Mar 07, 2017

Ten-part docu-drama series kicks off CBC’s season of special 2017 programming

Featuring commentary from notable Canadians including Susan Aglukark,
Lorne Cardinal, Paul Gross, Eugene Levy, Duncan McCue, Peter Mansbridge, Tatiana Maslany, Rick Mercer, Candy Palmater, Jennifer Podemski, Christopher Plummer, Lilly Singh
and David Suzuki

CANADA: THE STORY OF US, an epic 10 x one-hour docu-drama series highlighting many of the extraordinary moments and people that helped forge a nation from early Indigenous history to the 20th century, will premiere with back-to-back episodes on Sunday, March 26 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC. Featuring the stories of Indigenous peoples, women, immigrants, pioneers, rule-breakers, scientists and entrepreneurs - many of them untold until now - the series takes viewers inside Canada’s history with dramatic re-enactments, ground-breaking CGI sequences and documentary-style virtual reality experiences. Following its special two-hour premiere event on March 26, CANADA: THE STORY OF US will continue in its regular timeslot Sundays at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) starting on April 2.

Connected by themes that underscore how Canada came to be a nation including conflict, exploration, industry, ingenuity, growth and expansion, each of the 10 episodes will present five remarkable first-person stories that bring to life key moments in the country’s history. The series also features commentary from more than 80 prominent Canadians including Susan Aglukark, Lorne Cardinal, Paul Gross, Eugene Levy, Duncan McCue, Peter Mansbridge, Tatiana Maslany, Rick Mercer, Candy Palmater, Christopher Plummer, Lilly Singh, Georges St-Pierre, Clement Virgo, David Suzuki and more. From historians to homegrown stars and iconic national figures, these storytellers recount the sacrifices, battles and harrowing adventures that helped define the fabric of Canada.

CANADA: THE STORY OF US highlights key moments spanning centuries of history beginning with Indigenous nations in the pre-contact era to 1608 with the arrival of explorer Samuel de Champlain in “Worlds Collide,” to the introduction of the sea otter trade by Mowachaht leader and statesman Chief Maquinna in “Hunting Treasure” (1778-1802), to “Boom Bust” (1911-1937) with populations exploding in urban centres, concluding with the creation of Nunavut in “Canadian Experiment” (1970-1999).

The series was produced under the guidance of historians and academic consultants, including renowned Canadian historian and acclaimed author John English and Indigenous Arts Scholar Gerald McMaster, who serve as primary consultants on the series. Additional notable Canadian scholars and experts also provided historical expertise including Eldon Yellowhorn, Chair of First Nations Studies, Simon Fraser University; Margaret MacMillan; historian and professor at the University of Oxford; Charlotte Gray, author and historian; Hayden King, Assistant Professor, Carleton University; and Tim Cook, author and Canadian War Museum historian.

Each week during the run of the series in partnership with Ancestry.ca, the world’s largest online family history resource and an integrated sponsor of CANADA: THE STORY OF US, CBC will air a short vignette featuring a Canadian celebrity from the series, including Susan Aglukark, Wendy Crewson, Sarah Gadon, Mike Holmes, Missy Peregrym, Jennifer Podemski and Mary Walsh, who will discover something new and surprising about their own family histories.

CANADA: THE STORY OF US will also be brought to life online through a trio of immersive, 360-degree videos that will put viewers inside key moments in Canadian history. Through these interactive vignettes, viewers will be transported into the lives of Chief Maquinna; Laura Secord; and Richard Rettie and W.C. Wilkinson – two Canadian scientists who led a team to decode the Nazi Smart Bomb. Produced by Secret Location, all three 360 videos feature ambisonic sound to further immerse viewers in the scene. The videos will be available at cbc.ca/canadathestoryofus and on Facebook for viewing on desktop, mobile and tablet devices.

Based on the internationally successful format created by Nutopia and produced in association with Bristow Global Media Inc., CANADA: THE STORY OF US is executive produced by Julie Bristow, Marlo Miazga and Janice Tufford as co-executive producers for Bristow Global Media Inc. as well as Jane Root, Ben Goold and Phil Craig for Nutopia. The STORY OF US format has aired in Australia, the UK and the U.S.

CANADA: THE STORY OF US kicks off CBC’s season of special 2017 programming, which includes documentaries, radio programs, kids programming, entertainment and arts specials and innovative digital and virtual reality initiatives. Programming also includes ongoing news and current affairs coverage of the people, places and events in every region of the country that will shape this milestone year for Canada.
Click here for CBC’s 2017 Programming Guide.

CBC/Radio-Canada is also pleased to include CIBC as the lead partner of CBC/Radio-Canada for 20!7 programming, corresponding with the bank’s own 150th birthday.

About CBC/Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective. In 2017, CBC/Radio-Canada will at the heart of the celebrations and conversations with special 2017-themed multiplatform programming and events across Canada.

About Bristow Global Media Inc. (BGM)
Bristow Global Media Inc. (BGM) is a Toronto-based content creation company, specializing in creating multi-platform content across all genres, including scripted, lifestyle, reality, documentary and sports. The company was launched in 2013 by leading broadcast executive and producer Julie Bristow, whose 20-year career at the CBC included the creation of award-winning entertainment divisions, the launch of national digital media platforms and the stewardship of iconic sports brands. BGM boasts a successful roster of linear and non-linear content, including: NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other (CBC, NBCSN, Rogers), Pressure Cooker (W Network), Hockey Wives (W Network), Canada: The Story of Us (CBC), Canadian Country Music Association’s CCMA Awards (CBC and CMT), Pardon My French (YouTube) and YTV’s daily interstitial brand-driven content.


For more information, contact:
Simon Bassett, publicist, CBC

Netta Rondinelli, Bristow Global Media Inc.