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Behind the Scenes
About the TV Series
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Production Timeline

Just a few of the key events in the making of Canada: A People's History:

March 21, 1996 It's official...
Jim Byrd, then Vice President of English Television at the CBC, issued a media release announcing that the series was in development. "It will be an unprecedented national endeavour which would mobilize production talent and historical expertise across the country," said Byrd.

April 1996 Two worlds come together
Mark Starowicz met with Radio-Canada's head of News and Current Affairs, Claude Saint-Laurent. They decided to produce the series as a complete co-production, with one executive producer, one story and one team. Louis Martin was appointed Radio-Canada's editorial director for the project. Making History: One story, many perspectives

Spring 1997 Gathering the experts
From April to June, Director of Research Gene Allen and other members of the team met with some of Canada's foremost historians, securing them as advisers on the project. In April, Allen and Mark Starowicz met with Ramsay Cook. In May, Allen met with Olive P. Dickason and in June Allen attended the annual meeting of the Canadian Historical Association, lining up several other advisers including the third main adviser Jean-Claude Robert. Hitting the Books

July 1997 A finished proposal
Then president of the CBC, Perrin Beatty, reviewed the series proposal and gave the project head office approval. "We are very proud, as the year 2000 approaches, to undertake the first genuine history of Canada in the electronic era," the president said.

July 27, 1997 "Action!"
The history unit took advantage of the arrival of The Matthew on the shores of Newfoundland and did the first shooting of the series. On the Screen

Fall 1997 Building the foundation
Throughout the fall of 1997 an intense series of production meetings took place between senior team members in Montreal and Toronto. Mark Starowicz, Hubert Gendron, Louis Martin, Gene Allen, Gordon Henderson, and Anne Emin met together with a handful of editorial and administrative staff. They met at length, working out the ideal program length, storyboarding some episodes and hammering out the logistics and "grammar" or documentary style of the series. Reconstructing History

January 1998 Expanding the team
The first episode director, Laine Drewery, was hired. Over the next few months the rest of the "first wave" directors came on board. A year later the team began hiring directors for the "second wave" of episodes, to be broadcast in the fall of 2001. Episode Producers / Directors

Spring 1998 Shooting continues
In April Andrew Gregg, the director of Episode One, and Director of Photography Mike Sweeney headed to Baker Lake (then NWT) to shoot scenes of caribou hunters on the land. In May, Radio-Canada began shooting for the New France episode, heading to the Saguenay to shoot scenes of fur trading. Photographers

July 1999 Strike up the band
Claude Desjardins and Eric Robertson, the musicians composing the score for the series, were hired. Their first recording session was April 18, 2000. Music Makers
Claude Saint-Laurent, General News Director, Radio-Canada
Claude Saint-Laurent

General News Director, Radio-Canada

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One Story, Many Perspectives
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Production Timeline
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Hitting the books

Step by Step
One Story, Many Perspectives
Production Timeline

Getting the Story Right
Hitting the books
Historical Advisers
Historical Organizations

Telling the Story
Reconstructing History
Re-enacting History
The Re-enactors
The Narrators

Bringing the Story to Life
On the screen
Visual Researchers
Music Makers

Production Team
Mark Starowicz, Executive Producer
Senior Editorial Team
Episode Producers / Directors
Complete Series Credits

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