Tag Archives: Thunderbird Entertainment

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.

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Season 4 of Heavy Rescue: 401 returns January 7 to Discovery

From a media release:

Buckle up, Canada! Discovery gets winter-ready with the return of smash-hit, MADE®-in-Canada original series HEAVY RESCUE: 401, airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT beginning Jan. 7. With 14 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. A Top 5 series on Discovery across all seasons among the key A25-54 demo, viewers can catch Season 4 of HEAVY RESCUE: 401 everywhere Discovery content can be found.

From Great Pacific Media, the makers of Discovery’s fan-favourite series HIGHWAY THRU HELL, HEAVY RESCUE: 401 tells the stories of Ontario heavy recovery operators who fight to clear wrecks, flip trucks, and keep drivers moving. Close to half-a-million vehicles travel these highways every day, requiring government and police forces to depend on the experienced men and women of Canada’s towing industry – ready to work just inches from open lanes and speeding traffic – when disaster strikes. Production on Season 5 of HEAVY RESCUE: 401 is currently underway.

About Season 4 of HEAVY RESCUE: 401:
The all-new season catches up with new Canadian Sonny Subra (Steve’s Towing) who earned the chance to run a rotator, the pinnacle of heavy recovery machines. Now he and his wife are set to embark on the next phase of their Canadian dream, pushing Sonny to work harder and stretch himself in a whole new way.

Mitch Wright (B&G Towing) starts a small job that turns into one of his biggest challenges. Meanwhile, Kevin Richardson leaves his longtime home at Metro Towing and adjusts to life at new company.

Collin Vandenheuvel (Preferred Towing) faces days of non-stop whiteout attacks on the highways around Sarnia and London pushing him to sharpen his skills with danger lurking around every bend. Nearby, Ross Towing faces its busiest winter in years, and newly promoted Brad Prince is forced to master his new wrecker with no time for training wheels.

In the east, Andrew Vink (Herb’s Towing) has rebuilt his heavy crew, putting his faith and his rotator in the hands of 21-year-old Zach,  but it remains to be seen if Zach’s ability matches his ambition. After working for the same family for years, everything changes for veteran Eric Godard when a new company (County Towing) and a new family, take over.

HEAVY RESCUE: 401 continues to work closely with the Ontario Provincial Police and Sgt. Kerry Schmidt to execute on-the-spot accident reconstructions, managing massive pileups, and overseeing toxic spill sites; and follows the crew at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s massive control centre.

In the premiere episode, “We’re Jumping In” (Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT), after three decades on the highway, a major change forces Eric Godard to adapt to a whole new crew on a tough rollover. A vicious pre-winter storm pushes Sonny into urgent on-the-job training; and when a jet fuel spill shuts down the entire 401, it’s up to the Ross crew to get it back open.

Viewers can catch up on Season 3 of HEAVY RESCUE: 401 with a New Year’s Eve marathon, Tuesday, Dec. 31, beginning at 2 p.m ET on Discovery and now on the Discovery GO app.

HEAVY RESCUE: 401 is produced by Great Pacific Media (a Thunderbird Entertainment Group company) in association with Bell Media. Executive Producer is Mark Miller. Series Producer is Todd Serotiuk.

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Thunderbird celebrates Highway Thru Hell’s 100th episode milestone

From a media release:

Discovery’s Canadian original series Highway Thru Hell returns for Season 8 and moves to a new day and time, premiering Monday, October 7th 2019 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The international hit series, which is Discovery’s top-rated series for audiences of all ages, will also return for an 18-episode ninth season, its largest ever. Season 9 goes into production this fall.

Produced by Thunderbird Entertainment’s Factual Division, in partnership with Discovery Canada, Highway Thru Hell follows the lives of the men and women who fight to keep traffic moving on BC’s mountain highways through vicious winter storms. The program’s broad appeal has made it a Canadian staple, and an international hit.  It is watched in 200 territories, in more than 12 languages.

Highway Thru Hell is a top-rated series on Discovery. It airs globally in more than 12 languages, including Discovery (Canada), The Weather Channel (United States), ABC (Australia), National Geographic (Norway, UK and Ireland), RMC Découverte (France) and IRIB Mostanad (Iran). It also streams worldwide on Netflix.

Season 8 of Highway Thru Hell consists of 17 all-new episodes, documenting the trials of Jamie Davis and his fellow hardworking and heroic heavy recovery operators, as they fight to keep the roads open through British Columbia’s Coquihalla and Cascade mountains. Following the season premiere on October 7 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery, Thunderbird invites viewers to join a Facebook Live event to celebrate along with its production partners.

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Thunderbird Entertainment reaches distribution deal with Encore Airlines for Kim’s Convenience

From a media release:

Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TSXV:TBRD) (“Thunderbird” or the “Company”), a global multiplatform entertainment company, is pleased to announce it has reached a distribution deal with Encore Inflight Limited for the first two seasons of the Company’s scripted series Kim’s Convenience. The deal will see the Canadian Screen Award-winning series available for in-flight viewing on major world airlines, including Cathay Pacific, Emirates, SilkAir, Scoot, Royal Brunei Airways, Thai Airways, Qantas, and Qatar Airways. The deal will also include season three when available.

Kim’s Convenience is the comedic, heartfelt story of the Kims, a Korean-Canadian family who runs a convenience store amidst the energetic landscape of downtown Toronto. It follows two generations of the family, as they deal with customers, each other and the evolving world around them. The award-winning series stars Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Appa, Jean Yoon as Umma, Simu Liu as Jung, Andrea Bang as Janet, and Andrew Phung as Kimchee.

This high-profile partnership follows other major distribution deals for the award-winning Canadian series. In January, Yoon & Company acquired the series for distribution on cable TV in Japan and Korea, on top of the ongoing partnerships with Netflix for global streaming rights, and with Amazon for VOD rights in the United States and United Kingdom.

Season three of Kim’s Convenience premiered in Canada on CBC Television on January 8, 2019, and a fourth season begins shooting this spring. The series is based on the award-winning play by Ins Choi, who co-created the series with Kevin White. The series is produced by Ivan Fecan, who is also the executive producer along with Choi and White, and Thunderbird’s Executive Chair of the Board.

About Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc.
Thunderbird Entertainment Group is a Vancouver-based global multiplatform entertainment company with offices in VancouverLos AngelesTorontoOttawa and London. Thunderbird creates award-winning scripted, unscripted and animated programming for the world’s leading digital platforms, as well as Canadian and International broadcasters. Thunderbird’s vision is to produce high quality, socially responsible content that makes the world a better place.  The Company develops, produces and distributes animated, factual and scripted content through its various divisions, including Atomic Cartoons, Great Pacific Television, Thunderbird Productions and Thunderbird Releasing Limited.

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Discovery Canada renews Thunderbird Entertainment’s Highway Thru Hell for an eighth season

From a media release:

Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TSXV:TBRD) (“Thunderbird” or the “Company”), a global multiplatform entertainment company with offices in Los AngelesLondonVancouverOttawa and Toronto, is pleased to announce the hit series Highway Thru Hell has been commissioned for an eighth season on Discovery Canada. The new season will consist of 17 inspiring episodes and begin airing in late 2019.

Highway Thru Hell follows the heroes of the highway as they fight to keep some of the most economically important and inhospitable trucking routes in North America open to traffic. The current season airs Tuesday nights on Discovery Canada. Highway Thru Hell is Discovery’s most-watched factual series, dominating Canadian entertainment specialty channels in its timeslot.

Thunderbird has produced more than 100 episodes of Highway Thru Hell and its spinoff series Heavy Rescue 401. The series can be watched in over a dozen languages in more than 170 countries worldwide.

Series executive producer Mark Miller, who is also the president of Thunderbird Entertainment, attributes the success of Highway Thru Hell to its cinematic storytelling and rich character development. “This series has raised the bar for factual documentaries around the world. In addition to attracting top ratings on Discovery in Canada, it is also a worldwide staple on Netflix,” he explains. “Viewers connect with the day-to-day struggles of these heroes of the highway, which makes their stories highly relatable and visually entertaining.”

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 Canada the most-watched entertainment specialty channel in its timeslot among total viewers as well as the A25-54 and A18-49 demographics.

Highway Thru Hell is produced by Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. in association with Discovery Canada. Wendy McKernan is the producer and Neil Thomas the series producer.

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