Episode Producers / Directors
ANDREW GREGG- When the World Began... (Episode 1).
He also contributed to Adventurers and Mystics (Episode 2).
Andrew Gregg began his career in journalism as a reporter for the Whitehorse Star newspaper. From print journalism, he went to work for Northern Native Broadcasting and travelled extensively in northern Canada. Before becoming a freelance documentary director, writer and producer, Gregg worked for eight years with The Journal. His projects have earned numerous awards, including a Hot Docs prize for Christopher and Mary Pratt. Gregg's work has appeared on CBC's Life & Times, Witness and also on Discovery, Bravo and CTV. His Witness documentary Between Here and Heaven was nominated for a Donald Brittain Award for best documentary.
CLAUDE LORTIE - Adventurers and Mystics (Episode 2)
and Claiming the Wilderness (Episode 3)
Claude Lortie has worked on five continents, lived in Chile and Brazil and has produced documentaries for 27 years. Lortie produced numerous films and interviews on international affairs for Radio-Canada's Le Point and Enjeux. His Le sang des autres won the prize of excellence from the Canadian Association of Nurses. More recently, his work has appeared on Radio-Canada's Zone Libre. Lortie's Amérique 500: à la redécouverte du nouveau-monde, a portrait of America shot from the North Pole to Argentina, won a Gemini in 1993 for best series. He has also covered events in Iran, Lebanon and South Africa.
SERGE TURBIDE - Adventurers and Mystics (Episode 2), Claiming the Wilderness
(Episode 3) and Battle for a Continent (Episode 4)
Serge Turbide was born on Iles de la Madeleine and originally studied philosophy before choosing to make films. In 1999, Turbide's Beauty for Ashes, about the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, was nominated for a Gemini for best art program. The Man Behind the Words, a portrait of Michel Tremblay, Pol Pelletier: Moi j'aime une femme, a portrait of the renowned Quebecois theatre artist, and 42 Sussex Drive: The French Embassy were presented at the Festival international du film sur l'art de Montréal. Turbide, who began his career at Radio Québec, has seen his work appear on CBC's Adrienne Clarkson Presents, TFO's (TVOntario's Franco-Ontarian network) "A" comme artiste, and on YTV.
Sadly, Serge Turbide died on December 23, 2000. He was 45 years old. He was diagnosed with cancer in June 2000 and underwent a series of chemotherapy treatments. In spite of this, he insisted on continuing work on his Episodes. He was involved with all three of his productions right up until their airdates. Serge was a talented, enthusiastic and much loved member of the History Project production team who is very much missed by all of us. He passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving wife, Jacqueline, and their two children, Camille, 12 and Renaud, 3.
SALLY REARDON - Battle for a Continent (Episode 4) and Brave New World (Episode 16)
Sally Reardon began her journalistic career with CBC Television in 1981. A founding member of The Journal, she has worked with Canada's top journalists, documentary producers and writers on Canada's flagship current affairs program. Reardon worked closely with Barbara Frum on the daily editorial desk helping to shape coverage of historical events such as the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords, and the Free Trade debate. In 1994, she left Toronto for Halifax where she was senior producer at the CBC supper-hour program First Edition.
LAINE DREWERY - A Question of Loyalties (Episode 5). He also contributed to Adventurers and Mystics (Episode 2).
Laine Drewery began his television career in 1976 as a reporter for CJOH and CTV in Ottawa. In 1987, he joined The Journal, and has been making documentaries since. In 1992, his hour-long profile of the Canadian icon and journalist, Bruce Hutchison helped The Journal win a Gemini for Best Current Affairs Program. In 1993, he was one of ten journalists from around the world selected for a year-long Benton Fellowship at the University of Chicago. In 1996, his examination of sex in cyberspace, Wired for Sex, was broadcast worldwide. Drewery was also a producer for the 1997 award-winning documentary Dawn of the Eye. In 1998, he produced Igor Gouzenko: the Man who Launched the Cold War; in 2000, he produced Eight Miles High, a film on breaking the sound barrier, both of which aired on the History Channel.
MICHELLE MÉTIVIER - The Pathfinders (Episode 6)
Michelle Métivier has a special attachment to Canada: A People's History as a direct descendent of the famous explorer David Thompson. She has won several awards, including one for investigative journalism from the Houston International Film Festival, for You Better Move, a documentary about tenants being harassed by landlords. Métivier was also honoured at the Columbus Film Festival for Not Just a Pretty Face, and was awarded a Michener award for public service in journalism for On the Beach, a film on the collapse of a naval officer's career. After working seven seasons on the fifth estate, Métivier is now an independent producer and director.
PETER INGLES - Rebellion and Reform (Episode 7)
With over 20 years of directing experience, Montreal-based Peter Ingles has seen his documentaries broadcast on Radio-Canada, TVOntario and Antenne 2. His work has appeared on Radio-Canada's Dossier, Enjeux, Actuel and Le Point. Ingles has directed award-nominated productions, including La Route des virus about biological viruses, Hongcouver about Vancouver's Chinese community, Une révolution pas tranquille about the employment situation worldwide, Espace Francophone and L'autoroute électronique. His documentary about people seeking for refugee status in Canada, Canada, terre promis, was nominated for a Gemini in 1993.
JIM WILLIAMSON - The Great Enterprise (Episode 8) and From Sea to Sea (Episode 9)
Jim Williamson was born in Santiago and raised in Berlin, Cuba and Ankara, Turkey before becoming a senior producer at The National Magazine. There, he produced numerous political documentaries, including 72 Hours to Spend $5 Billion, which explored how ordinary Canadians would spend the first Liberal surplus, and 72 Hours to Remake Canada, on the collapse of the Charlottetown Accord. Williamson's At the Lodge, in which a group of ordinary Canadians debate the Meech Lake accord, won a Gemini for Best Documentary in 1990.
WILLIAM COBBAN - Producer/Director - Taking the West (Episode 10)
Producer/director Bill Cobban explains that because few archival photographs exist for many of the 1870 and ‘80 events in Taking the West, he used recreations based on sketches and diaries. "We’ve been extremely careful not to take liberties, and have paid considerable attention to detail and historical accuracy."
Cobban says that the participants in the key Battle of Batoche scenes, shot at C.F.B. Shilo, near Brandon, Manitoba, contributed greatly to shaping the episode.
"We were extremely fortunate to work with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, a reserve group descended from the 90th Winnipeg Rifles who fought in the actual Battle of Batoche in 1885. And, with the help of the Manitoba Métis Federation’s Steve Racine, we had a terrific group of Métis people as extras. One woman’s great-great-grandfather was one of Riel’s counselors who tried to make peace with the Canadian government in 1885. Another extra informed us that his great-great-grandfather was killed at Batoche, and that his great-grandfather, who was also there, survived."
Cobban has been producing and directing documentaries for the past 20 years. As a senior documentary producer for The Journal, he has directed programs on Bosnia, Rwanda, Central America, the Middle East, South Korea and the Soviet Union. In 1999, his Mountie: Canada’s Mightiest Myth, a documentary produced for the National Film Board, and broadcast on CBC, won the US International Film and Video Festival Silver Screen Award for Outstanding Creativity. Cobban’s 1997 independent production on child prostitution in India, Selling Innocents, won numerous awards, including the Donald Brittain Award for Best Documentary Program, and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism.
HALYA KUCHMIJ - Producer/Director - The Great Transformation (Episode 11)
"The Great Transformation spoke directly to my heart and soul," says producer/director Halya Kuchmij, the daughter of Ukrainian political refugees who immigrated to Canada in the 1950s.
Kuchmij speaks of her personal journey while making the film. "At first, the characters were simply names on a piece of paper, a memoir here, a diary there, a photograph that had faded in time. But slowly, they started to take form, to transform from ghosts to real people, and I started to feel an emotional connection with them. I found myself feeling protective of these characters, feeling that it was my duty to honour them by telling their stories in an authentic and real way. I feel that this film is a tribute, a memorial to those who came before. Whether rich or poor, famous or just ordinary beings, they laid the foundation for this great and amazing country called Canada. Their legacy was passed on to us and I feel proud to be the teller of their stories."
During her more than 20 years in film and television, Halya Kuchmij has won over 30 awards, including a Genie for The Strongest Man In The World, narrated by Jack Palance and produced by her own company - Kino Films. She has also been the recipient of the acclaimed Asia Pacific Media Fellowship.
Kuchmij originally began her career as a dramatic director at the prestigious American Film Institute and then continued to direct films for the National Film Board of Canada. For the last 20 years, Kuchmij’s work for CBC-TV’s documentary unit (The Journal, Man Alive, Witness and Life & Times) has taken her around the world. Her film subjects have included profiles of Nelson Mandela, Spike Milligan, Sir Laurens van der Post, Lorne Greene, Burton Cummings and Tom Jackson. As well, she has made documentaries on Americans held hostage in Beirut, Chernobyl, international noise pollution, native justice in the Arctic and euthanasia.
ANDREW BURNSTEIN - Producer/Director - The Great Transformation (Episode 11)
Besides having worked as a producer and writer for The National, Midday, Prime Time News and The Health Show, Andrew Burnstein can boast having climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
As senior producer of TSN Inside Sports, Burnstein worked on the Gemini Award-winning TSN documentary Rise and Fall of Bruce McNall, about the former owner of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. His credits include co-writing 50 one-hour scripts for the travel adventure program Go For It which was broadcast on The Discovery Channel and internationally.
Burnstein began his career as a news reporter for Vancouver’s CKNW and Kelowna’s CKIQ. He was recently named executive producer of Exploration Production, Inc., the production arm of Discovery Channel Canada.
JACQUELINE DUBÉ-CORKERY - Producer/Director - Ordeal by Fire (Episode 12)
Delving into World War I was, at times, emotionally overwhelming for producer/director Jacqueline Dubé-Corkery who recounts her feelings while shooting a scene of Ordeal by Fire at Vimy Ridge: "I walked over to the monument at dusk. It was so peaceful; there were sheep grazing. I began reading all the thousands of names inscribed on the base of the monument, and was overpowered, not only by the horror experienced by each of these young soldiers but by the tremendous grief and sorrow of all their loved ones. Each name represented so much suffering. I sat down on the steps and cried. I couldn’t stop. It was so peaceful and yet so painful…"
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Jacqueline Dubé-Corkery has worked for Radio-Canada since 1984. She was network producer for SRC Regina until 1990 when she moved to SRC Montreal. She worked on the current affairs series Enjeux, Dossiers and on the science program Découverte.
Dubé-Corkery won an Anik Award for a one-hour documentary on the environmental impact of the James Bay project, and a Canadian Scientific Writers Award for the documentary The Ozone Hole. She also directed the controversial La violence en rose, a film about feminine forms of violence.
More recently, Dubé-Corkery produced a four-part series on the history of science and technology in Canada that aired on Radio-Canada, CBC and TVO. The series won a Gemini (Gémeaux) in October 2000 for Best Documentary Series.
JILL OFFMAN - Producer/Director/Writer - Hard Times (Episode 13)
Jill Offman’s work with CBC-TV’s The National Magazine includes Flight From Bosnia, an investigative documentary about suspected Bosnian war criminals entering Canada, that won the New York Film Festival Investigative Film Award. Offman’s documentary chronicling the history of Canadian film from turn of century to today, How We Lost It At The Movies, won a Hot Docs Award for Best Arts Film in 1997. She has also worked on programs about D-Day, Northern Ireland and Serb-held Croatia. Offman was senior editor of arts programming for The Journal, then Prime Time News, from 1992 to 1994.
SUSAN TESKEY - Producer/Director/Writer - The Crucible (Episode 14)
- Comfort and Fear (Episode 15-Hour 1) -
Susan Teskey, one of CBC Television’s most respected and accomplished producers, comes to CANADA: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY from CBC-TV’s the fifth estate where, for six seasons, she was senior producer.
Some of the numerous awards collected during her 20 years with the flagship investigative series include: the Chicago Film Festivals Gold Plaque Award; two Silver Awards from the New York Film Festival; and two Chris Awards from the Columbus Film Festival, as well as two Canadian Journalism Association Awards of Excellence.
Teskey began her CBC career in 1977 as a researcher and producer with The Ombudsman.
MARQUISE LEPAGE - Producer/Director - Comfort and Fear (Episode 15-Hour 2)
- Years of Hope and Anger (Episode 16)
Marquise Lepage, cited in the Quebec press as one of that province’s most talented directors, has won numerous awards for her work. Her feature film Mary in the City, a co-production with the National Film Board, was nominated for four Genies and honoured as Best Foreign Film at France’s Belfort Festival.
Lepage also directed the National Film Board production Un soleil entre deux nuages and The Lost Garden, a portrait of Alice Guy Blanché, the first woman filmmaker in the world, that won the Gemeau for Best Documentary.
More recently, Lepage’s documentary Of Hopscotch and Little Girls, about young girls throughout the world, was the recipient of awards in Canada, Europe and the United States, including Montreal’s Communications Award, Jury Communication et Société, and three Gemeaux. The film took Lepage to Peru, Haiti, China and Yemen, Thailand and India.
SUSAN DANDO - Producer/Director/Writer - Uncertain Country (Episode 17)
Susan Dando has been commissioning documentaries for CBC-TV since 1996. She oversees the Canadian biography series Life & Times, as well as commissioning documentary series and specials on a variety of topics. Recently, these included Star-Spangled Canadians, about the growing number of Canadians moving to the United States, and 10 Seconds of Eternity, about the world’s four top sprinters as they prepare for the Sydney Olympics.
As a producer/director for 15 years, Dando’s work also includes a documentary about the war and famine in Somalia, a portrait of the German activist Anna Rosmus and a profile of Canada’s elite Search and Rescue team. Her documentary Through These Eyes, a biography of veteran foreign correspondent Joe Schlesinger, was the winner of the Best Biography Award at Hot Docs in 1995. Dando has also received awards from the New York Festival. Her work appeared on CBC-TV’s The Journal and Prime Time News.
Prior to CBC Television, the Australian-born Dando, who grew up in Kingston, Ontario, worked for CBC Radio’s As It Happens and for CTV National News and Canada AM.
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