Few things matter more to us than the safety of our families, our communities, and our country.
And now more than ever, whether we live in an urban centre under the pressure of increased security threats, or a remote community at the mercy of the elements, we are acutely aware that we cannot take our safety for granted.
But most of us know little about the people and the incredible activity that goes on behind the scenes to keep everyone in our vast nation safe. In September 2016 we dispatched 60 camera crews across the country to find out.
Over a single 48-hour period, we captured intimate and dramatic behind-the-scenes stories of the everyday heroes who keep our country secure – from first responders and professionals who do important work we’re often not aware of, to ordinary citizens driven to take action in the face of pressing needs.
The result is Keeping Canada Safe, a high-profile, four-part CBC docuseries based on a format from ITV, and a content-rich digital and social media campaign, designed to inspire a national conversation about what it means to be safe in this rapidly-changing world.
Stories and locations range from a team of officers executing a warrant for the arrest of a sexual predator in Quebec City, to a grassroots community patrol in Winnipeg’s troubled north end. We go behind the scenes at Canada’s largest airport and transit system; follow a self-defense instructor for Muslim women in Toronto; and a dad preparing his young son for a major West Coast earthquake. We ride along with Coast Guard and RCAF search and rescue teams on the high seas of the Atlantic; drop in on a local youth ensuring clean water in his remote community of Poplar Hill, and walk with moms and kids to school in a tough urban neighbourhood. We spend a day in the lives of firefighters in St. John’s and Vancouver; bomb testers in Ottawa, sheriffs transporting prisoners in Calgary; a Niagara officer and his K9 partner; First Nations police on a bust in Kahnawa:ke, and offenders on a unique “on the land” program in Nunavut.
In the weeks before our broadcast, CBC.ca will launch a bold and innovative digital campaign based on the concept of discoverability – a promotion of the series that will include driving content onto people’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. The campaign will open a window onto our personal and national safety like nothing else, sparking massive online interaction that will build in the days leading to our first broadcast, and continue as the series hits the air.
This unique television and digital blend will involve Canadians like never before in a national conversation about our systems of law, order, and national security, and our own personal safety.