YouTube res­ur­rects old shows

Cana­dian tele­vi­sion shows, movies find­ing new life on YouTube chan­nel

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - FRONT PAGE - MELISSA HANK

Vin­tage Cana­dian films and tele­vi­sion shows are find­ing new life in the dig­i­tal age. Sev­eral key me­dia com­pa­nies have teamed up for Encore+, a YouTube chan­nel that streams shows in­clud­ing Da Vinci’s In­quest and The Lit­tlest Hobo for free.

Al­ready, more than 300 videos re­lated to 100 films and TV se­ries fill the chan­nel, some of it newly re­mas­tered. Con­tent is avail­able in French and English and in­cludes come­dies, dramas, chil­dren’s shows, doc­u­men­taries and short films. New of­fer­ings will ar­rive weekly at youtube.com/ Encore Plus Me­dia.

“Many of the ti­tles we’re fea­tur­ing have been en­joyed by au­di­ences from dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions and were funded through pub­lic sup­port. They have since dis­ap­peared from most screens,” said Va­lerie Creighton, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Canada Me­dia Fund.

Among the TV se­ries cur­rently avail­able: Da Vinci’s In­quest, De­grassi High, Due South, Lit­tle Mosque on the Prairie, Moc­casin Flats, Mr. Dres­sup and The Lit­tlest Hobo. Films in­clude I’ve Heard the Mer­maids Singing and New Water­ford Girl, while French ti­tles in­clude Corne muse, La Pe­tite Vie and Watata­tow.

The Canada Me­dia Fund col­lab­o­rated with pro­duc­ers, dis­trib­u­tors and unions for the project, as well as Google Canada, Bell Me­dia, Broad­band TV (BBTV), Deluxe Toronto and Tele­film Canada.

“Canada is one of the world’s most vi­brant YouTube com­mu­ni­ties, with watch time grow­ing 30 per cent over last year, and we are cer­tain that these cel­e­brated ti­tles will find an en­gaged au­di­ence both here at home and around the world,” said Sab­rina Geremia, the coun­try di­rec­tor for Google Canada.

To wit, YouTube un­veiled in July the cu­rated page Spot­light Canada, fea­tur­ing the na­tion’s most suc­cess­ful con­tent cre­ators and vi­ral videos, such as as­tro­naut Chris Had­field’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Bare­naked Ladies from space. It was the first time a coun­try was sin­gled out with its own cu­rated sec­tion.

Stream­ing ser­vices in Canada cur­rently of­fer rel­a­tively newer home­grown movies and TV shows: Net­flix boasts Trailer Park Boys (which it co-pro­duces) and the 2011 film Goon, for ex­am­ple, while Crave TV serves up such shows as Let­terkenny and Cor­ner Gas.

And there’s more new Cana­dian con­tent to come. Net­flix an­nounced in Septem­ber it will in­vest at least $500 mil­lion in orig­i­nal pro­duc­tions in Canada over the next five years, as part of a re­boot of the coun­try’s cul­tural pol­icy.

But vin­tage Cana­dian fare has re­mained fairly scarce.

Said Nick Ian­nelli, se­nior vi­cepres­i­dent of post-pro­duc­tion for dig­i­tal pro­duc­tion stu­dio Deluxe Toronto: “Re­viv­ing this con­tent so it can be watched by Cana­di­ans and the world en­sures that a new gen­er­a­tion of view­ers will en­joy these great Cana­dian clas­sics.”

PHO­TOS: CBC FILES

The gang from De­grassi High is back on the small screen on Encore+ — a YouTube chan­nel stream­ing shows for free ... yes for free.

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