Murdoch Mysteries is a TV series based on Maureen Jennings’s mystery novels about William Murdoch, a Victorian-era detective who is ahead of his time and uses forensic science and technology to solve Toronto’s most complex crimes. Often referred to as a Victorian-era CSI, the long-running show features a mix of humour, intrigue, science fiction, history and period production values that is unique to police procedurals. It attracted a cult following after premiering on City TV in 2008 but garnered a much larger audience after being picked up by the CBC in 2013. It was Canada’s highest-rated scripted television series in 2016 and is broadcast in more than 100 countries.
The Inuit Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) was launched as a public broadcasting service in January 1982. Broadcast in Inuktitut, it is North America’s first Indigenous-language television network and the world’s first Indigenous media project broadcast by satellite. IBC gave up its broadcast licence in 1991 to allow for the creation of the forerunner to the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN). IBC is now a content producer for APTN as well as other organizations, such as IsumaTV. IBC produces programming that aims to preserve the culture and language of more than 25,000 Inuit in Inuit Nunangat (the Inuit homeland in Canada). IBC has received international recognition for its programming and has helped launch the careers of many independent Inuit producers, directors, writers and camera operators. Partially funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, IBC receives revenue from Nunavut government programs, license fees, production funds, program sales and fundraising.
This Hour Has 22 Minutes, also known as 22 Minutes, is a sketch comedy and satirical news show that has aired on CBC TV since 1993. A forerunner of the mock-newscast format popularized by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, it has averaged as many as 1 million viewers per episode and has remained one of the CBC’s highest-rated shows throughout its run. It was developed by CODCO members Mary Walsh and Cathy Jones along with producers Michael Donovan, Jack Kellum, Gerald Lunz and George Anthony. Over the years, the show has featured such comedians as Rick Mercer, Greg Thomey, Colin Mochrie, Mark Critch, Gavin Crawford, Shaun Majumder, Geri Hall, Nathan Fielder and Susan Kent. The series has won 28 Gemini Awards, 20 Canadian Comedy Awards, 5 Writers Guild of Canada Awards and the Academy Icon Award at the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards.
Based on an ancient Inuit folktale, Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) is the first Inuktitut-language feature film ever made. A critically-acclaimed commercial success, it won numerous awards worldwide, including the Camera d’or for best first feature at the Cannes Film Festival and five Genie Awards, including Best Screenplay, Best Direction and Best Motion Picture, as well as the Claude Jutra Award (now the Canadian Screen Award for Best First Feature). It is widely considered one of the best Canadian films ever made, and in 2015 was ranked No. 1 of all time in a poll conducted by the Toronto International Film Festival (see Top 10 Canadian Films of All Time).
Come From Away is a Canadian musical based on the true story of how the residents of Gander, Newfoundland, welcomed stranded airline passengers into their homes in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The play, with book and music by Toronto-based husband-and-wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein, was developed at Toronto’s Sheridan College. It enjoyed successful runs in Connecticut, San Diego, Seattle, Washington, DC, and Toronto before becoming the sleeper hit of the 2016–17 season on Broadway. Come From Away has won more than two dozen awards, including three Dora Awards and a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. A feature film adaptation was announced in November 2017.
Corner Gas is a CTV sitcom created by comedian Brent Butt that ran for six seasons from 2004 to 2009. It is considered one of the most popular and influential Canadian TV comedies ever. Focusing on the oddball residents of the fictional town of Dog River, Saskatchewan, Corner Gas was an instant hit when it debuted in early 2004, drawing an average of 1 million viewers per episode. Known for its low-key mix of quirky characters, deadpan wit and folksy rural charm, the show repeatedly broke audience records for a Canadian-made scripted television comedy and won four Directors Guild of Canada Awards, nine Canadian Comedy Awards, five Writer’s Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards and seven Gemini Awards, including three for Best Comedy Series.
Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre was founded in 1998 by 13 actors with the assistance of a grant from the Stratford Festival. Considered the best year-round repertory company in Canada, it has presented such acclaimed productions as Anton Chekov’s Uncle Vanya (2001, 2002, 2008) and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (2013). Since relocating to Toronto’s Distillery District in 2006, Soulpepper has presented such Canadian plays as Sharon Pollock’s Doc (2010), John Murrell’s Waiting for the Parade (2010), and Ins Choi’s Kim’s Convenience (2012). In January 2018, the company was rocked by allegations of sexual harassment against founding artistic director Albert Schultz and accompanying lawsuits against Schultz and Soulpepper.
The term "festival theatre" emerged in England in the nineteenth century to refer to special theatrical performances mounted to celebrate exceptional authors or dates. The festival held in 1864 at Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, to mark the tercentenary of Shakespeare's birth is an early example.
Major's tenure as artistic director (1963-68) was characterized by seasons that featured the classics interspersed with contemporary plays - such as the first North American production of A Man for All Seasons (1968) and Canadian plays such as Arthur Murphy's The Sleeping Bag (1967).
Festival Lennoxville opened in 1972 at BISHOP'S UNIVERSITY in the Eastern Townships of Québec. Drama department chairman David Rittenhouse and director William Davis founded it to present new productions of outstanding Canadian plays staged earlier by other theatres across the country.
The Degrassi franchise — consisting of five separate but interrelated TV series, several TV movies and a webseries of shorts — about Toronto youths and their realistic high school experiences, is Canada’s longest-running dramatic series. It has aired off and on for over 35 years, spanning more than 500 episodes. Praised by many as the most successful example of television franchising in Canadian history, Degrassi is licenced in over 140 countries and has launched the careers of several Canadian talents, most notably Drake. The show has received four Primetime Emmy nominations, two International Emmy Awards, 25 Gemini Awards, 16 Canadian Screen Awards and a Peabody Award.
Mr. Dressup was one of Canada’s most beloved and longest-running children’s television series. The program starred Ernie Coombs as the jovial Mr. Dressup and ran for 29 years (1967–96) and more than 4,000 episodes. A precursor to the popular American series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Mr. Dressup was influential in tailoring children’s programming towards developing the child’s emotional and logical intelligence. The series won three Gemini Awards and earned Coombs an appointment to the Order of Canada. A 2017 crowd-sourced online vote unofficially declared Mr. Dressup Canada’s most memorable television program.