YouTube resurrects old shows
Canadian television shows, movies finding new life on YouTube channel
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.”
The gang from Degrassi High is back on the small screen on Encore+ — a YouTube channel streaming shows for free ... yes for free.