeau Bros. family logging business through the steepest, muddiest conditions in North America. The series focuses on brothers Craig and Brent Lebeau, two men willing to go onto the steepest frozen mountains to make a living, supply the world with lumber and paper, and keep the family business alive. They face blizzards, machine breakdowns, mountain-side roll-overs, all while in a race to beat the hellacious mud of spring breakup. The crew must work steeper, higher, and more treacherous terrain than others dare, just to make it through an industry in an epic slump. (Great Pacific Media)

Documentaries and Specials

  • BUFFY SAINTE MARIE: POWER IN THE BLOOD – New CTV Original Documentary
    For more than 50 years, Buffy Sainte-Marie has been a star. Her songs are legendary, her impact undeniable. One of Canada’s most-respected Indigenous leaders, she’s a pioneer of music and activism, and has left an indelible mark on the world. From the producers of the Crave Original Documentary ONCE WERE BROTHERS: ROBBIE ROBERTSON AND THE BAND, BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: POWER IN THE BLOOD is the dramatic, powerful story of one of the most important personalities of our time. The film is a unique collaboration between the singer and filmmaker Alex Lazarowich that tells Buffy’s incredible story through exclusive access, rare archives, insightful interviews, and great music. BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: POWER IN THE BLOOD celebrates Buffy’s extraordinary achievements, dispels myths, sets the record straight, and illustrates that in a time of chaos and division, we’ve never needed Buffy more than now. (White Pine Pictures)
  • HOWIE MANDEL: BUT, ENOUGH ABOUT ME – New CTV and Crave Original Documentary
    Directed by Canadian film director and producer Barry Avrich, and featuring Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell, David Dobrik, and more, this new documentary explores Mandel’s rise from Toronto carpet salesman to Hollywood star as viewers get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Canadian comedian, actor, and TV host. (Melbar Entertainment Group)
  • FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK – New Crave Original Documentary
    Revealing the untold story of a Filipina American founded garage band that morphed into the ferocious rock group Fanny, the first all-female band to release an LP with a major record label (Warner/Reprise/1970). Despite releasing five critically acclaimed albums and counting David Bowie as one of their biggest fans, Fanny’s groundbreaking impact in music has been lost in the mists of time…until bandmates reunite 50 years later with a new rock record deal and chance to right the wrongs of music history. Also featuring Bonnie Raitt, Joe Elliott, Kate Pierson, John Sebastian, Kathy Valentine, Charles Neville, Cherie Currie, Todd Rundgren, and other music icons. (Director: Bobbi Jo Hart / Adobe Productions International Inc.)
  • INCONVENIENT INDIAN – New Crave Original Documentary
    This feature documentary from Michelle Latimer takes viewers on a journey into the mind of Thomas King: one of the world’s foremost intellectuals, and one of our greatest storytellers. Inspired by his stinging bestseller, this sumptuous film journeys across the continent to explore the ways Indigenous peoples continue to inconvenience colonial states with their existence and their resistance. (Director: Michelle Latimer / 90th Parallel Productions Ltd and the National Film Board of Canada)
  • KINGS OF COKE – New Crave Original Documentary
    This feature documentary film is about the rise and fall of Montréal’s infamous West End Gang and mob lawyer Sidney Leithman’s unsolved murder. Documenting the ascent of the West End Gang, from a rag tag group of thieves to international drug importers. With multiple timelines, searing testimony, and a unique visual approach, KINGS OF COKE will create points of tension, mystery, and suspense by trying to answer the question “Who killed Sidney Leithman?”; a question that can only be answered by examining the bloody rise of the West End Gang over two decades. It’s a tale of a massive criminal conspiracy, corrupt cops, tons of cocaine, and millions of dollars all pointing in one direction – a lawyer’s office in Montréal. (Connect3 and Urbania)
  • THE GRIZZLY TRUTH – New Crave Original Documentary
    From the team behind Finding Big Country and The Carter EffectTHE GRIZZLY TRUTH follows superfan Kat Jayme’s search for truth and redemption for her hometown NBA team, the Vancouver Grizzlies … who mysteriously disappeared after just six seasons. Through Kat’s unwavering devotion, this documentary explores the unique and remarkable story of how Vancouver won an NBA franchise against all odds, only to lose the team in record time. This is the untold story of the gone, but far from forgotten, Vancouver Grizzlies. Full of heart and humour, THE GRIZZLY TRUTH is much more than a sports story; it’s a mystery, a comedy of errors, and an underdog epic. (Director: Kat Jayme / Grizz Films in partnership with Uninterrupted).
  • THE NEW CORPORATION – New Crave Original Documentary
    THE CORPORATION (2003) examined the institution of the corporation and its role within society; THE NEW CORPORATION – an unfortunately necessary sequel – reveals a society now engulfed by that institution, wholly captured and seduced into adopting corporate values, serving corporate interests, and slowly, unwittingly ceding our independence. The documentary looks at how we got here and what can be done to regain, revitalize, and reimagine our democracy. (Directors: Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan / Grant Street Productions in association with Screen Siren Pictures Inc.)
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The Amazing Race Canada: One Way fun day in Edmonton

During last week’s teaser for Tuesday’s episode of The Amazing Race Canada, the double One Way was teased. How would this latest wrinkle affect the teams? We found out in Edmonton, the location for the latest Leg.

Aarthy and Thinesh departed Revelstoke, B.C., first, aiming to land one of two spots on the first airplane to Edmonton; the rest would follow two and a half hours later. That was the biggest advantage of this season so far. Close to three hours head start can give a struggling team the cushion they need to succeed. The double One Way, new in Season 7, enabled two teams to anonymously decide the Detours two other teams must complete. The advantage? It forces a team to complete a Detour they might not be good at. The possible backfire? Giving a team a Detour they master quickly.

Dave and Irina had bullseyes on their backs and were determined to get to the One Way board before anyone could target them. Anthony and James, meanwhile, were excited to return to their home turf, hoping it would give them an advantage. (Kudos to TARC‘s producers for letting the couple acknowledge they were wearing skirts to honour the missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.) Dave and Irina were on the board for Flight No. 1, as were Aarthy and Thinesh. Everyone else had to settle for Flight No. 2 and the possibility of being One Way victims.

I had totally forgotten Dave and Irina had an Express Pass to give until they offered it to Anthony and James who had inadvertently helped them during the tree planting in B.C. The first location in Edmonton was to The Source, which I totally forgot even existed. There, they would get their next clue and put on a (sponsor alert!) Samsung fitness tracker; the team with the lowest number of steps for the Leg pocketed a $5,000 gift card for The Source. That turned out to be Lauren and Joanne.

A man and a woman look at a shopping display.The next location? The high level bridge streetcar, to find their next clue … and dole out some One Way pain. Aarthy and Thinesh aimed to be the team with the last steps taken and allowed Dave and Irina to pass them on the way to the streetcar. Who cares if you win $5,000 if you’ve been eliminated?

This week’s Detour choices were Celebrate (performing with a youth choir at the Royal Alberta Museum) or Elevate (climbing aboard the funicular and completing two puzzles of the city skyline). Dave and Irina chose Elevate and did not One Way any other team. “We’ll let the peasants fight for last place,” Dave joked. Aarthy and Thinesh chose the same Detour and didn’t One Way anyone either, but didn’t mention anything about peasants. The two puzzles contained pieces from each, meaning teams had to use the funicular several times to complete the images. Dave and Irina completed the puzzles first and left for the Old Strathcona Antique Mall.

The second flight arrived, and third to show up at the streetcar were Anthony and James who opted not to punish anyone. Lauren and Joanne became the first team to utilize the One Way and targetted Trish and Amy for Celebrate. Sarah and Sam, who picked Elevate, One Way-ed Sean and Gilles for Celebrate too. Meaghan and Marie opted for Celebrate, meaning three teams were set to sing and dance. Amy was worried her hearing impairment was going to be a problem and asked their instructor to speak up. Meaghan and Marie needed just two attempts to master the dance and song and left for the antique mall, followed by Trish and Amy.

At the antique mall, Racers were tasked with finding a Jon Montgomery bobblehead somewhere in the 27,000 square foot building. Dave and Irina found Jon’s bobblehead first, amid wrestling figures, and departed for the Kurimoto Japanese Garden to locate the Ozawa Pavillion. Sam spotted Jon in seconds; he and Sarah leapfrogged others into third place as they headed to the pavilion. Anthony and James and Lauren and Joanne were close behind. Trish and Amy located Jon, but it was a picture in an Olympic magazine.

Two women look through a pile of posters.The Leg’s Road Block challenged one team member to master an Ichiban flower arrangement by watching a silent demonstration and replicating it. Irina took it on, as did Thinesh. Irina seems to get stressed out at the littlest things and threatened to shake her confidence. But, right after the commercial break, she realized her mistake—the flowers were touching—and corrected it. Anthony, Sarah and  Lauren all arrived at the same time and Sarah was left alone after the others were done first because her flowers were touching. Things were even worse for Amy, who didn’t see that one leaf hiding behind the pot and keeping her from leaving the pavilion. The same mess was messing with Gilles.

This Leg’s Pit Stop was the Agha Khan Garden, where the real Jon waited. With 20 minutes of the episode still to go, Dave and Irina landed in first place and a trip to Casablanca, Morocco. Aarthy and Thinesh completed the Leg in second place and were feeling confident. Amy and Gilles’ massive delays with their flower arrangements meant they were the bottom of the pack. And, sadly for Gilles and Sean, it meant an elimination.

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

  1. Dave and Irina
  2. Aarthy and Thinesh
  3. Anthony and James
  4. Lauren and Joanne
  5. Sarah and Sam
  6. Meaghan and Marie
  7. Trish and Amy
  8. Sean and Gilles (eliminated)

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

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Comments and queries for the week of July 5

My mouth dropped open in disbelief when Jon eliminated Jet and Dave, OMG. I thought for sure it’d be a non-Elimination Leg. I was super stoked they were back, and can’t believe they’re done. THE most entertaining and funny duo to enter the entire series IMO. (Yes I voted for them lol.) Sad, but here’s hoping the saying third time’s a charm rings true. Maybe in Season 10, maybe. —Tunie


I know that I learned things from watching this show. Look where you want to go, know your limits and drive within them, how to do proper shoulder checks, how to know where your wheels are, how to steer when you are skidding, and be a polite driver. Thank you, Canada’s Worst Driver. —J

Come be a surrogate host for an American version. The hosts here suck, they are so busy playing to their fan clubs that the show lacks your sense of humour or ability to properly host a show. Maybe if you can’t do that you can teach other hosts how to properly make a show work. What it really comes down to is you were the show. Without your talent to present, it wouldn’t have lasted. —Ed

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.

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AMI’s Mind Set Go inspires Canadians to transform their minds and bodies

I truly relate to the participants of AMI-tv’s documentary series, Mind Set Go, which kicks off its second season on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life and have had to deal with the mental blocks that kept me from achieving my health and fitness goals. Over the past few years, I changed my focus from short-term fixes to a long-term wellness plan, and I’ve lost around 50 pounds. Despite that success, it’s still a daily challenge, and I often have days when I have to battle negative thoughts.

As it so happens, overcoming negative thoughts is the entire point of Mind Set Go, which follows the journeys of eight overweight Canadians as they attempt to change their lives for the healthier.

Para-athlete Pamela LeJean helps Mind Set Go participant Danielle on her fitness journey.

“It’s all about the brain, and it’s all about your mindset,” supervising producer Sophie Morgadinho explains during a phone interview from Toronto. “It’s not like a diet. It’s stopping the behaviours that are causing you to be unhealthy, and it really starts with changing the way you think about yourself and what you’re doing every day.”

Helping the show’s participants to transform their outlooks and bodies are fitness and health experts Julie and Lowell Taylor (The Amazing Race Canada) and a group of Canadian Paralympians. One of those Paralympians is Para Hall of Famer and retired para-alpine skier Karolina Wisniewska, who says she was thrilled to take part in the series.

“I think the thing that appealed to me most of all was this opportunity to be in a position to kind of inspire or help someone based on the things I learned as a high-performance athlete,” she says. “And on another maybe more personal level, I retired from alpine skiing in 2011 due to a concussion, and after my retirement, I too had struggled with maintaining my fitness. So I could really relate to what maybe some of these participants on the show were experiencing themselves.”

Each expanded, one-hour episode of the show follows a participant as he or she attempts to get fit and triumph over some of the mental hurdles that have tripped them up in the past. For self-professed “sugar addict” Dana, who is featured in the season premiere and paired with Paralympian powerlifter Ness Murby, that means confronting the grief she tried to suppress with food after her father died. For formerly fit Darryl, who is featured in the sixth episode and paired with Wisniewska, that means coming to grips with a degenerative hearing condition that left him profoundly deaf.

“My strong feeling with Daryl was that he just really needed somebody to bounce ideas off of and to talk him through it and to kind of think about what was resonating with him,” says Wisniewska. “The second aspect, I think, is that he did need a bit of a kick in the butt.”

Para Hall of Famer and former para-alpine skier Karolina Wisniewska.

Wisniewska was more than happy to provide that kick. While she says her history of concussions makes her very empathetic towards those who are facing adversity, being born with cerebral palsy makes her want to push able-bodied people to meet their full fitness potential.

“I’m someone who was born with a disability, and I’ve never understood able-bodied people who take their bodies for granted,” she says. “So that’s where my competitive athlete side comes out, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my god. Stop making excuses. You have no excuse, just do it.'”

At the beginning of their journeys, Dana, Darryl and the other participants all choose a physical challenge to complete at the end of their three-month transformations. These challenges, which include a mountain climb and a long-distance bike ride, are designed to provide a measuring stick for the physical and mental progress each person has made. While the Taylors and the Paralympians are a key part of the process, in the end, the participants have to look inside themselves for the inspiration they need to succeed–a situation Wisneiwska is very familiar with.

“At the end of the day, in ski racing, you’re at the top of the hill, you have to kick out of the start gate, and you have to race that race,” she says. “Nobody else is going to do it.”

According to Morgadinho, watching people overcome their mental demons and achieve their health goals was a motivating experience for everyone involved with the series.

“Working on the show, I have to tell you, it’s been really inspiring because I see people make transformations in their lives,” she says. “And it’s not like Biggest Loser. You’re not going to see someone come back 100 pounds lighter. It’s not about that. But you see a difference in their confidence and their happiness, and they’re healthier, they look better.”

She continues, “For me, it’s very inspiring to look at the things that I can change and go, ‘I know I’m in control of this. I have to change how I look at the problem and how I look at the solution.’ I hope that viewers are also inspired to make positive, healthy changes.”

Upcoming episodes of the series feature Canadian Paralympians  Michelle Stilwell, David Willsie, Ina Forrest, Pamela LeJean, Shawna Ryan and Andrew Haley.

Mind Set Go airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on AMI-tv.

Images courtesy of AMI.

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Amazing Race Canada: And the winners are…

This season of The Amazing Race Canada has seen its share of drama, joy, and tears both happy and sad. It also had a surprising number of close finishes in front of Jon Montgomery. That’s a testament, I think, to how evenly matched the teams have been.

Taylor and Courtney, the clear favourites after winning so many Legs, departed New Brunswick in the lead. They were confident. But confidence can be a killer, especially when you have a team like Courtney and Adam on your tail. Time and time again they dodged elimination; would this be the week they’d win their first—and the most important—Leg of all in their home province? And you couldn’t count out the late surge of Kwame and Dylan.

On the ground in Calgary, the pairs were faced with a Road Block: to enter the airport’s air traffic control tower simulator to memorize two weather reports and then relay them to the senior air traffic controller upstairs. Kwame and the Courtneys tackled the test. It was going to be tough. Taylor was confident his sister would pull it off. And it appeared she would thanks to a trick she’d used in the past: assigning acronyms to things she had to recall.

“Courtney and Taylor are not the team you want in the lead,” Dylan said. It was a huge understatement. The siblings beat it to a waiting helicopter that took them to Banff National Park and Mount Fable for their next clue. At 9,000 feet above sea level, it was one hell of a spot to grab a clue. The scenery was simply stunning; The Amazing Race Canada never disappoints with its choices of location to film at. I did wonder if the producers would let teams go off on their own to find the clue. They rightly erred on the side of caution and had a climber accompany them.

Meanwhile, Courtney and Kwame were stuck at the airport, one word separating each from advancing. Courtney finally said “inform” rather than “tell” and she and Adam left Kwame and Dylan behind. Kwame finally got “altimeter” and they headed out.

Sunshine Village Ski Resort was the next stop and another upward climb—via gondola—to the next clue. In the Leg’s Road Block, Racers had to master two extreme winter sports: skijoring (skiing and dog sledding) two laps and then sledding down a slushy course. The team member who didn’t perform the airport task had to do this one. That meant Taylor, Adam and Dylan had to complete it. With no one else to challenge him, Taylor was able to take his time and build up a routine with his canine companions. A hearty thank you to the producers for replaying Taylor’s faceplant and flip coming out of the slush pond.

The Banff National Park Administration Building was the next location and Courtney and Taylor believed they had a 45-minute lead on the first responders. The next test? A classic Amazing Race Canada memory recall with teams picking through 10 souvenir shops on Banff’s main street for trinkets representing the people, places and things experienced during Heroes Edition. Display them in the correct order and you get to move on. With almost half of the episode left to broadcast, it appeared this was going to determine who would win the season. (It was as Taylor and Courtney started shopping that I noticed the huge snow rash on Taylor’s face.)

Where Taylor and Courtney appeared to just grab and dash with their items, Courtney and Adam took the time to write them down and the countries they were assigned to. It appeared that would give them a huge advantage when it came to assembling them in order. Suddenly, the RCMP officers’ lead was gone as both teams were in the same shop. Dylan and Kwame caught up too … but then assumed there were single items in the stores. Ouch.

Taylor and Courtney were the first team back to the administration building but were short on items, meaning they had to go shopping. It was a tense time in the building as Courtney and Taylor and Courtney and Adam came up short on one tchotchke each. While Adam and Courtney swapped toys back and forth, placing the PEI zombies in a Mexico spot, Taylor and Courtney were grabbing the all-important helicopter.

Suddenly, Adam realized the zombies weren’t part of the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico. And just like that, he and Courtney were in first place and off to the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course via raft in search of Jon Montgomery and the final Pit Stop. Coming in fast were Courtney and Taylor. The only thing standing in the way of a first-place finish was the elusive fifth hole … on the 18-hole course.

And, in a stunning finale, it was Adam and Courtney who finished in first place, outrunning Courtney and Taylor for the title, vehicles, trip for two around the world, and $250,000.

Congratulations to the crew and cast of The Amazing Race Canada. You’re all heroes in my book.

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

  1. Adam and Courtney
  2. Courtney and Taylor
  3. Kwame and Dylan

Were you happy with the season finale of The Amazing Race Canada? Who would you like to have seen won instead? What did you think of this season overall? Let me know in the comments below.

Flag image courtesy of Bell Media.

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