We were so thrilled to attend the Prime Video Presents Canada Showcase at historic Massey Hall. The event highlighted Prime Video‘s place as not only a streaming service, but an Entertainment Hub focusing on shining a spotlight on homegrown talent and voices, to the diverse audience that is Canadians. Partnerships with the likes of StackTV has allowed Prime Video to diversify its audience base which traditionally might’ve subscribed to certain networks and specialty channels only on cable.
Head of Prime Video Canada, Magda Grace tells us, “This has been many years in the making. We want to draw focus to local talent in-front of and behind the camera. shining spotlight on homegrown talent.”. “Our focus is customer obsession and curating the best entertainment for diverse local audiences.”.
To date, there have been 25 Prime Video productions based in Canada and they currently are developing ten Canadian productions to be enjoyed around the globe. The numbers speak for themselves. Prime Video subscribers thanks to hit series like The Wheel of Time, are streaming 70 more hours of programming per year, in over 240 countries around the world.
An exciting slate of programming was unveiled today at the event, focusing entirely on productions that were made here in Canada or have been green-lit to be made in Canada soon!
KIDS IN THE HALL
Iconic Canadian Comedy Outfit KIDS IN THE HALL are back and their hilarious brand of Sketch can be seen on Prime Video beginning May 13, 2022. All five original members reunite on the Series, which just premiered at SXSW ’22 and appearing today at the event were Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson. A two-part Documentary about KIDS IN THE HALL also will arrive on the service May 20, 2022.
On their long-awaited reunion, McCulloch summed it up, “Isn’t it funny to hear old people talk dirty??”.
GARY AND HIS DEMONS SEASON TWO
Toronto Funnyman Mark Little‘s Animated demon-slaying Series called CBC and CBC Gem its own for its first season. Its second season will be coming soon to Prime Video Canada! In 2019 it was awarded Best Web Series at the Canadian Screen Awards.
Little tells us he came up with the idea for the Show while he was in the hospital with a broken ankle, taking stock of life.
Perhaps the most-buzzed title at the presentation this year was THE LAKE. The Series was filmed in North Bay starring Orphan Black‘s Jordan Gavaris, Madison Shamoun and Hollywood star Julia Stiles.
Showrunner Julian Doucet tells us the Series actually is quite autobiographical. He says, “After high school, me and my girlfriend gave-up our baby for adoption. We chose the parents and are very involved with our daughter’s life. The Show explores what if me and my daughter took a vacation together?”.
Stiles tells us, “The experience moving to North Bay was beautiful. I was not familiar with the society of the lake. It was very insular. The lake is the Lake. Their games nights were a ride or die charades. They know everything about each other. Their lake is the only lake on the planet.”.
On her character Maisy, she says, “She’s competitive, petty and selfish. She likes to see the competition fail. It’s so satisfying and now I feel like a horrible person.”.
THE LAKE arrives June 17, 2022 on Prime Video Canada.
Filmed in Quebec, upcoming Series THREE PINES, based on the Novels by Louise Penny, stars Alfred Molina.Penny tells us how moved learning that Molina was cast in the role of Armand, whom is based loosely on her husband whom she says, “understood the gift of life”.
Molina who couldn’t make it to Toronto, tells us via video about his experience filming in Quebec. “My preparation involved reading the Novels. He is operating on different levels. Armand‘s strongest trait as a Detective is his empathy for both victims and perpetrators. I had the best experience working with the Crew, filming from August to late December and you’ll see us following the seasons through the episodes. It was beautiful and I’d work with them for the rest of my life.”.
THREE PINES arrives in 2023 on Prime Video Canada.Left Bank Pictures, which produces THE CROWN, also produces.
THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF BEVERLY LYNN SMITH
This upcoming Docu-Series recalls a 50+ year murder case which still remains unsolved. Smith at the age of 22 was murdered in Oshawa and the Series puts a human face to true crime, while revealing all twists and turns with empathy. Directed by Nathalie Bibeau, the Series arrives May 6, 2022 on Prime Video Canada.
Feature Film SUGAR stars The Shadowhunters’ Katherine McNamara, Jasmin Sky Sarin and Riverdale‘s Anthony Timpano. It is based on a true story of two girls from Montreal who went on a boat cruise, only to get way more than they bargained for. Sarin and Timpano were in-attendance at the presentation.
Sarin says, “These girls go on a beautiful cruise, going to amazing places, documenting everything online. They’re having fun till they aren’t. This is not what they signed-up for and they find themselves in a drug smuggling operation, fighting for their lives.”.
LOL: QUI RIRA LE DERNIER
If you loved LOL: Last One Laughing Canada, hosted by Jay Baruchel, a Quebec version of the Comedy Reality Series Competition putting Comedians against one another, is soon to be filmed! Actor Patrick Huard (Bon Cop, Bad Cop) will host.
JUSTE POUR RIRE
Nav Saini, Head of Content, Prime Video Canada announced today that the service will be collaborating for the first time ever with Just for Laughs on a French Comedy Special, to be filmed in Quebec. The Special is to be titled JUSTE POUR RIRE. More to come.
Just green-lit this upcoming Series, from Executive Producer Jamie Lee Curtis, is based on a true story of Ruth Clarke and the Maple Syrup Heist. Filming for this Blumhouse production is to begin this Summer as Lee Curtis told us via video.
UNTITLED THE TRAGICALLY HIP DOCUMENTARY
Mike Downie, brother of late The Tragically Hip Frontman Gord Downie, helms an upcoming Documentary due in 2024 about his brother and the Band’s success and legacy. The surviving Bandmembers attended the event. Fun fact, we learned that the Band actually got signed to a record deal after playing at the Toronto Music Awards, which took place as Massey Hall – a full circle moment.
(Photo/video credit:Prime Video Canada/George Pimentel)