David Johnston, Canada’s former governor general, has been nominated to be the country’s first-ever debates commissioner. Nominated by the Liberal government, Johnston would be tasked with organizing two leaders’ debates (one in each official language) during the 2019 federal election campaign, ensure they are broadcast to the greatest number of Canadians, and focus on greater accessibility for linguistic minorities and those with disabilities. Johnston would be supported with a $5.5 million budget and a seven-member advisory body, made up of former politicians and journalists. Minister for Democratic Reform Karina Gould said Ottawa is changing its approach to debates ahead of the election due to the cancellation of the televised English debate in 2015 when the Conservatives refused to participate.
CBC British Columbia and Global BC will air a live, commercial-free debate on Nov. 8 featuring BC Premier John Horgan and Opposition Leader Andrew Wilkinson on the issue of electoral reform. Global News Radio 980 CKNW host Lynda Steele and CBC Vancouver’s Stephen Quinn will moderate. Both CBC British Columbia and Global BC will broadcast the debate across their networks including CBC TV, CBC Radio One, cbc.ca/bc, CBC Vancouver Facebook and the @cbcnewsbc Twitter channel; and on Global BC, BC1, Global News Radio 980 CKNW, Globalnews.ca as well as Facebook.com/GlobalBC.
CBC is set to release original series From The Vaults that will take viewers on an all-access journey into the public broadcaster’s music archives. Hosted by Amanda Parris and Tom Power, the six-part series spans six decades of Canadian music history, spotlighting moments like Sammy Davis Jr.’s first-ever solo television special Parade on CBC, Shania Twain performing on The Tommy Hunter Show at age 14, and Leonard Cohen’s television debut on CBC’s Take 30 in 1966. Banger Films produced From The Vaults, sorting through 600 hours of content over a five-month period to gather the 200 minutes of footage that appear in the series which premieres Thursday, Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. NT) on CBC, the CBC TV app and cbc.ca/watch. Read the full story here.
Corus Entertainment and Crown Media Family Network have announced a multi-year, multi-platform partnership that will bring Hallmark Channel content to the W Network. Beginning Nov. 1, Hallmark Channel original movies will air in conjunction with seasonal programming and branded weekend movie blocks. The partnership grants W Network exclusive Canadian licensing rights to all movies and scripted series produced by Crown for Hallmark and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Read the full story here.
Peacock Alley Entertainment and action sports media company King Network are joining forces to begin production on Disorganized Sport, a feature documentary that dives into the hotly-debated addition of skateboarding as an official demonstrations sport in the 2020 Olympic Games. Featuring interviews with pro skateboarders and the people behind the Olympic skateboard movement, Disorganized Sport will explore how the world’s most lawless and unsystematic “sport” will fit into the pinnacle of organized sports. It will be co-produced by legendary skateboard journalists Dave Carnie (Big Brother Skateboard Magazine) and Giovanni Reda (Webby Award-winning director of the Vice Sports doc Brian Anderson on Being a Gay Professional Skateboarder).
CraveTV is dropping several Canadian offerings in November including The Comedy Network Canadian original special Homegrown Comics on Nov. 2. Filmed on location at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival, Letterkenny’s K. Trevor Wilson hosts a celebration of Canadian stand-up comedy at the 20th edition of Homegrown Comics. Produced for television for the first time ever, the one-hour special features stand-up sets from up-and-coming talent including Adrienne Fish, Brandon Ash-Mohammed, Cara Connors, and Hoodo Hersi. Also coming to the streaming service Nov. 9 is multi-award winning Canadian doc Rumble: Indians Who Rocked The World. From director Catherine Bainbridge (Reel Injun), the film explores how the Native American influence is an integral part of music history, despite attempts to ban, censor, and erase Indian culture in the U.S. and abroad.
The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) and NABET 700-M UNIFOR have reached a new collective agreement. The tentative deal will establish the terms, conditions and rates for a number of technical crew members engaged in film, TV and digital media productions in Ontario, including construction, hair, makeup, props, transportation, lighting, sound and set dressing. Details of the new agreement in principle will be presented to the CMPA board and NABET 700-M UNIFOR membership for ratification in the coming weeks. The current agreement expires Dec. 31.
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and NZ On Air have announced renewal of their partnership, now in its fifth year, encouraging coproduction of digital media content between Canadian and New Zealand creators. Click here to access the guidelines. This year, the fund is open to projects with a target audience of children, aged 12 and under, with a particular focus for children between five and nine years old. The budget for the Canada – New Zealand Digital Media Fund is $800,000 CAD, with both organizations contributing equally. The deadline to submit an application is Jan. 17.
Women in Film & Television – Toronto (WIFT-T) has announced the five women to be honoured at its 31st annual Crystal Awards Gala on Dec. 4 in Toronto. The Crystal Awards, established in 1988, is WIFT-T’s annual tribute to women who have made significant contributions to Canada’s screen-based media industry, as well as the men who champion them. This year’s honourees are: Grace Carnale-Davis, Vice President of Sales and Client Service at Technicolor; Deborah Day, CEO and Chief Strategist at Innovate By Day; Zoe Dirse, CSC, Director of Photography; Edwina Follows, General Manager of Discovery Networks; and Karen Thorne-Stone, President and CEO at Ontario Creates.
The Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative, designed to offer a professional springboard for 100 Francophone, Indigenous and women creators, is now open for applications. Supported by Netflix, as well as the Canada Media Fund (CMF), Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office and the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), selected participants receive a full access pass to BANFF 2019; inclusion in a customized professional development program; and exclusive networking opportunities with senior media industry executives. Select “Pitch Program” participants also receive a travel stipend and additional mentorship & networking opportunities. Deadline for entries is Nov. 30.
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