NHK WORLD-JAPAN, Japan’s international 24-hour English-language television channel, is now part of TELUS’ channel lineup, making it the first operator in Canada to add the Japanese public broadcaster. TELUS plans to provide the NHK WORLD-JAPAN channel in HD for free to its viewers in Western Canada for three months, which will be included in the News International package on Optik TV. NHK WORLD-JAPAN features original programming from NHK, including hourly live international news from Tokyo and overseas, along with programs on current affairs, lifestyle, culture, food, travel, sports, technology, science, and history, with a Japanese and Asian perspective.
Corus Entertainment isn’t renewing its licensing deal to operate BBC Canada, which will cease broadcasting Jan. 1. According to CRTC data, the channel had approximately 2.4 million subscribers, and had been experiencing declines in viewership.
Rezolution Pictures has wrapped post-production on the first season of APTN original series GESPE’GEWA’GI: The Last Land, a 13-part half-hour documentary series about the Mi’gmaq fishers of Listuguj, Que., who make their living harvesting salmon, crab, lobster and shrimp. While the series takes a lighthearted approach to life in Listuguj, it also provides a First Nations perspective on how a commercial fishing industry – one that was born out of violence and defiance – grew to be a key economic and cultural support for the community. Shooting began in fall 2018, but the subject has become topical as the conflict between Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaq and non-Indigenous commercial fishers continues in southwest Nova Scotia. The series will premiere in Mi’kmaq on Feb. 11, with the English premiere set for Feb. 13. APTN has confirmed its support for development of a second season of the series.
CTV will air the Global Citizen Prize on Dec. 19, which will see the international advocacy organization recognize Ryerson University student Yanique Brandford as the winner of its Canada Hero Award. Branford is founder of Help A Girl Out, a Toronto-based non-profit that seeks to end period poverty, free of shame and stigma. CTV Your Morning’s Anne-Marie Mediwake will introduce Brandford during the broadcast, which will be hosted by John Legend and feature performances by Alessia Cara, Carrie Underwood, Common, JoJo, and others. Following its airing on CTV, Global Citizen Prize will be available on CTV.ca, the CTV app, and also on Crave beginning Sunday, Dec. 20.
Bell Media’s The Harold Greenberg Fund has announced that Montréal-based director Aisling Chin-Yee (The Rest of Us, No Ordinary Man) and Saskatoon-based producer Anand Ramayya (Brotherhood, Shadow of Dumont, Wapos Bay) are joining the fund’s selection committee as industry jurors. The fund also announced its support for 28 new Canadian feature film projects in its first quarter through the Script Development program.
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and TVO are presenting the world premiere of Kevin McMahon’s Borealis—an immersive journey into the heart of Canada’s iconic boreal forest, which will be broadcast on TVO on Dec. 15 and stream free on NFB.ca and TVO.org. Borealis was filmed in Ontario on the Fort Albany and Weenusk First Nations, and in Algonquin, Quetico, Wabakimi and Woodland Caribou Provincial Parks, as well as Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta and Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. The project is a co-production of Primitive Entertainment and the NFB in partnership with TVO, and in association with ZDF/ARTE, NHK and Knowledge Network.
Reel East Coast (REC) is returning for a sixth season, starting Jan. 10 on CBC-TV in Atlantic Canada and CBC Gem. A collaboration between FIN Atlantic International Film Festival and CBC, the series showcases short films from across Atlantic Canada, curated by the FIN programming team. This season is hosted by Jeff Douglas, actor and host of CBC Halifax afternoon radio program, Mainstreet.
The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF), in partnership with Netflix, the Canada Media Fund (CMF), Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office, and the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), has issued a call for applications for the fourth edition of the Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative, as it welcome Canada’s new Black Screen Office as a program partner. Now entering its fourth year, the initiative was designed to offer a professional springboard for francophone, Indigenous, and women creators and producers from across Canada. Having already served 300 participants over the course of the program, the mandate to support these communities will continue, but with an intersectional focus. As such, the 2021 edition of the program will especially, but not exclusively, seek applications from francophone candidates of colour, Indigenous candidates, and women candidates of colour, as well as candidates of colour of all genders.
Global News had added four new regional news streams to the Global TV app, including unique streams for the Okanagan, Lethbridge, Peterborough and Kingston. Those cities join the existing B.C., Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and National streams, expanding Global News’ roster to 12 free streams within the app. Each one delivers live breaking news, live simulcasts of each region’s respective television newscast, and a continually updated array of reporting highlighting the biggest news stories. The app is now available on iOS, Android, Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV and at watch.globaltv.com. Global News programming is also available via STACKTV on Amazon Prime Video.
CBC Vancouver’s annual Open House and Food Bank Day on Dec. 4 raised $2,334,485 for local food banks in B.C., breaking previous donations records and more than doubling the previous donation record of $1,126,000. To adhere to physical distancing protocols, this year’s event encouraged British Columbians to log in for digital meet and greets with their favourite CBC personalities, in addition to a full day of special programming on CBC Radio One. Over the event’s 34 years, more than $12 million has been raised for food banks in B.C. since its inception in 1986. The public can continue to donate to their local food bank at cbc.ca/foodbankday until the end of the month.
Dropout Entertainment is on the hunt for the best Canadian, independent music videos produced in 2020. This is the third year Dropout is holding the Canadian Independent Music Video Awards, a month-long digital contest open to all music videos released by independent Canadian artists that sees Canadians vote for their favorite music video online. The winners will be announced at a live (or live-streamed) event in February. Nominations are now open until Dec. 15 at independentmusicvideoawards.com.
Centennial College grad and Scarborough native Eric Bauza is the new voice of Bugs Bunny, the seventh person to voice the Looney Tunes icon. Bauza, who got his start in animation as a character designer before moving into voice acting, has also worked on Ren & Stimpty: Adult Party Cartoon and G.I. Joe: Resolute, among other series. In addition to Bugs Bunny, he voices Daffy Duck, Tweety, Marvin the Martian, and Woody Woodpecker.
The new voice of Bugs Bunny is from Scarborough, Ont. 🥕🥕🥕 pic.twitter.com/Hoz9A8aDDS
— CBC News: The National (@CBCTheNational) December 7, 2020