In celebration of the 40th Toronto International Film Festival, second only to Cannes, and known for launching Oscar hopefuls, we’re discovering there’s plenty to love about Canada. Canadians are much like us, many of them with similar accents, so we don’t notice when they show up in our favorite TV shows or movies. Cable programming is full of Canadian-produced television shows, and musicians and comedians become some of our favorites, without our even realizing it. So let’s point out how much they bring to our lives in the good ol’ US of A, and the world at-large, and share some love for our neighbors to the north! Plus, team member Michele Coles will join us to share her observations from her up-close-and-personal trip to the Great White North!
- Murdoch Mysteries (on Ovation Channel as The Artful Detective) is one of my favorite shows ever! – In the late 1890s Toronto, police Inspector William Murdoch takes a new, more scientific approach to solving crimes. Assisted by coroner Dr. Julia Ogden and Constable George Crabtree, Murdoch introduces such concepts as finger marks and lie detecting machines. He has the support of his somewhat doubtful superior, Inspector Brackenreid, though at times, even he finds Murdoch’s methods – and claims – somewhat astounding. Started in 2008 – they’re in Season 9. http://www.acornonline.com
- The Listener on Ion Television – started in 2009 in its 5th Season, (perhaps its last) stars Lauren Lee Smith who played Riley on CSI (Vegas) for a while. A young paramedic discovers he has telepathic powers, and uses them to help solve criminal investigations.
- Dark Matter on Syfy – A guy from the Listener, Anthony Lemke, who played Becker, and Jodelle Ferland, who played Bree Tanner in the Twilight Saga movies. The six-person crew of a derelict spaceship awakens from stasis in the farthest reaches of space. Their memories wiped clean, they have no recollection of who they are or how they got on board. The only clue to their identities is a cargo bay full of weaponry and a destination: a remote mining colony that is about to become a war zone. With no idea whose side they are on, they face a deadly decision. Will these amnesiacs turn their backs on history, or will their pasts catch up with them?
Orphan Black is Canadian? – Orphan Black follows outsider, orphan and street-wise chameleon Sarah. After witnessing a woman’s suicide, Sarah assumes the stranger’s identity – who happens to look just like her. Expecting to solve all her problems by cleaning out the dead woman’s savings, Sarah is instead thrust headlong into a kaleidoscopic mystery as she realizes the dizzying truth – she and the dead woman are clones. As Sarah searches for answers, she discovers the chilling fact that there are more people like her out there – genetically identical individuals who were planted in unsuspecting birth parents and nurtured in completely different circumstances. With no idea who created the clones, she’ll need to discover the reason in a hurry as an assassin is killing them one by one.
- Flashpoint and Rookie Blue look familiar.
- Lost Girl focuses on the gorgeous and charismatic Bo, a supernatural being called a succubus who feeds on the energy of humans, sometimes with fatal results. Refusing to embrace her supernatural clan system and its rigid hierarchy, Bo is a renegade who takes up the fight for the underdog while searching for the truth about her own mysterious origins.
- Stargate Atlantis – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- SCTV (Second City Television) is a Canadian television sketch comedy show offshoot from Toronto’s Second City troupe that ran between 1976 and 1984.
- Rick Moranis – Ghostbusters, Honey I Shrunk the Kids
- Dave Thomas (Bob & Doug Mackenzie – Strange Brew)
- John Candy
- Eugene Levy – American Pie
- Harold Ramis – Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day & Stripes with Bill Murray
- Andrea Martin – Big Fat Greek Wedding
- Catherine O’Hara – Beetlejuice, Nightmare Before Christmas,
- Martin Short – SNL, Prime Time Glick, Inner Space with Dennis Quaid
- KIDS IN THE HALL! I knew they were Canadian, but I love them so, I had to yell it.
The Kids in the Hall is a Canadian sketch comedy group formed in 1984, consisting of comedians Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson. Their eponymous television show ran from 1989 to 1995 on CBC in Canada, and CBS and HBO in the United States.
- Dave Foley was in News Radio, shows up all over How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives, Will and Grace, Stargate Atlantis,
- Mark McKinney joined SNL for a time
- Kevin McDonald
Google “Canadian Actors” and you may be surprised. Or not.
- Dan Akroyd
- Mike Meyers
- Jim Carrey
- Nathan Fillion!
- Ryan Gosling
- Hayden Christiansen
- Michael J. Fox
- William Shatner
- Rachel McAdams
- Evangeline Lilly of LOST
- Oh my gosh there are too many! It’s clearly an invasion in progress!
Musically, I’ve been listening to CBC 3 on Sirius Satellite Radio for new alternative inspiration.
The network plays a relatively freeform mix of indie music, including rock, pop, alternative hip hop, folk, country and electronic music. An article on Nerve.com, published in October 2006, called CBC Radio 3 “possibly the world’s best radio station”.
on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and streaming audio, and several daily and weekly podcasts from the CBC Radio 3 website. The audio stream is available from both CBC Music and from iTunes Radio.
CBC Radio 3 was nominated for a Webby Award in 2007 and previously won the award in 2003.
But then there’s:
- Bryan Adams
- Alanis Morrisette
- Avril Lavigne
- That kid…um…Justin Bieber
- Celine Dion
- Sarah McLachlan
- Michael Buble and Diana Krall
Are they smarter than us? They do have nationalized healthcare and low gun crime. Hmmmmm…. let’s discuss.
If Canada were your home instead of The United States you would…
- be 09% less likely to be in prison
- make 37% less money
- spend 46% less money on health care
- have 81% more free time
- be 16% less likely to be murdered
- experience 67% less of a class divide
- be 74% less likely to be unemployed
- live 11 years longer
- use 77% more electricity
- be 66% less likely to die in infancy
- consume 64% more oil
- be 50% less likely to have HIV/AIDS
- have 32% fewer babies
99 Reasons Why It’s Better to be Canadian: (a list compiled by Canadians for Canadians, but still quite convincing!)