Carving Fresh Ice

Season 4 of Battle of the Blades was all about bringing the audience into the show.

“What we did was extend the format of the show out onto the ultimate platform - the real world,” Paul McGrath, Executive Producer, CBC Interactive, “whether that was viewing parties, or people voting from living rooms, or people participating in local competitions that mimicked the show format.

We used digital and social media to bring that activity back into the show, and back onto the web site.”

The first step allowed the fans to see themselves on TV, it involved collecting social media from across the country and projecting it - live - into the arena where we shot the show.

Fans were able to get their own pictures on live TV just by posting on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with a simple hashtag.

A live map of Canada also appeared on the ice showcasing the where the photos came from. By displaying the fan support on TV, the audience could directly interact with the show and the contestants could see their live fan support for the first ever.

But we went beyond that. For the second part we brought the audience into the show itself.

On the final episode 13 year-olds Georgia-Anne Riedl & Austin Martell skated onto the ice for their first ever national TV appearance.

They had earned the honour after winning a national figure-skating competition that was based on the show format. The competitions were held in seven arenas across the country with children of all ages competing and thousands of fans attending.

The local competition format extended the show out into the real world. “We wanted to break down the barriers between the television show and the real world – and bring the show story out to communities across the country”

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