Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 8 PM on CBC-TV

Making The Wild Canadian Year

The final episode, MAKING THE WILD CANADIAN YEAR, is an exciting and sometimes humorous look behind-the-scenes at the making of the legacy series THE WILD CANADIAN YEAR.

The 23-person team filmed 75 stories in Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. They shot over 400 hours of 4K ultra-high definition footage.  MAKING THE WILD CANADIAN YEAR reveals the patience and determination that it took to capture the dramatic impact of the seasons on Canada’s wildlife.

WATCH: 
Adorable sea otters frolic as filmmaker takes cover

A Truck-Sized, Alien-Looking Fish Lurks Off The Coast Of British Columbia Every Summer

In this episode, meet the lone cameraman who spent 80-days in the Yukon wilderness tracking the elusive wild lynx. He forges an unforgettable relationship with one very special lynx, that scientists nicknamed Mad Max. Sam perseveres through the cold and deep snow to achieve a wildlife filmmaking first: a sequence of a wild lynx successfully hunting a snowshoe hare.  

Meanwhile, series director and DOP Jeff Turner travels to a remote frozen lake in central Saskatchewan in the dead of winter, where river otters are dealing with extreme winter conditions. He and his assistant struggle to place an underwater camera in a hole in the ice to film the otters swimming — it is a race against time as the camera quickly freezes in place!

On many shoots, The Wild Canadian Year team faced dramatic weather conditions. But it was on Sable Island that cameraman Justin Maguire endured some of the most extreme weather of the whole series. On this tiny island, hundreds of kilometres off the coast of Nova Scotia, he endured hurricane-force winds, blinding sandstorms and a blizzard to film grey seals giving birth. They gained a newfound respect for the hardy animals — but the equipment took a serious beating. In fact, the camera he used is still in the repair shop to this day! 

The crew also enjoyed some amazing face-to-face encounters with wildlife — including some that were truly unexpected...

In summer, an underwater crew journeys beneath the waves off Canada’s West Coast to film exotic creatures like the pick-up truck sized mola mola that travel close to the BC coast following seasonal warm-water currents. But the crew quickly discover they are not alone...their uninvited guests? Hungry blue sharks!  

And on Hudson Bay the team captures a never-before-filmed event of 500-kilo polar bears hunting beluga whales in the summertime. This spectacular sequence required a new approach to getting close to the wildlife — singing to beluga whales! It’s a family affair for Jeff and his two adult children, Chelsea and Logan, as they work together to achieve this incredible wildlife-filmmaking first.

MAKING THE WILD CANADIAN YEAR reveals the incredible feats of endurance and technical wizardry needed to capture the amazing sequences featured in this landmark series and takes audience behind-the-scenes on all their favourite moments. It also proves that in wildlife filmmaking, stamina and perseverance only get you so far — a sense of humour is essential too.

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