Canada has had a rich and varied history of TV over the years, with many classic shows, some of which you might not even have realised were Canadian at the time (did you think The Kids of Degrassi Street was American like I did, for example? Cos it’s not). Unlike our own BBC, though, the entire Canadian media industry seems to have no qualms about sticking its entire back catalogue on YouTube for the whole world to enjoy.
I say this because today, they only went and did this:
As of today, Canadian and world audiences will have a renewed access to memorable Canadian film and TV content from years gone by. Key Canadian audiovisual industry organizations announced the launch of a YouTube channel which provides free access – anytime and anywhere – to a wealth of iconic content in the age of digital connectivity. Visit Encore+ at youtube.com/EncorePlusMedia.
The new channel was launched at Google Canada’s offices with talent in attendance that contributed to titles now available on Encore+, including actresses Liane Balaban, Jennifer Dale, Karyn Dwyer, Sheila McCarthy, Cynthia Preston and Michelle St. John; actors Henry Czerny, Aiden Devine, Shawn Doyle, Pat Mastroianni, Tony Nardi, Michael Riley, Michael Theriault, and John Wildman; as well as producers Bernard Lajoie, and Rayne and Bernie Zuckerman.
Encore+ already offers over 300 videos across 100 award-winning feature films and television series in both official languages, including comedies, dramas, children’s and youth shows, documentaries and short films. Every week, dozens of titles will be added as part of an ongoing editorial calendar, including a number of Canadian feature films premiering on Encore+ in newly re-mastered versions. All digitizing, encoding and remastering of works is provided by Deluxe Toronto.
Among the top titles featured on Encore+, audiences will find fan-favourites that transcend generations, including Cornemuse, Da Vinci’s Inquest, Degrassi High, Due South, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, John A: Birth of a Country, La Petite Vie, Le Vieil Homme et la Mer, Little Mosque on the Prairie, Moi et l’Autre, Maman Last Call, Moccasin Flats, Mr. Dressup, New Waterford Girl, The Corporation, The Littlest Hobo, Watatatow and dozens of other exceptional productions reflecting Canada’s history and stories from coast to coast to coast.
Managed by service-provider BroadbandTV (BBTV), Encore+ will generate worldwide exposure and seek to stimulate demand for Canadian content and talent, particularly from young audiences who access media primarily via mobile devices.
Using a non-exclusive approach, Encore+ will complement the offerings of Canadian stakeholders already active in online distribution. This channel is a Canadian content discoverability and visibility tool, at a time when we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Through this industry-wide effort, the presenting partners also seek to ensure that rights holders and Canadian creators are the first to benefit from views of their works on YouTube, as well as test new business models for catalogue content.
Working closely with Canada’s film and television producers, distributors, broadcasters, unions, guilds and other industry associations, Encore+ is spearheaded by the Canada Media Fund (CMF) with support from Google Canada, Bell Media, BroadbandTV (BBTV), and Deluxe Toronto. Telefilm Canada is also a key partner in this endeavor, providing financial and promotional support.
To cut a long story short, loads of classic shows in both French and English, including The Littlest Hobo, Due South and Degrassi High, with more to come, all of which anyone in the world can watch. Here’s a video with some of the highlights, including a whole bunch you’ve probably not seen before unless you’re Canadian but which will make you wonder if everyone’s on drugs over there.
Oh yes, and here’s season 2 of The Littlest Hobo to prove it.
And the first episode of Due South in both English and French as Direction Sud: