Pluto TV has made its debut in Canada, in partnership with Corus Entertainment, launching with more than 20,000 hours of free programming. The Paramount-owned FAST (free ad-supported) streaming service offers both live linear channels and thousands of on-demand titles, currently boasting a global audience of 72 million monthly active users across 30 countries and territories. Pluto TV’s Canadian offering includes over 110 thematic and single-series channels from Classics, Drama, and Reality, to Comedy, Sports, Gaming, and numerous Movie channels organized by genre. More than 30 channels are dedicated to Canadian content including 14 News & Opinion channels giving Canadian viewers access to around-the-clock Global News channels from Toronto, Montreal, B.C., Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Kingston, Lethbridge, Okanagan, Peterborough, Winnipeg, Regina and Saskatoon. Corus will act as the Canadian ad representative for Pluto TV. Read more here.
toober, the Toronto-based live television app designed to connect viewers to specialty television from around the world, has launched eight new channels with in-browser viewing to become available in the coming weeks. The additional channels, available to all subscribers, include NewsMax, GB News Channel (UK), D5 Channel Punjabi, Studio Canal +, French entertainment channel M6 International, Arab entertainment channel Alaraby 2, Syria TV, and immersive nature channel Wild Earth. toober is available in Canada on Rogers, Shaw, Videotron, Apple TV, Google TV Playstore, Samsung, and Roku, as well as in the U.S. and Mexico via LG, Roku and Apple TV.
VIDAA, the Hisense-owned smart TV operating system and streaming platform, has announced an agreement that will see Google TV and other Android TV OS devices carry VIDAA’s premium sports content, which includes FIFA+. This year’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, of which Hisense is an Official Sponsor, is expected to draw five billion viewers around the world.
Hockey Night in Canada in Cree is back. Starting Dec. 10, Sportsnet and APTN team up once again to deliver NHL games in Plains Cree. Clarence Irons returns with the call, alongside host Earl Wood and analysts John Chabot and Jay Chamakese. The broadcasts include: Calgary Flames vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (Dec. 10); Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks (Jan. 21); Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens (Feb. 25); Edmonton Oilers vs. Winnipeg Jets (March 4); Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators (April 1).
TSN and RDS will serve as the official broadcasters of the upcoming Canadian Tire Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) All-Star Weekend, in partnership with the Ottawa Senators, live from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Dec. 10-11. The weekend features an all-star broadcast team, led by host Tessa Bonhomme, alongside analyst Jayna Hefford on-site in Ottawa. On the call is Kenzie Lalonde with analyst Cheryl Pounder, and Julia Tocheri reporting rinkside.
The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA), Scotiabank, Secret and Sportsnet have unveiled plans for a live national broadcast of a PWHPA game during the 2023 Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada festivities on Saturday, Jan. 21. Team Scotiabank and Team adidas are set to meet in Owen Sound, ON at Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre. The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet and feature marquee players, including Rebecca Johnston, Blayre Turnbull, Sarah Nurse and Kendall Coyne Schofield. Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada returns for its 23rd year with the 14.5 hour marathon broadcast featuring all seven Canadian NHL teams in action across Sportsnet, Sportsnet 360, Citytv, SN NOW, OMNI, and CBC. Hosted by Ron MacLean live from Owen Sound, Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada will also include a variety of special guests.
Showcase has unveiled its winter schedule headlined by The Calling, a new drama from Emmy-winning executive producer David E. Kelley, Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson, and co-composers Hans Zimmer and Steve Mazzaro, which debuts Jan. 16. The series tells the story of an NYPD detective (Jeff Wilbusch) whose belief in mankind is his superpower. Cyber thriller The Undeclared War, directed and co-written by seven-time BAFTA winner Peter Kosminksy and starring Academy Award winner Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, Adrian Lester, Alex Jennings, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, and Hannah Khalique-Brown, also joins the lineup premiering Jan. 19.
Wes Williams (aka Maestro Fresh Wes) is adding “chef” to his long list of talents. Upbeat cooking show Maestro Chef Wes premieres Jan. 26 on Bell Fibe TV1. The six-episode series shows off Williams’ cooking skills, conversations, and recipes from celebrity guests. Created, written, and produced by Williams and Lauchlan Ough, with Chet Wesley as executive producer, the series follows the Canadian hip-hop legend as he travels the Maritimes sourcing local ingredients, culture and hanging with celebrity chefs and musicians, turning each episode into a classic East Coast kitchen party with a live performance.
The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has announced Damon D’Oliveira and the producing trio of Sara Blake, Magali Gillon-Krizaj and Tyler Hagan, as the recipients of its annual Indiescreen Awards. The winners were announced Friday at a ceremony at the Whistler Film Festival, in partnership with Telefilm Canada, marking the Indiescreen Awards return to an in-person format for the first time since 2019. D’Oliveira (Conquering Lion Pictures) is the recipient of the $20,000 Established Producer Award. A champion of diversity and giving voice to underrepresented Canadians, D’Oliveira’s credits include The Grizzlies (2018), The Book of Negroes (2015), Poor Boy’s Game (2007), and Rude (1995). His most recent feature film, Brother, directed by Clement Virgo, premiered at TIFF in September to critical acclaim. Blake, Gillon-Krizaj and Hagan (SSMT Productions) were awarded the Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer Award, which comes with a $10,000 prize. The trio’s collective project, Until Branches Bend had its official premiere at TIFF and was also selected at Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF), Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF), and the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), where it won Best BC Film. Read more here.
The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has announced the 22nd edition award winners including the Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature awarded to Coyote, directed by Katherine Jerkovic. Presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, BC, in association with Telefilm, the $223,500 prize is the second-largest festival award in Canada. Coyote’s Jorge Martinez Colorado was also recognized with Best Performance in a Borsos Competition Film. The Audience Award will be announced Dec. 28. Find the full list of winners here.
The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has announced B.C.-based producer Jonathan Chuby and his project Duck Race as the winner of the 2022 Power Pitch Competition, which includes a $36,000 production prize package and a spot in the WFF 2023 Producers Lab. Designed to set talent up for success by fine-tuning their project packages and pitching skills, the program includes a workshop and one-on-one consultations with facilitator Kevin Wright, former SVP of Programming for The Movie Network, HBO Canada and the Family Channel, and principal at The Optimal Pitch.
William F. White International (WFW) has closed on its acquisition of Studio City Toronto, one of Toronto’s busiest studio complexes for film and television production, as well as Studio City Rentals, a provider of rigging and scaffolding to the film and television industry. Studio City Rentals, with locations in Toronto, Vancouver and Los Angeles, was founded by Chris Nethercoat and Mike Kirilenko in 1999. Studio City Toronto, also owned by Nethercoat and Kirilenko, is situated in the east end of the city’s downtown core and boasts 148,000 sq. ft. of purpose-built studio facilities through its six sound stages and work areas. Studio City Toronto is also home to WFW’s LED volume for virtual production.
TARO PR, the Toronto-based agency specializing in arts and entertainment, has announced a company rebrand to The TARO Group. Under the new brand, The TARO Group will continue to provide publicity and communications strategy, as well as offer strategic planning, corporate communications, digital promotions, marketing and advertising, media training, national partnerships and product launches, data analytics, event and film production, test screenings, personal brand campaigns, award shows/festival strategy and execution, recruitment, content creation and social media. For nearly a decade, The TARO Group has represented film, television and arts clients including Paramount Pictures Canada, Elevation Pictures, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Canada, Disney+ Quebec, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures Quebec, Quiver Entertainment, Scotiabank Giller Prize, Paquin Entertainment Group, Photon Films, Project 10 Productions, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and IndieCan Entertainment, among others.