Canot cocasse features Franco-Métis voyageurs; a community that has dramatically shaped the history of our country. In this series, a transforming, go-anywhere canoe whisks a band of curious campers and their two intrepid leaders into a wilderness of adventure to discover a million and one things about the world around them as well as within themselves.
Pam, Nico and Julie spend their summers at Camp Manitou. In the heart of the boreal forest, they connect with their Franco-Métis roots and learn cool things that touch not only their five senses, but also their emotions, and cause them to question, problem solve and overcome challenges. The children work on their patience, perseverance and humility to live and work together collaboratively. Aunt Viola, the children’s wise, fun loving and nurturing aunt, is a magician and healer who carries all the wisdom of the Franco-Métis people.
The characters’ challenges and lessons reflect those of kids watching at home, like being patient, overcoming feelings of fear and doubt, improving yourself and learning from mistakes, as well as from Mother Nature and the animals with which we share our beautiful planet. Young people are introduced to the culture of francophones in western Canada and are able to share in the rich history of Métis voyageurs and their traditions of joie de vivre, love of adventure and respect for others and nature. Each episode includes educational content in natural sciences.
Canot cocasse’s characters and their language, music, games and adventures echo the reality of young Franco-Métis of the West, both past and present. With its youth audience, the series aims to:
- Anchor beautiful values such as respect, courage, perseverance, patience and self-esteem
- Provide caring, curious and adventurous adult role models
- Show children who experience their same concerns, challenges, joys and successes
- Develop an ecological awareness of nature
- Discover the rich lifestyle of the voyageurs
- Explore the richness of this world by telling captivating adventures linked to nature, its fauna and flora, and developing pride of their origins and traditions among Métis youth
- Inspire them to immerse themselves in the history and culture of their ancestors
- Help develop a sense of compassion
And of course, they do it all in good fun with exciting, funny and eye-catching stories!
The Manito Média team feels lucky and proud to have produced a television series featuring Franco-Métis voyageurs who have made such a special impact on Canada’s history. Our ancestors gave us a great cultural richness, and it is vital to keep teaching that history to Canadian youth as well as those around the world. They hope that more Indigenous stories and series teach its history to inspire a better future for ourselves and for our children. Learning the history of our ancestors can give us all a better understanding of the challenges they faced; it can inspire us to appreciate them as whole people, with talents and failings. We can connect with them even after they are gone.
“Knowing our history grounds us,” says the Manito Média team. “It tells us who we are, where we came from. It feeds our spirit. By learning about the hardships and successes of our ancestors, we too learn we can recover, prevail and build a better future for ourselves and our children. Preserving our heritage builds a sense of identity and belonging. Celebrating our history and traditions builds pride.”
Manito Média’s hope for the industry is to see further promotion of Indigenous storytelling through development, production, casting and presenting engaging stories that make up the beautiful tapestry of the Indigenous People of Canada.
Special thanks to Loogaroo, the Canot cocasse animation team, partners UNIStv and Radio-Canada, as well as the Canada Media Fund, the Shaw Rocket Fund, Manitoba Film & Music, and distributor, Filmoption International.