Sportsnet has confirmed that the Rogers Hometown Hockey tour is officially retiring after eight seasons. Rogers Sports & Media declined to comment on the status of the talent attached to the show, including co-hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone. Broadcasting weekly from a different community, the tour included a weekend of free outdoor hockey festivities, culminating in a community viewing party broadcast on Sportsnet and SN Now, with MacLean and Slone hosting live on-site. Profiling players and teams in each city it visited, London, ON hosted the first tour stop in October 2014. The tour was suspended for the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 and the broadcast moved to Monday nights when it returned this past season. Read more here.
The Directors Guild of Canada, BC District Council (DGC BC) has ratified the tentative agreement it reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the Canadian Media Producers Association-BC (CMPA). After five days of polling, 89.5% voted in favour of the deal. The ratification comes after 15 months of bargaining which saw DGC BC issuing strike notice for the first time. Highlights of the new contract include: wage increases of 3% each year, retroactive to July 11, 2021; minimum wage differentials to ensure that, as minimum wage increases, the wage rates for positions just above minimum wage continue to increase as well; outsized wage increase for Location Managers resulting in a 15.8% wage increase over the term of the agreement; and a Meal Penalty, which incents producers to provide DGC BC employees with meals in a timely manner.
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has released an overview of its 2021-22 fiscal year, including $40.6M in production spending on 43 original works, including 18 co-productions. NFB productions earned 151 awards, an increase of almost 40% over the previous year with 66% going to NFB women creators. 13% of prizes went to Indigenous creators. NFB says the past fiscal year was one of the best in the history of its online reach, doubling its online views in Canada over the past five years to 12 million. Globally, the NFB recorded 64 million views across all platforms, including a sharp increase of views on Amazon Prime, which went from 1.2 million global views in 2018-19 to over 8 million this past year. In terms of gender parity, 54% of works completed in 2021-22 were directed by women and 46% by men, while 61% of production spending went to works by women. 16% of production spending went to works by Indigenous creators, exceeding the goal of 15%.
CTV and Counterfeit Pictures have announced the cast joining new original comedy series, Shelved. Created by Anthony Q. Farrell (The Office), Lyndie Greenwood (The Expanse), Chris Sandiford (What We Do In The Shadows), Dakota Ray Hebert (Run Woman Run), and Paul Braunstein (Baroness Von Sketck) are confirmed to lead the cast of the eight-episode, half-hour series. Production is underway in Toronto on the single-camera workplace comedy centered around the lives of employees and patrons at the Jameson Public Library in Parkdale. Greenwood stars as Wendy, Head of the Jameson Branch.
Dave Merheje premieres new comedy special I Love You Habibi on July 29 on Crave. Filmed in front of a live audience during the 2021 Just For Laughs Festival in Montréal, the Crave Original special is focused on family and therapy with Merheje talking about growing up in Windsor with his Lebanese family, and going to therapy in a culture that really doesn’t do that. Merheje co-stars alongside Daisy Ridley in the upcoming feature Sometimes I Think About Dying, directed by Rachel Lambert. He also plays the recurring role of Ahmed on the award-winning comedy series Ramy on Hulu.
TBD Creative House’s upcoming documentary, Footprints of Kemet, is being hailed as the first independent movie to be developed using a blockchain asset as part of the compensation package for the team working on the microbudget film. The film will examine controversial and rogue ideas on what may have been going on during the fringes of remote Egyptian history. The TBD team will be travelling to Egypt with the crew from the UnchartedX podcast, dedicated to exploring ancient mysteries. Creative Circulation (CRCL) is a deflationary token built on the TRON Network. Its purpose is to be used as an alternative compensation asset for producing creative projects. TBD says while most popular cryptocurrencies ask their communities to buy and hold their coins, owners of CRCL are encouraged to use their tokens to kickstart projects that face difficulty securing seed funding or pre-revenue cash flow.