Telefilm Canada and the Canada Media Fund (CMF) have launched their new MADE | NOUS campaign “MADE Better” with a series of Hollywood billboards celebrating Canadian filmmakers that have been erected near Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in Los Angeles. Amid the sea of “For Your Consideration…” billboards in L.A. that pop up during awards season, the MADE | NOUS billboards share the visual of four directors’ chairs with the names (Denis) Villeneuve, (Sarah) Polley, (James) Cameron, and (Domee) Shi, accompanied by the message “Need Direction? Look North.” Other billboards in the campaign play on our collective reputation for politeness sharing the message that Canadians are “Politely Kicking Ass. (Sorry.)” Read more here.
Super Bowl LVII attracted an average audience of 8.6 million viewers across CTV, TSN and RDS, up 6% from last year’s game, according to preliminary data from Numeris. Overall, Bell Media says 17.3 million unique Canadian viewers or 45% of Canada’s population, tuned in to some or all of the the NFL championship game. Audiences peaked at 11.8 million viewers at 8:40 p.m. ET during Rihanna’s halftime performance. That compares to an average audience of 8.1 million viewers and 16.9 million unique Canadian viewers in 2022. The most-watched show of the 2022/23 broadcast season to date, combined live streaming of the game was up 26% compared to last year. Read more here.
The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) has announced George Cheeks, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS and Chief Content Officer, News and Sports for Paramount+, is confirmed to participate in the festival’s Summit Series on June 12 in a fireside conversation. The 44th edition of the festival will take place in-person June 11-14 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Prior to joining CBS, Cheeks served more than seven years at NBCUniversal in senior executive positions that spanned creative, business and operational roles.
The PEI 2023 Host Society and Canada Games Council have unveiled the broadcast schedule and new streaming platform for the 2023 Canada Winter Games, Feb. 18 – March 5, in Charlottetown. The 15-day broadcast will feature over 1,200 hours of live event coverage and can be streamed for free on any device at CanadaGames.ca/watch, beginning with the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 18 at 7:30 pm AST. More than 140 hours of live competition and events will stream live on CBC Sports and Radio-Canada Sports digital platforms, including CBC Gem, cbcsports.ca and the CBC Sports app.
CBC has cancelled Pretty Hard Cases, the female buddy cop comedy-drama starring Meredith MacNeill and Adrienne C. Moore, after three seasons with the series finale to air on March 8. Created by Tassie Cameron and Sherry White and produced by Cameron Pictures, Amazon Freevee co-produced Season 3, which will air on the streamer in the U.S. later this year.
CTV is adding new original comedy SHELVED to the network’s midseason schedule, airing Mondays at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, beginning March 6. Created and executive produced by Anthony Q. Farrell (The Office), SHELVED follows the eclectic staff and patrons of the underfunded Jameson branch of the Metropolitan Public Library. Filmed in Toronto, the first season of the single-camera comedy consists of eight half-hour episodes. Wendy Yarmouth (The Expanse) plays the Branch Head, constantly aiming to provide services for the community despite bureaucracy, underfunding, and a lack of resources. Cast as her unconventional staff are Dakota Ray Hebert (Run Woman Run), Chris Sandiford (What We Do In The Shadows), and Paul Braunstein (Baroness Von Sketch Show).
Hoarders Canada, the highly-anticipated Canadian format of the Emmy-nominated television series Hoarders, lands in Canada on Makeful on March 4. Produced by Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Media production company, the series will tell the real-life stories of people directly affected by compulsive hoarding from Manitoba to Nunavut, Ontario and British Columbia. The series’ team of experts includes psychologist Dr. Murray Anderson, clinical therapist Natasha Sharma, psychotherapist Sarah Ahmed and professional organizers Kim Diamond, Julio Rivera, Ivanka Siolkowsky and Effy Terry. Makeful is on an eight-week nationwide free preview until April 2.
WildBrain Television has unveiled a new live-action slate of Canadian content, including the debut of Life with Derek spinoff, Life with Luca, which picks up 18 years after the original series. Life with Luca premieres on Family Channel on Feb. 20. New series I Woke Up a Vampire and Home Sweet Rome are set to premiere later this spring. WildBrain’s English-language channels are on free preview until March 20.
Vérité Films’ series, Jeremy and Jazzy, has been renewed by CBC Kids for a second season. Launched last fall, Season 1 of the series has been sold to Narrative Entertainment UK for air on indie broadcaster, Tiny Pop. Additionally, the Jeremy and Jazzy debut album, Say Hello, is up for Children’s Album of the Year at the upcoming JUNO Awards with all songs written by singer, co-creator and executive producer Jeremy Fisher and performed by Fisher (Jeremy) and actress, singer and producer Aiza Ntibarikure (Jazzy). Jeremy and Jazzy have plans for a tour and new book in 2023.
3 Story Pictures and Blue Hill Productions have commenced principal photography on Season 1 of Treaty Road, the six-part docuseries that follows Dakota/Anishinaabekwe educator and researcher, Erin Goodpipe (RezX, The Other Side, Bathsheba: Search for Evil), and Métis writer, director and producer Saxon de Cocq (The Other Side, The Invincible Sergeant Bill) as they uncover the truth about the signing of the Numbered Treaties, between 1871 and 1921. To be broadcast on APTN later this year, filming is taking place across Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.
Longhope Media and CBC have announced new CBC Gem original comedy You’re My Hero, set to launch March 24. Created by and starring Sean Towgood, the seven-part, 15-minute episode series is about a 20-something with cerebral palsy who navigates the pressures of adult life in a world not designed for wheels. The show was inspired by Towgood’s actual experiences from the frustrating to the weird and downright absurd. You’re My Hero’s cast includes Vas Saranga, Tina Jung, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Ali Hassan, Cassidy Civiero, George Alevizos, Joanne Latimer, Kelsey Flower, and Christian Smith.
Proper Television is returning to in-person casting for the upcoming seventh season of The Great Canadian Baking Show. It also marks the first time that its previously invitation-only events are open call, asking any and all home bakers to attend. After casting the previous three seasons virtually, producers are adding an in-person tour of select cities to meet with local bakers and taste their signature baking with stops in Halifax (Feb. 27), Montreal (Feb. 28), Edmonton (March 1), and Winnipeg (March 3).
The Human Rights Watch Canada Film Festival (HRWFF), in partnership with Hot Docs Cinema, will be held March 8 to 19. All tickets for both in-person and digital screenings are free and accessible to anyone in Canada with internet. The 20th anniversary festival program will consist of five films covering a variety of human rights topics, including the powerful Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, which will open the festival. The screening will be followed by a special discussion for International Women’s Day with Lisa Laflamme, focused on the experiences of women in the Ukraine conflict and the vulnerabilities of women and children in wartime. Feature-length documentary KOROMOUSSO: Big Sister, co-directed by Habibata Ouarme and Jim Donovan and produced by the NFB, will also have its world premiere at the festival.
The National Screen Institute (NSI) has opened applications for CBC New Indigenous Voices, a full-time, 14-week training program for up to 10 Indigenous creators to learn the essential elements of working in the film, TV and digital media industries. Emerging Indigenous creators looking to explore career opportunities and gain hands-on experience are encouraged to apply. Participants receive minimum wage throughout the program. CBC New Indigenous Voices training will be delivered in-person in Winnipeg with travel and accommodation support provided. The deadline to apply is March 17.
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is partnering with Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada for the Warner Bros. Discovery Curatorial Programming Fellowship, a training and development program supporting Canadian talent who are Indigenous, Black, people of colour, people with disabilities, LGBTQ2IA+, and Francophone members of the aforementioned communities. Running from April to September, the successful applicant will take on the role of Programming Associate to one of TIFF’s International Programmers for the duration of the 2023 festival programming cycle. Compensation of $15,000 over the course of the fellowship will be paid to the successful applicant to support their learning experience.
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) has announced the return of its annual fundraising gala, May 11, at Rebel in Toronto. Back for the first time since 2020, The CFC Gala: Take 35 will celebrate CFC’s 35th anniversary. The organization’s largest fundraising event, the Gala raises funds to enable full resident scholarships and CFC’s suite of programs across film and television, screen acting, composing and songwriting for the screen and digital and immersive media. This year’s reimagined event includes a cocktail reception and dinner, online auction, as well as new after party, CFC After Dark, where guests will enjoy a high-energy dance party and DJ show.