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Have We Reached a Breaking Point With Social Media? – FLARE



(Photos: Getty Images, Illustration: Elham Numan)

One of my biggest goals for 2020 is to finally commit to unplugging from social media.

I, like many others, have a complicated relationship with Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (no, I do not use Snapchat and I refuse to join Tik Tok for fear of upping my screen time even more). While the apps give me major social media fatigue, especially with devastating news stories and images constantly appearing on my feeds, I still can’t seem to break away from my phone, especially after a long, hard day when all I want to do is mindlessly scroll.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way; many of my friends, peers and individuals within my social networks have expressed their own issues with social media, too. Even celebrities are feeling social media’s negative effects, especially those who receive online hate on a regular basis.


Read this next: Lauren Duca on What It Was Like Being a Person on the Internet in 2019

Selena Gomez, the fifth most followed person on Instagram with a whopping 165 followers, has taken breaks from the app several times, and recently revealed she plans on stepping back from IG again once the promotional work for her new albumRare, is finished.

“I got back on [Instagram] because I was releasing music, but I just told my best friend Courtney [Lopez] yesterday, I’m going to have to take it off my phone again soon,” the 27-year-old songstress told Wall Street Journal. “[My friends] know I have an addictive personality, and [Instagram] can be unhealthy,” she added.

Gomez also explained why she previously quit social media in a new interview on New Music Daily with Zane Lowe.

“First off, there was a million things that I didn’t want to see. I would see them over and over and over again. Then I’m comparing…. You have FOMO. Everyone’s life looks amazing, and that happens to me, too. I’m like, ‘Well, what am I? I’m missing the plot here. Right? How come it’s so fun for everyone else?’” she said. “Then it just started getting dark. There were accounts that were dissecting me, down to my body, to my face, my features, choices I’ve made, telling stories, and it drove me crazy, because I honestly just wanted to be like, ‘None of you even know what you’re talking about,’ and it just destroyed me. So I stopped, and I tell every single person everything changed.”

Lizzo, a.k.a. the queen of 2019 who made us all feel good as hell, recently announced she would be quitting Twitter until further notice due to all the hatred she receives from Internet trolls.

“Yeah I can’t do this Twitter shit no more.. too many trolls,” she tweeted, adding, “I’ll be back when I feel like it.”

Shortly after quitting the app, however, the Grammy-nominated artist was body shamed by Jillian Michaels, former host of The Biggest Loser, during an interview on BuzzFeed News’ morning show, AM2DM.

In response, Lizzo took to Instagram Live to talk about how online comments have affected her mental health.

“I be waking up feeling bad as hell, I be waking up in my feelings. And I know that my mental [health], my emotional health, and my social health already affects me in positive and negative ways. But you add the internet to that shit, boy; the internet will have you depressed as fuck,” she said.

“I don’t even think it’s easy for someone like me to shut it off, who doesn’t have a clinical addiction to the internet. It ain’t easy. Shit is hard, bro. Deleting Twitter was the best,” she added.

Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin) also took to social media (ironic, we know) recently to speak about how painful it is to be “torn apart on the internet.”

“Instagram, Twitter etc. is SUCH a breeding ground for cruelty towards each other, and because people don’t take the time to connect with each other on an honest level before they resort to hatred, it starts to damage what could be really beautiful human interact and connection,” said the 23-year-old model on Instagram. “I could sit here all day and say the hate doesn’t bug me, that the words that are said don’t affect me. But NEWS FLASH: it hurts to be torn apart on the internet!!! It hurts to be compared to other human beings every single day, it hurts for people to jump to conclusions and make assumptions. It hurts to be called names, and to feel like you don’t measure up to a certain standard… the list goes on and on.”

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I would say my most favorite part of existing is human connection. I absolutely love connecting with other people, I love finding common interests between me and others, hearing people’s story, I love laughing with others, and I love crying with others. I feel so very very deeply. My heart explodes with happiness when my friends and family are happy and my heart feels crushed when they are hurting and sad. The reason I say all of this is: because I love to connect, I do my best to expose my heart which means I love freely and I empathize deeply, and because of that I also hurt very easily when I feel like people don’t see my heart and see me for who I am and the reason I’m even sharing this, is because Instagram, Twitter etc is SUCH a breeding ground for cruelty towards each other, and because people don’t take the time to connect with each other on an honest level before they resort to hatred, it starts to damage what could be really beautiful human interaction and connection. I could sit here all day and say the hate doesn’t bug me, that the words that are said don’t affect me. But NEWS FLASH: it hurts to be torn apart on the internet!!! It hurts to be compared to other human beings every single day, it hurts for people to jump to conclusions and make assumptions. It hurts to be called names, and to feel like you don’t measure up to a certain standard.. the list goes on and on. I share this only because it weighs often on my heart and because it’s important to be honest about how these things affect us mentally and emotionally. Hopefully it speaks to someone struggling with the same. with that being said Happy New Year. Let’s connect more in 2020 ?

A post shared by Hailey Baldwin Bieber (@haileybieber) on Jan 3, 2020 at 4:01pm PST

Read this next: I Don’t Think We’re *Actually* Dealing with the Trauma We See on Social Media

And there are countless other celebrities who have taken much-needed breaks from social media, such as Ed Sheeran, Cardi B and Kelly Marie Tran, the latter of whom quit social media altogether due to the racist and misogynistic harassment she faced online.

But quitting does not have to be the only solution, and isn’t exactly realistic, according to many mental health professionals, especially when social media is a big part of one’s job.

Dr. Katy Kamkar, clinical psychologist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), says balance is key when using social media.

“Like any other mode of communication, we need to set a balance and use [social media] in such a way where we feel there is a healthy purpose, a sense of achievement and productivity and well-being,” she says. “It is when it feels it is moving towards the extreme end of continuum where we feel distressed and interference with our day to day functioning that we need to reassess its function and purpose and make proactive and healthy changes.”

It’s also important to note that social media isn’t necessarily bad. As Dr. Kristin Buhr, a psychologist with North Shore Stress & Anxiety Clinic in Vancouver, notes, how it affects you depends on how and why you use it.

For example, using social media to connect with friends and family may not be linked to poorer mental health, but using it to see how well others are doing or to compare yourself to others may be.

“Being more active, like posting, engaging and talking online, rather than being passive (just scrolling) on social media may have less negative effects,” she explains.

Dr. Buhr also says it’s also important to realize that social media use doesn’t effect everyone the same way.

“It would be an over-simplification to say that excessive social media use causes mental health problems, as lots of factors contribute to mental health issues. But, it may play a role, and as a result it’s worth looking at your social media use and how it may be affecting your mental health,” she says.

Read this next: This Is What It’s like to Be a Teen Girl on Social Media RN

Personally, I’ve tried detoxing from social media in the past by deleting the apps from my phone and even temporarily suspending my Instagram account altogether, but as soon as I got back online, it was hard to limit my time there. And according to the a report by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), the difficulty of staying off social media is related to addiction. Research shows that high rates of social media use can lead to compulsive behaviours with symptoms similar to addictions to substances like drugs and alcohol ttwwhen the use is restricted or stopped.

Additionally, as the CMHA reports, research suggests that there are similar neurological responses between compulsive social network sites (SNS) use and addiction to substances. Researchers found that the reward centre of the brain was often more activated after receiving positive social media feedback, such as whether they received “likes” or comments on their posts. The changes in the participants’ brains that resulted from positive feedback on an SNS were similar to individuals who experience addiction to substances like drug or alcohol.

However, not all hope is lost. Both Dr. Kamkar and Dr. Buhr say there are ways to limit your social media use without going cold turkey. Below, some strategies on how to stay connected online without losing connections IRL.

Define social media’s purpose in your life

Dr. Kamkar says it’s important to define how social media is used in your life. Are you using it for education? Pleasure? Work? All of the above?

“There needs to be an individualized approach and being able to define the purpose and goal behind using social media [can] ensure we can optimize its benefits and minimize any risk or interference with our day-to-day-life,” says Dr. Kamkar.

Be strategic about how you use social media—and unfollow accounts that don’t serve your purpose

Dr. Buhr notes it’s important to be clear about your intentions with social media. “Decide to use social media to connect or network, but not to evaluate or compare,” she suggests.

“It’s all about balance and being strategic,” says Dr. Buhr. “Limit the number of sites you use and unfollow people or things that don’t serve you in a positive way.”

time for social media that once again helps you to achieve your goals, maximize benefits of social media and minimize risk for additional stresses, worry or interference in your life.

Dr. Kamkar suggests using social media in ways that will maximize their benefits, and minimize the risk for additional stresses, worry or interference in your life. And as Dr. Buhr says, there are positive sides to social media, too, like helping you stay better connected to family and friends and helping you network and stay informed. She also says social media can provide a means of support and a sense of community, especially for people who may be isolated or marginalized.

Schedule times to go on and offline

Dr. Buhr suggests deciding ahead of time when and where you will use social media and when and where you won’t (for example, not using it at dinnertime and in bed), and set limits for how much time you do you it; tracking usage and having a daily max and sticking to it can help.

To prevent you from aimlessly picking up your phone and using social media when you’re bored, Dr. Buhr says to consider leaving your phone in a set spot at home rather than having it with you all the time.

While scheduling time to be on and offline, Dr. Buhr suggests experimenting with your daily usage and tracking whether reducing the amount of time you spend on social media per day has a positive impact on your mood. She also stresses the importance of having set times every day to be completely unplugged, which means turning off notifications, putting your phone away and being present in the moment.

Dr. Kamkar notes that when scheduling, it’s important to be flexible, as stressors and priorities might change over time and thus any time you had set for social media might also have to change.

Make time for self-care

Both Dr. Buhr and Dr. Kamkar stress the importance of making time for self-care in your routine.

“Make sure you balance social media use with activities that promote mental health,” says Dr. Buhr. “Make time for healthy eating, exercise, sleep, self-care, face-to-face time with friends and family, getting out in nature, engaging in mindfulness/meditation, etc.”

Dr. Kamkar says this is especially important prior to bedtime. “You might need to set a time as to the latest time you can engage in social media to ensure there is limited interference with the quality of your sleep,” she says.

Have a list of alternate activities to engage in instead of social media

To avoid the temptation of going on your phone and mindlessly scrolling, Dr. Buhr suggests making a list of activities (that don’t include checking social media) that you can do when you need a break or want to do something that requires less though. This could include reading a good book, listening to music, drawing, or colouring.

As for me, I plan on putting all of these into place and really start enjoying time with loved ones IRL. As Mrs. Bieber said, “Let’s all connect more in 2020.”

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Bill C-11: Feds tell CRTC to exclude social media users – CTV News




Canadians who make content online are to be excluded from future regulations that the Liberal government is imposing on digital giants, a new draft policy shows.

The government’s online streaming bill, which passed in April, aims to force platforms such as Netflix, YouTube and TikTok to contribute to and promote Canadian content – a requirement traditional broadcasters already follow.


But the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission must now develop regulations to implement the bill’s intentions.

Draft policy issued by the government on Thursday instructs the CRTC to leave out social media users, including local businesses, who upload content online, even if they use commercial songs.

For example, a person who records a makeup tutorial or dance trend while with a Harry Styles song in the background would not fall under the regulations.

The draft policy states that the measures will not apply to such users because their content is mainly meant for the internet.

However, platforms like TikTok and YouTube will likely be regulated for streaming music promoted by record labels or commercial artists, when that content is also broadcast on other platforms – like on the radio.

A senior official within the Canadian Heritage Department said the key to understanding which broadcaster will be regulated is knowing if commercial content that is on their platform also appears in other media, such as on TV, radio or other digital streaming services.

For example, a television show can appear both on Netflix and on cable, and a live sports game could stream on social media platforms, TV and radio.

YouTube, which has opposed the bill, said it is committed to keeping intact the ecosystem of its platform, which relies on creators.

“That’s something we’re committed to preserving,” a spokesperson for YouTube said in a statement on Thursday.

“We are reviewing the policy direction, and will continue to advocate for the interests of Canada’s digital creators and audiences through the remaining stages of this process.”

The draft policy said people who make local podcasts or stream video games online will also be excluded from the bill’s regulations, which are set to take shape over the summer before a final policy directive is released in the fall.

Digital media giants that fall under the regulations will have to promote Canadian content, and are encouraged to put forward their own ideas on how they can do that.

The Canadian Heritage Department said it wants input from digital platforms on how they can promote Canadian content, but they say it could come in a variety of ways – from billboards promoting artists to designating sections of their sites to local music and stories.

The government’s draft policy states that the solution should minimize the need for companies to alter their algorithms in order to comply with the law.

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who sponsored the bill, has said the law is intended to help highlight local stories and music on streaming platforms, many of which are based in the United States.

“We’ve said it from the start: if you benefit from the system, you should contribute to it. With the Online Streaming Act, we’re acting to support our creators, our artists, our independent producers and our culture so that they thrive in the digital age,” Rodriguez said in a statement Thursday.

“Canadians deserve to see themselves in what they watch and listen to, and this legislation is an essential step forward in ensuring that our cultural industry and our talent shine.”

The government’s directive also asked the commission to prioritize parts of the bill dealing with redefining Canadian content, advancing Indigenous storytelling and achieving better representation from Black and LGBTQ2S+ communities.

The CRTC will hold public consultations in the weeks ahead, in which people will have the opportunity to provide input.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2023.

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Bell Media Announces 2023/24 Original Programming Slate



TORONTO (June 8, 2023) – Ahead of today’s 2023 Upfront presentation, Bell Media unveils its English and French-language original content slate for 2023/24, totaling 96 titles and 1037 hours of original content. Produced in partnership with independent production partners and Bell Media Studios, the impressive programming lineup doubles down on returning fan-favourites and beloved franchises, and adds compelling new series from a diverse roster of well-known and emerging Canadian storytellers.

“Our 2023/24 slate illustrates Bell Media’s unwavering commitment to developing and creating original programming,” said Karine Moses, Senior Vice President, Content Development & News for Bell Media and Vice Chair, Québec for Bell. “We take great pride in collaborating with our visionary production partners to deliver compelling content that reflects Canadian experiences, yet resonates around the world.”

Among today’s announcements:

  • Based on the hit international format THE TRAITORS, English and French-language versions of the psychological reality competition series are greenlit for CTV (THE TRAITORS: CANADA) and Noovo (LES TRAÎTRES). As announced on Tuesday, in a Bell Media first, Karine Vanasse (CARDINAL) will host both the English and French-language versions of the series.
  • CTV adds new lifestyle reality special THE TAKE BACK, which gives Canadians across the country a second chance at their cancelled celebrations.
  • Celebrated Canadian comedian Russell Peters hosts THE RP4 HOSTED BY RUSSELL PETERS for CTV Comedy Channel, and is the subject of new Crave documentary RUSSELL PETERS.
  • CTV Sci-Fi Channel becomes the exclusive home to comedy horror series REGINALD THE VAMPIRE.
  • New docuseries THE SQUAD unveils the story behind the 1991 arrest of Wanda Holloway in Texas for CTV Drama Channel.
  • Notable names at the helm of Crave Original series include: KIDS IN THE HALL’s Bruce McCulloch who presents the new sketch comedy series THE DESSERT; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who hosts the new series THE OPTIMIST’S GUIDE TO THE PLANET WITH NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU; Alex Wolff, Thea Sofie Loch Næss, Anna Torv, and Noah Taylor who star in the new international co-production SO LONG, MARIANNE, about the story that inspired Leonard Cohen’s infamous love song; and online legends Jae and Trey Richards who bring hilarious new comedy THE OFFICE MOVERS.
  • More Crave Originals include: new comedy series THE TRADES from the producers of TRAILER PARK BOYS; first-ever short form series NESTING; Indigenous comedy series DON’T EVEN; and a bevy of ground-breaking documentaries.
  • Morgan Kohan, Chad Michael Murray, and Scott Patterson return for Season 2 of the #1 new Canadian drama SULLIVAN’S CROSSING.
  • CTV confirms a new season of FARMING FOR LOVE (Season 2), which joins the previously announced renewals of award-winning and fan-favourite series THE AMAZING RACE CANADA (Season 9), CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING (Season 3), and TRANSPLANT (Season 4).
  • CTV Life Channel renews award-winning cooking series MARY MAKES IT EASY for a third season.
  • CTV Comedy Channel leans on the laughs with renewals for hit series ROAST BATTLE CANADA (Season 4) and ACTING GOOD (Season 2).
  • Award-winning Crave Originals returning for new seasons include: Season 4 of CANADA’S DRAG RACE, coming later this year; Season 2 of CANADA’S DRAG RACE: CANADA VS. THE WORLD; a second season of WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE (EVEN JAY BARUCHEL); and Season 2 of docu-comedy series PILLOW TALK.
  • Discovery Networks renews popular factual series including FEAR THY NEIGHBOR (Season 9), HIGHWAY THRU HELL (Season 12), LAST OF THE GIANTS (Season 3), and FORENSIC FACTOR (Season 7) from Bell Media Studios.
  • Originals continue to drive French conventional network Noovo with just announced titles including the return of hit SURVIVOR QUÉBEC for Season 2.
  • Bell Media Studios orders new seasons of CTV YOUR MORNING, THE SOCIAL, and Canada’s #1 entertainment news program ETALK – along with the just announced new daytime series THE GOOD STUFF WITH MARY BERG hosted by Mary Berg.

Bell Media’s New English and French-Language Primetime Original Entertainment Productions Slate from Independent Producers Includes the Following, With Additional Titles to Be Announced Later This Year. For Returning Series Synopses, Click Here.


New English-Language Series:

BATTLE OF THE GENERATIONS – CTV *previously announced

BATTLE OF THE GENERATIONS not only asks how well you know your own generation, but how well you know your rivals’ generations – ultimately resolving the question of which generation has what it takes to win it all. (Bell Media Studios/GroupM Motion Entertainment)

BILLIONAIRE MURDERS – Crave *previously announced

Premiering June 16, the four-part docuseries explores the unsolved murders of Canadian power couple, Barry and Honey Sherman. The series narrative is driven by leading investigative journalist, and the pre-eminent expert on the case, Kevin Donovan. BILLIONAIRE MURDERS features illuminating interviews and compelling details of the case, including an intimate look at the crime scene, and access to key figures connected to the couple, along with information from confidential sources with insight crucial to the unsolved murder mystery. (Entertainment One)

BRIA MACK GETS A LIFE – Crave *previously announced

A half-hour comedy series that follows Bria Mack, a 25-year-old Black woman, as she navigates adulthood in a predominantly white world – which is made all the more difficult, but also more tolerable – by Black Attack, her invisible hype girl. (New Metric Media)


Bruce McCulloch of THE KIDS IN THE HALL presents the next generation of Canadian sketch comedy with an all-out, boundary pushing expedition to the edge of decency. Starring Isabella Campbell, Shane Cunningham (co-creator), and Jillian Smart, with music by Executive Producer Max Kerman (Arkells), THE DESSERT is an audacious and rapid-fire celebration of the absurd. (LaRue Entertainment)

DON’T EVEN – Crave

After a humiliation at her high school grad, Violet wants to make the most of the summer before university as her best friend, Harley, distracts herself from a big dilemma: She doesn’t know what she wants to do after high school. As the lifelong Indigenous BFFs bask in their newfound freedom, cracks begin to form in their once impenetrable bond. It’s awkward. It’s dramatic. It’s friggin’ Winnipeg. (Pier 21 Films, Frantic Films Manitoba, Sekowan Media)


THE GOOD STUFF WITH MARY BERG, a new talk and lifestyle series, hosted by multiple Canadian Screen Award-winning host and author Mary Berg  features lifestyle trends, home hacks, audience games, and inspiring stories – all from top experts.  A daily hour of fun, food, and laughs, Berg dives right in from sharing daily, delicious and approachable recipes for the home cook, to cook-a-long sessions with guest chefs, and getting her hands dirty with gardening, DIYs, home renovations and more. As well, Berg welcomes notable guests, including authors, celebrities, influencers, and everyday heroes. (Bell Media Studios)

*not accounted for in total hours of English and French-language content.

I HAVE NOTHING – Crave *previously announced

I HAVE NOTHING follows Carolyn Taylor (BARONESS VON SKETCH) on a quest to choreograph the perfect full length pairs figure skating routine to Whitney Houston’s 1992 iconic hit song “I Have Nothing.” Motivated by a teenaged obsession for the 1988 Calgary Olympics (but with no skating knowledge or ability), Carolyn is aided and abetted on her figure-skating journey by BAFTA-winning actor and comedian Mae Martin (Feel Good) and Emmy-winning figure skating choreographer Sandra Bezic (Battle of the Blades). The season culminates in a live performance of Carolyn’s one-of-a-kind routine for an audience of figure-skating royalty, die-hard skating fans and Carolyn’s teen idols. (Blue Ant Studios in association with Catalyst)

LATE BLOOMER – Crave *previously announced

Created by and starring Jasmeet Raina (Jus Reign), the eight-part series, which is loosely inspired by Raina’s life as a Punjabi Sikh millennial and online celebrity, follows burgeoning content creator Jasmeet Dutta as he tries to balance his ambitions for success with his commitment to his family, community, and culture. (Pier 21 Films)


Anna and Rosa, two unlikely best friends for whom the romantic comedy dream hasn’t panned out – no house, no partner, no baby – try to get knocked-up at the same time so they can parent together in a new version of family. As they clumsily and comically search for a baby daddy to fertilize their drying-up eggs, all while trying to find an affordable home in a totally insane housing market, they find their feelings changing from the simplicity of platonic to the complexities of romantic, turning everything they believed about sexuality and ‘happily ever after’ upside down. NESTING is a provocative, funny, unflinching short-form web series about friendship, fertility, the housing crisis, and love. (Project Undertow)


From the producers of SHELVED and Bell Media Studios breakout stars and online legends Jae and Trey Richards, THE OFFICE MOVERS follows two college dropout brothers who must pull their struggling office moving company from the brink of bankruptcy to secure a potential buy-out offer from an international logistics conglomerate. (Counterfeit Pictures)


THE Optimist’s Guide to the Planet with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau travels the world to find people and projects inspiring hope for the future. (Cream Productions)

PARANORMAL REVENGE – CTV Sci-Fi *previously announced

PARANORMAL REVENGE offers a fresh approach to creepy, hair-raising stories that emanate from the dimension beyond. Each story unfolds from the perspective of a main storyteller – a victim – who has been targeted by a mysterious paranormal entity or entities. What follows is a truly original and compelling approach: a mash-up of the true-crime procedural and terrifying ghost stories. (Sphere Media)


Imagine a world populated by beautiful, fit, and vain vampires. Reginald Andres tumbles headlong into it as an unlikely hero who will have to navigate every kind of obstacle – the girl he loves but can’t be with, a bully manager at work, and the vampire chieftain who wants him dead. Fortunately, Reginald discovers he has a few unrecognized powers of his own. (Cineflix Studios, December Films, Modern Story and Great Pacific Media)


Join Russell Peters for a landmark Just For Laughs event as he hosts four special galas, each with a star-studded line-up of carefully curated comics. Always uncensored and honest, Russell will be at the helm of shows that will be guaranteed to be provocative, funny, and unforgettable. This year will be the first in the festival’s history where all four galas will be hosted by the same artist. (Just For Laughs)

SO LONG, MARIANNE – Crave *previously announced

So Long, Marianne is a new eight-part, co-production from Crave and NRK which tells the legendary love story of Canadian singer and poet Leonard Cohen and his muse Marianne Ihlen. The series is an intimate tale of two, lonely people falling in love during a period of their life when they are trying to figure out who they are and their place in the world, while one is becoming one of the most famous singers of all time. Starring Alex Wolff, Thea Sofie Loch Næss, Anna Torv, and Noah Taylor. (Connect3 SLM Productions Inc.)

STAYING INN: HOTEL JULIE – CTV Life *previously announced

STAYING INN: HOTEL JULIE centres around Creative Director Autumn Hachey as she embarks on the biggest project of her career – the redesign of a 19th century inn into a luxury boutique hotel in Stratford, Ont. In a race to be ready for the world-renowned Stratford Festival, Autumn and her team of collaborators have their work cut out for them. She’s taking it all on – marketing and branding strategy, complete suite redesigns, sourcing the perfect vintage pieces, finding the right trades and, most importantly, striving to create the ultimate luxury guest experience. (Alibi Entertainment)

SIGHT UNSEEN – CTV *previously announced

After losing her vision, former homicide detective Tess Burke is haunted by the unsolved cases she left behind. When she meets professional seeing-eye guide Sunny Patel through a visual assistance app, they decide to take action. Using a hidden camera and earpiece, Sunny steers Tess remotely around life’s obstacles – and life’s crimes – as the two challenge preconceptions about ability, trust, and where to draw the line. (Created by Karen and Nikolijne Troubetzkoy. Produced by Blink49 Studios and Front Street Pictures. Distribution handled by Blink49 in the US and Canada, with FIFTH SEASON handling rest of the world)


THE SQUAD reveals the truth behind Wanda Holloway’s arrest in Texas in 1991 for hiring a hitman to kill her daughter’s cheerleading rival. (Cream Productions)


In this new CTV special, Canadians across the country receive a second chance after a cancelled celebration. THE TAKE BACK team have one week to create a surprise event for unsuspecting Canadians, giving them an experience that will change their ordinary day to an extraordinary lifetime memory. It’s time for a take back! (McGillivray Entertainment Media, Fremantle)


From the producers of TRAILER PARK BOYS, THE TRADES is a comedy series set in a working class community where the stress and high risks of working in a refinery are balanced by the comic, high-wire antics of the plant workers. (Rollercoaster Entertainment, Blink49 Studios)

THE TRAITORS: CANADA – CTV *previously announced

This unscripted competition series, which has become a global TV phenomenon, follows a group of contestants – including some familiar faces – who live together as they complete a series of challenges with the goal of earning a cash prize. The catch? Some of the contestants are traitors who will attempt to deceive and manipulate their way to the prize instead of sharing it amongst the group. In this psychological adventure will the traitors be unmasked in time? (Entourage Télévision. Originally conceived in the Netherlands by IDTV, an All3Media company, the format was further developed with the RTL Creative Unit and produced by IDTV. All3Media International represents format rights for THE TRAITORS.)

New English-Language Documentaries and Specials:

299 QUEEN STREET WEST – Crave *previously announced

Directed by Sean Menard, and with unprecedented access to the MuchMusic archives, the two-hour feature tells the origin story and meteoric rise of the seminal music and pop culture brand, highlighting its beginnings as a scrappy Canadian television upstart. 299 QUEEN STREET WEST is narrated by some of the original trailblazing VJ’s, who at the time had no prior TV hosting experience, received no direction, no scripts, and broadcasted live across the country. The film showcases how MuchMusic’s rise in popularity intersected with rap music entering the mainstream, the birth of grunge and alternative rock, and pop stars caused teenage hysteria at the iconic street level studio. VJ’s and iconic personalities featured include Steve Anthony, Rick Campanelli, Monika Deol, Denise Donlon, Erica Ehm, Namugenyi Kiwanuka, Sook-Yin Lee, George Stroumboulopoulos, Bill Welychka, and Michael Williams. (Menard/Molly Ye)

ANY OTHER WAY: THE JACKIE SHANE STORY – Crave *previously announced

This new documentary tells the tale of the extraordinary life and mysterious disappearance of pioneering soul singer and Black Transgender trailblazer, Jackie Shane. Her story is brought vibrantly to life through intimate recorded conversations with Jackie, and follows her family’s journey to discover her legacy, and the voices of those who were inspired by her tenacity to be herself. Directed by Michael Mabbott and Lucah Rosenberg-Lee, and executive produced by Elliot Page of Page Boy Productions. (Banger Films, National Film Board of Canada)


In a world desperate for hope, THE ART OF DANCE ignites inspiration and dares us to come alive by tracing the evolutionary healing power of movement, music, culture, and community. Innovative and immersive, this cinematic documentary experience awakens our souls, through the beauty and courage of some of the world’s most celebrated dancers on a journey of connection. Featuring Shad, Ken Swift, Lady C, Maria Torres, Maykel Fonts, BBOY Neguin, and Moncell Durden. THE ART OF DANCE is directed and produced by Kevin John Fitzgerald, produced by Anand Ramayya, alongside Executive Producers Lindsay Macadam, Maija Garcia, Aloe Blacc, and Shad. (Hip Hop Films, Karma Film)

AUDIOPHILIA – ADVENTURES IN THE WORLD OF HI-FI – Crave *previously announced

From acclaimed director Ron Mann, AUDIOPHILIA – ADVENTURES IN THE WORLD OF HI-FI is the story about the love of listening to music on the world’s best stereo equipment. The film profiles the inventors, designers, and major-league audiophiles, engaged in the never-ending quest to find audio nirvana. The film is a deep dive into the subculture of sonic obsessives around the world who seek out esoteric electronics that are often visually stunning, and turn their homes into audio sanctuaries. (Sphinx Productions)


Bodybuilding, spray-on abs and gender politics: welcome to the world of BEAUTY KINGS, a documentary exploring the transitioning nature of masculinity through the lives of men from different countries as they compete in a leading international male beauty pageant. Directed by Garry Tutte. Supervising Producer Sarah Fodey, Consulting Producers Evan Wexler and Sarah Sahaigan. Featuring Frankie Cena. (Morro Creative)


From director Nicole Bazuin, MODERN WHORE is a hybrid documentary that reimagines popular depictions of sex work through the lived experiences of writer, performer, and sex worker, Andrea Werhun. Based on her memoir Modern Whore, Andrea grapples with social stigma and reclaims her narrative in a series of funny, heartbreaking, and surprising stories. Directed by Nicole Bazuin and Produced by Lauren Grant, Nicole Bazuin and Andrea Werhun. (Clique Pictures, Virgin Twins)

NAKED: SEX AND GENDER – Crave *previously announced

A documentary feature film about the gender binary. What is it? How does it manifest itself in our minds and our lives? And how can we go beyond? NAKED follows individuals and communities, experts and artists around the globe who right now, are radically and joyfully redefining gender as we know it. Together, they explore their vision of a future beyond the gender binary. Directed by Stephanie Weimar. Executive Producer is Michael McMahon. Producers are Kevin McMahon and Michael McMahon. (Primitive Entertainment)


POSTNATURAL is a provocative feature documentary that travels to the freaky frontiers of a new synthetic biological age. Has “nature” ceased to exist? Mingling pop culture with science and humour with horror, this visually inventive film follows Richard Pell, founder of the world’s first Center for PostNatural History, and meets the visionary scientists, artists, and storytellers who are engineering new life forms and imagining a science-fictional future that few of us can fathom. Directed by Brett Story and co-directed Ben Travers, POSTNATURAL is a timely epic that explores our nostalgia for a world that was, while also finding beauty, possibility, and risk in the weird world that could be. Produced by Stuart Henderson. (90th Parallel Productions)


The Russell Peters documentary tells the story of his humble and adversarial beginnings in Brampton Ontario, to his current standing today as one of the world’s top international comedians. Directed by Thyrone Tommy (Learn to Swim), and executive producers are Randy Lennox and Kevin Barton. (Loft Entertainment)


SINGHS IN THE RING is a feature documentary based on the wildly colourful, outrageously animated, pile-driving phenomenon of the Singh wrestling dynasty. Follow us as we wind back the clock to the infectiously fun 1970s era wrestling and the emergence of a Punjabi immigrant now known as the legendary Gama Singh of Stampede Wrestling, and witness the continuation of that professional wrestling lineage in current day with Gama’s son, Raj. Directed by Akash Sherman and produced by Shane Fennessey, Adam Scorgie, and Sunny Sidhu. (Fennessey Films, Score G Productions, FMT Productions)

SMOKE & GIFTS: IT’S ALL GONNA BREAK – Crave *previously announced

Filmmaker Stephen Chung pulls back the curtain on the Toronto indie music scene through his relationship with his friends in the trailblazing band, Broken Social Scene. This unconventional POV documentary features Chung’s never-before-seen archival footage capturing a creatively rich era in Toronto and paying tribute to the power of indie music, friendship and the artists who started out in Toronto bars before rocketing to global fame. Produced by Ann Shin, Hannah Donegan, Diana Warme. (Fathom Film Group)

WILFRED BUCK – Crave *previously announced

WILFRED BUCK is a hybrid feature documentary centring on a Cree elder and Indigenous star knowledge keeper. Weaving together his harrowing past and his present life with sky stories, this cinematic film explores colonization’s attempts to extinguish Indigenous ways of knowing, the values of interrelationship that shape Indigenous science, and how this worldview paves a healthier path forward for us and our planet. Directed by Lisa Jackson. Producers are Lisa Jackson, Alicia Smith, and Lauren Grant. Executive producers are David Christensen, Nicholas de Pencier, and Jennifer Baichwal. (Door Number 3 in co-production with the National Film Board)

New French-Language Series:

The following new series are part of Noovo, Canal Vie, Z, Canal D, and Crave’s 2023/24 slate, with additional titles to be announced in the coming months.

LES TRAÎTRES – Noovo *previously announced

A group of eager contestants move into a majestic manor. Their goal? To work as a team to complete a series of missions to earn silver bars for their bank. The catch? Some of the contestants are traitors who will attempt to deceive and manipulate their way to the prize instead of sharing it amongst the group. In this gripping psychological format, will they be unmasked in time? Karine Vanasse hosts reality TV. (Entourage Télévision)

APRÈS LE DÉLUGE – Noovo *previously announced

Across six 60-minute episodes, this series, set in the heart of Montreal’s red-light district, tells the story of Maxime Salomon, a rogue cop who takes four young people with troubled backgrounds under her wing — including Dylane, a “bad girl” whose charms are hard to resist. To help them avoid getting a criminal record, Maxime introduces them to mixed martial arts. This decision is far from popular among his colleagues, and Dylane could pay a high price for it. Will fighting fire with fire break the vicious circle of violence in which these young people have been trapped for too long? (Zone3 and ZAMA Productions)

COLOSSE PLAMONDON – Canal D *previously announced

COLOSSE PLAMONDON chronicles the case of Yves Plamondon, found guilty of a triple homicide in 1986 and sentenced to life imprisonment. After years of proclaiming his innocence, he was cleared of all charges in 2014. The docuseries looks back on 30 years of legal twists and turns, allegations of conspiracy and false testimonies. (Productions J)

COUPLES EN SURVIE – Canal Vie *previously announced

To test the strength of their love, couples must survive in a hostile environment for 36 hours. Accompanied by a survival expert and a relationship professional, Kim Rusk hosts this challenging series that tests couples to their limits. The experts and Kim Rusk will provide feedback, analysis and commentary on the participants’ experiences. For their part, the couples will play for all they’ve got: it’s make or break! (Productions Lustitia)

CRINQUÉS : SOUS LE CAPOT – Z *previously announced

Follow Pierre Michaud on a quest driven by passion and mechanical engineering. While fixing up a Pontiac GTO 1966, he takes viewers inside a community of “gearheads” who devote their lives to restoring vintage automobiles. Discover a community where time is no obstacle when pursuing their obsession with the world’s most iconic cars! (TORQ-Océan)

DÉMASQUÉS – Canal D *previously announced

Everyone remembers celebrities whose lies have been publicly exposed. But there are liars everywhere: it could be an uncle, a friend, a colleague. Through the investigations that ripped their web of deceit to shreds, viewers will learn why liars spin their stories and what the consequences are in this docuseries. (KOTV)

LA GUERRE DES FANS – Noovo *previously announced

Hosted by Phil Roy, this epic variety game show with an electric atmosphere promises to be the most thrilling music competition on TV. Each week, four celebrities will compete in highly entertaining musical games, trying to score the maximum number of points and book their place in the next round. While 16 stars will seek to prove they’re the biggest music fan of all, only one will take home the coveted Superfan crown at the end of the ten episodes. (Pixcom)

INSPIREZ EXPIREZ – Crave *previously announced

Sophie and Vicky are young women in their early 30s who belong to the same circle of friends but dislike each other, having nothing in common except the date when they were born. This year, they receive the same birthday present from their girlfriends: a gift certificate for a yoga retreat deep in the woods. It proves disastrous for both, as they struggle with sharing the same cabin. Their enforced downtime takes a shocking turn when the dead body of a participant is found in the forest. When they’re required to stay on site during a police investigation they consider useless, Sophie and Vicky team up to identify the killer, save themselves, and might even learn to appreciate one another. (Avanti-Toast)

LE POIDS DE L’APPARENCE – Crave *previously announced

This unique and powerful documentary explores eating disorders, a problem that affects men and women, both young and old. Following Phil Roy as he wonders about the mental health issues surrounding weight and body image, this documentary seeks to understand the insidious ways that an obsession with physical appearance can become part of our thinking and create extremely troubling problems. (Trinome & Filles)

PLEIN GAZ – Z *previously announced

PLEIN GAZ immerses viewers in the world of recreational auto racing in Québec. From road racing to drifting competitions, the series covers various activities that appeal to speed lovers. It takes viewers inside the lives of entrepreneurs Jason Labrosse and Elie Arsenault, who are major players in ICAR Route 66, while also following Benoit Gagnon’s participation in the Nissan Sentra Cup as he drives that model for the first time. Throughout the series, these two worlds come together through Benoît, Élie and Jason as they share their experiences with each other. (Attraction)

PLUS OU MOINS MISÉRABLE – Noovo *previously announced

Hosted by Eve Côté, PLUS OU MOINS MISÉRABLE is a hilarious game show where one person’s sadness is another’s happiness. Outrageous true stories from around the world are evaluated by experts in human behaviour, who assign these incidents a score from 0 to 100 based on the physical pain and emotional shock suffered by the participants and the potential long-term psychological impacts. Two teams made up of a contestant and a celebrity face off against each other, trying to guess what score was given to each unfortunate — but oh-so-funny — incident on the “misery scale.” From “you were struck by lightning… three times!” to “You accidentally sent a sexy photo of yourself to your mom,” the contestant who makes the most accurate guesses has the chance to win $3,000! (KOTV)

PROJET INNOCENCE – Noovo *previously announced

During an internship at Projet Innocence, law student Stella Launière is supervised by renowned criminologist Armand Coupal. The condemned man whose innocence she must prove, Anderson Jean-Louis, is an infamous criminal responsible for misdeeds just as bad as the murder of which he claims to be falsely accused. Stella will learn the truth of Coupal’s words: “To prove the innocence of the accused, you have to get your hands dirty.” (ALSO)

TAXI PAYANT : L’ESCOUADE – Noovo *previously announced

The only game show that takes place on board a moving vehicle! In this new version of the popular game show CASH CAB, a team of larger-than-life celebrity drivers pick up groups of passengers for the most profitable cab ride of their lives. Throughout the trip, each driver poses general-knowledge questions to the passengers, gradually increasing the difficulty level. Each right answer is worth $25, $50 or $100. But there’s a catch: the passengers are only allowed to get two wrong. The third time, they’ll be kicked out of the cab without any money, even if they haven’t reached the destination. If they complete the trip, the chauffeur will offer them a double-or-nothing question. Will they win big… or lose everything? (Zone3)

TOUT POUR VENDRE – Canal Vie *previously announced

Using the help of the DuProprio, an agent free real-estate assistance service, Mélissa Bédard meets with homeowners who want to sell their home without an agent. She gives them a challenge: estimate how long it will take to sell their property — for a $1,000 prize! To maximize their chances of winning, the sellers are assisted by notaries, real estate experts, sales representatives and appraisers. Designer Jacinthe Leroux proposes two choices for improving the interior of their home, and with a budget of $5,000 and labour, they must decide which option will allow them to make a quick sale at the best price. From appraisal to renovations to open houses, each step in the selling process is covered in this new show that ticks all the boxes. (Zone3)

Source: Numeris, Total Canada, Conventional = BYTD Weeks 3-36 (9/12/2022 to 5/7/2023), Commercial Stations. Final Data.



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Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson dies aged 93 – The Guardian



The religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, who led the Christian Coalition and ran for president as a Republican, has died.

On Thursday, the Christian Broadcasting Network announced his death. No cause was given. He was 93.

Robertson’s enterprises also included Regent University, an evangelical Christian school in Virginia Beach; the American Center for Law and Justice, which defends the first amendment rights of religious people; and Operation Blessing, an international humanitarian organization.


But for more than half a century, Robertson was a familiar presence in American living rooms, known for his 700 Club television show, and in later years, his televised pronouncements of God’s judgment on America for everything from homosexuality to the teaching of evolution.

The money poured in as he solicited donations, his influence soared, and when he moved directly into politics by seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 1988, he brought a huge following with him.

Robertson pioneered a now common strategy of courting Iowa’s network of evangelical Christian churches, and finished in second place in the Iowa caucuses, ahead of Vice-President George HW Bush.

At the time, Jeffrey K Hadden, a University of Virginia sociologist and a Robertson biographer, said Robertson’s masterstroke was insisting that 3 million followers across the US sign petitions before he would decide to run. The tactic gave him an army.

″He asked people to pledge that they’d work for him, pray for him and give him money,” Hadden told the Associated Press in 1988. “Political historians may view it as one of the most ingenious things a candidate ever did.”

Robertson later endorsed Bush, who won the presidency. Pursuit of Iowa’s evangelicals is now a ritual for Republican hopefuls, including those currently seeking the White House in 2024.

Robertson started the Christian Coalition in Chesapeake in 1989, saying it would further his campaign’s ideals. The coalition became a major force in Republican politics in the 1990s, mobilizing conservative voters through grassroots activities.

By the time of his resignation as the coalition’s president in 2001 – Robertson said he wanted to concentrate on ministerial work – his impact on both religion and politics in the US was “enormous”, according to John C Green, an emeritus political science professor at the University of Akron.

Many followed the path Robertson cut in religious broadcasting, Green told the AP in 2021. In American politics, Robertson helped “cement the alliance between conservative Christians and the Republican party”.

Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson was born on 22 March 1930 in Lexington, Virginia, to Absalom Willis Robertson and Gladys Churchill Robertson. His father served for 36 years as a US representative and US senator from Virginia.

After graduating from Washington and Lee University, he served as assistant adjutant of the 1st Marine Division in Korea.

He received a law degree from Yale University Law School, but failed the bar exam and chose not to pursue a law career.

Robertson met his wife, Adelia “Dede” Elmer, at Yale in 1952. Eighteen months later, they ran off to be married by a justice of the peace, knowing neither family would approve.

Robertson was interested in politics until he found religion, Dede Robertson told the AP in 1987. He stunned her by pouring out their liquor, tearing a nude print off the wall and declaring he had found the Lord.

They moved into a commune in New York City’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood because Robertson said God told him to sell all his possessions and minister to the poor.

Robertson received a master’s in divinity from New York Theological Seminary in 1959, then drove south with his family to buy a bankrupt UHF television station in Portsmouth, Virginia. He said he had just $70 in his pocket, but soon found investors, and CBN went on the air on 1 Oct 1961. Established as a tax-exempt religious non-profit, CBN brought in hundreds of millions, disclosing $321m in “ministry support” in 2022 alone.

One of Robertson’s innovations was to use the secular talkshow format on the network’s flagship show, the 700 Club, which grew out of a telethon when Robertson asked 700 viewers for monthly $10 contributions. It was more suited to television than traditional revival meetings or church services, and gained a huge audience.

His guests eventually included several US presidents – Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.

At times, his on-air pronouncements drew criticism.

He claimed that the terrorist attacks that killed thousands of Americans on 11 September 2001 were caused by God, angered by the federal courts, pornography, abortion rights and church-state separation. Talking again about 9/11 on his TV show a year later, Robertson described Islam as a violent religion that wants to “dominate” and “destroy”, prompting President George W Bush to distance himself and say Islam is a peaceful and respectful religion.

He called for the assassination of the Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez in 2005. Later that year, he warned residents of a rural Pennsylvania town not to be surprised if disaster struck them because they voted out school board members who favored teaching “intelligent design” over evolution. And in 1998, he said Orlando, Florida, should beware of hurricanes after allowing the annual Gay Days event.

In 2014, he angered Kenyans when he warned that towels in Kenya could transmit Aids. CBN issued a correction, saying Robertson “misspoke about the possibility of getting Aids through towels”.

Robertson also could be unpredictable: in 2010, he called for ending mandatory prison sentences for marijuana possession convictions. Two years later, he said on the 700 Club that marijuana should be legalized and treated like alcohol because the government’s war on drugs had failed.

Robertson helped solidify evangelical support for Donald Trump, dismissing the candidate’s sexually predatory comments about women as an attempt “to look like he’s macho”.

After Trump took office, Robertson interviewed the president at the White House. And CBN welcomed Trump advisers, such as Kellyanne Conway, as guests.

But after Trump lost to Joe Biden in 2020, Robertson said Trump was living in an “alternate reality” and should “move on”, news outlets reported.

Robertson’s son, Gordon, succeeded him in December 2007 as chief executive of CBN, which is now based in Virginia Beach. Robertson remained chairman of the network and continued to appear on the 700 Club.

Robertson stepped down as host of the show after half a century in 2021, with his son Gordon taking over the weekday show.

Robertson wrote 15 books, including The Turning Tide and The New World Order.

His wife Dede died last year at the age of 94. The couple had four children, 14 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren, CBN said in a statement.

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