Fast fun at The Forks en­tices CBC na­tional show for look

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - BRAD OSWALD

FIS for fun, which is ex­actly what Jor­dan Fran­cis has been seek­ing on his ex­tended cross-Canada search.

is also for fast, four-wheeled and fear­less, at least as far as Win­nipeg­ger Josh Thor­vald­son is con­cerned.

And F is for The Forks, which is where this week­end’s in­stal­ment of CBC’s Cross Coun­try Fun Hunt brings Jor­dan and Josh to­gether for some se­ri­ous skate­board­ing ad­ven­ture.

“The whole thing was just a fun, fast-paced day,” says Josh, 15, an Grade 11 stu­dent at John Tay­lor Col­le­giate. “We were con­stantly do­ing some­thing.”

The youth-ori­ented Cross Coun­try Fun Hunt in­vited kids from across Canada to sub­mit videos, pho­tos and sto­ries about their favourite lo­cal fun spots, invit­ing Jor­dan to stop in and check them out and, hope­fully, have their pre­ferred re­cre­ation des­ti­na­tion de­clared the coolest spot in Canada. The win­ning lo­ca­tion, as de­cided by on­line viewer vot­ing, will play host to a spe­cial concert episode of Fun Hunt that will air in March.

Josh said he heard about the show’s call for videos last spring, and since he and skate­board­ing pal Bray­den Slezak had al­ready been shoot­ing a lot of video at the skatepark at The Forks, it was a sim­ple step to sub­mit an ac­tion­filled clip to the Fun Hunt web­site.

“When I found out about the op­por­tu­nity, I thought it would be a fun thing to do,” says Josh. “I just thought I’d see how far it would go.”

To Josh’s sur­prise, his sub­mis­sion went pretty far — far enough to lure Fun Hunt to his home­town to find out more.

When Jor­dan and the Fun Hunt car­a­van ar­rived in Win­nipeg, they met Josh at his St. James home and then ac­com­pa­nied him and Bray­den as they took their usual mode of trans­port — Win­nipeg Tran­sit — to The Forks. Af­ter vis­it­ing a skate shop to get Jor­dan out­fit­ted with a board and pro­tec­tive gear, they hit the skatepark and Josh at­tempted to teach the TV host a few ba­sic skater tricks.

“It was pretty much a day in the life, so I just did what I nor­mally to,” says Josh. “For the show, they wanted to show us teach­ing Jor­dan to skate­board, since that’s what our sub­mis­sion video was about. He’s a be­gin­ner, but it was fun teach­ing him how to do some ba­sic skate­board tricks. He learned pretty quick.”

He said the Fun Hunt crew — a bare­bones unit that ba­si­cally con­sists of the host and a sin­gle video-cam­era op­er­a­tor — fit right in with the skatepark crowd.

“It was pretty cool; there was only one guy with a video cam­era, so it’s not like I was sur­rounded,” he re­calls. “It felt pretty nor­mal. Ev­ery­body was fine with it. There’s al­ways some­one film­ing there, though usu­ally not for TV shows.”

Josh said he hopes the Fun Hunt ex­pe­ri­ence is as much fun for view­ers as it was for his four-wheeled friends.

“It’d be cool if more peo­ple de­cided they want to try skate­board­ing be­cause they saw our episode of the show,” he says.

This week’s in­stal­ment of Cross Canada Fun Hunt also fol­lows host Jor­dan as he re­con­nects with some rel­a­tives in Win­nipeg, then trav­els north to the In­ter­lake community of River­ton, where Jor­dan sam­ples lo­cal re­cre­ation op­tions, learns about tra­di­tional abo­rig­i­nal drumming and is the guest of hon­our at a street party.

You can sam­ple Josh’s skate­board­ing skills at http://www.youtube.com/watch ?v=acoMbYFtwmo&fea­ture=fvwrel

Josh Thor­vald­son (from left), host Jor­dan Fran­cis and Bray­den Slezak at The Forks.

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