A petition to bring the `90s television series North of 60 back to the airwaves has reached the N.W.T., and is stirring up a flood of fond memories of the show.
Set in the fictional Lynx River, N.W.T., North of 60 originally aired on CBC Television from 1992-1997. The series gained fans and notoriety for tackling complicated themes such as addiction, poverty, and land negotiations, ultimately running for 90 episodes over six seasons, plus five made-for-TV movies.
"When we were younger, our my mom made our curfew at 9 p.m. because she knew that we'd come home ASAP because that's when North of 60 started," said Hillary Deneron of Fort Liard, N.W.T. "We always made it home before the intro song ended."
"Watched it every week," Bianca Cazon of Fort Simpson wrote on Facebook, "and enjoyed its references to communities in the Deh Cho. My cousin Danny even drummed in one of the episodes.
"It was a classic and culturally correct adaptation of small town life in the North."
Melaw Nakehk'o, who recently made her Hollywood debut in The Revenant, was also a fan of the show growing up in Fort Simpson.
She shared a photo of her whole family visiting the set.
Dennis Allen, an Inuvialuit filmmaker known most recently for the documentary Crazywater, also has a connection.
"I worked season IV as an intern editor. Opened my eyes to the world of show biz."
'I developed quite a passion for it'
North of 60 was in syndication for several years, but that dropped off five or six years ago. No collection of the series currently exists on DVD.
Shirley Hamilton, who lives in Dunchurch, Ont., near Parry Sound, started her petition more than two years ago. As of Feb. 16, it has nearly 1,200 signatures.
"I love the show," Hamilton told Lawrence Nayally, host of CBC North's Trail's End in Yellowknife. "I know there are a lot of fans out there."
"I was just a young girl when I started to watch it," Hamilton said. "What caught my eye at first was the characters, and the cast, and all it had involved. It involved the cultural environment, it involved alcoholism, it involved AIDS... I just love the show, and I developed quite a passion for it."
Hamilton's efforts started out slowly. After emailing numerous television networks with little luck, she began her petition, reaching out to actor Dakota House, who played the character "Teevee" on the series.
"He was so generous to help me out," she said. "Twice he put the petition link on his website, and I think he must have brought in about 800 of the signatures."
Roses for Lynx River
The petition's modest number of signatures means that Hamilton may have difficulty convincing a network executive to return the show to the airwaves, but she remains undeterred, saying it just takes "the right person to look at it."
In the meantime, Hamilton — and the show's legions of fans — share their memories on a Facebook group dedicated to the series.
Her favourite episode?
"I think my favourite show has been in series one, episode three, when the pilot was dropping roses down on Lynx River because he had a crush on Sara," she said.
"His name was Al, and he ended up climbing up on the church. He jumped off, and he got airlifted out."