Featured in this edition: Aircraft Pictures, Attraction Images, Balloon House Productions, Gladshare Media Studios, Guru Studio, Happy Camper Media, Image-in Atlantic, La Pastèque, Lopii Productions, marblemedia, Markham Street Films, Productions Avenida and Shaftesbury.
This past year, Holly Hobbie was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Kids/Family Viewing Series and won Canadian Screen Awards for Best Kids/Family Series and Best Director (Megan Follows)!
In association with Cloudco Entertainment and WexWorks Media, Aircraft is prepping production for Season Three of Holly Hobbie in Toronto. They’re also in production on an exciting new interactive comic experience for Holly Hobbie – produced in cooperation with Relish Games – to be released in early 2021!
Aircraft is also about to begin pre-production on a to-be-announced animated series.
Mammouth 2019 won big at the 35th annual Prix Gémeaux!
- Best Children’s or Youth Program or Series
- Best Direction in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series (Vanessa Cournoyer, Frédéric Nassif, Patrice Ouimet)
- Best Writing in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series (Vincent Bolduc, Lelouis Courchesne, Simon Laroche, Judith Lussier, Emma Toussaint-Léveillé, Alex Veilleux)
- Best Host in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series (Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse, Pier-Luc Funk)
- Best Graphic Design (Élizabeth Laferrière)
It also won awards at the 2020 Youth Media Alliance Awards of Excellence!
- Best TV Series or Web Series
- Award for Commitment, Openness and Respect
- Best Youth Personality (Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse)
The program also won the Rockies Francophone Prize at the 2020 Banff World Media Festival. It had been selected for Input 2020, a public television conference in Germany, but the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Mammouth IV was broadcast on Télé-Québec in December, co-produced with Pamplemousse Média. This pre-taped variety event for 13- to 17-year-olds celebrates inspiration in all its forms and allows teenagers to take a stand. Many teenagers did not have a prom to attend last year due to the pandemic, so the Mammouth team organized a 60-minute event to celebrate those graduates, Bal Mammouth 2020, broadcast on TV and online on June 19, 2020. Two Instagram lives (before and after prom) were hosted with special guest stars.
Passe-Partout won a number of awards in 2020!
- Best Digital Component for Children’s or Youth Program or Series – Prix Gémeaux
- Best Youth Personality (Gabrielle Fontaine – Passe-Carreau) – Youth Media Alliance Awards of Excellence
It was renewed for seasons 2 and 3 on Télé-Québec, and new content was added to the free mobile app! Passe-Partout adapted its format during the pandemic to share informative and entertaining video clips hosted by Élodie Grenier in Moment doux avec Passe-Partout, available since April 2020.
C’est quoi l’trip II took home a Prix Gémeaux in September for Best Host for Children’s or Youth Program or Series made for a Digital Component (Rosalie Bonenfant)! Season 2 on ICI TOU.TV dissects the latest trends, including letting your hair grow, adopting a minimalist lifestyle and becoming vegan.
Love et Lajoie, a series about an unconventional and bilingual family, is being co-produced with ATO Média. Recently reconstituted, the family has to learn to overcome a language barrier, to communicate and grow together. Season 1 will be released in January 2022.
Balloon House Productions
Miss Persona has been nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Preschool Series, and won the 2019 Youth Media Alliance Award of Excellence for Best Digital First Content!
Miss Persona was selected by Treehouse to communicate their official message at the beginning of the pandemic. Feedback from parents indicated that watching with their children prompted important conversations; parents were thankful to have a resource that spoke directly to preschoolers. From a letter to the team: “When you asked, ‘Are you sad that you can’t go to school or daycare with your friends?’ I heard his little voice answer “yes”. It enabled my three-year-old and I to have a little cuddle and chat. It truly was a ‘Mister Rogers’ moment for us.”
With 120K+ views on YouTube and coverage from The Hollywood Reporter, Global News, and Entertainment Tonight Canada, the PSA has been lauded as a proactive response providing a ray of hope directly to preschoolers in times of global uncertainty. After returning to set for a few weeks in August, ET Canada interviewed Kimberly Persona and Carlos Bustamante (who plays Cousin Carlos) to discuss the new realities of filming a children’s live action series during a pandemic.
Balloon House started selling a Brandon Bear plush after countless requests from fans. Parents have shared pictures, videos and messages of their children playing with their own Brandon Bears!
New episodes of Miss Persona premiered in December on Treehouse TV, airing weekdays at 6:30pm EST and available to stream on Prime Video. Music videos for 60 original songs will launch on YouTube until mid-April and the songs will be available on all major music streaming platforms.
Season 2 of Space Dragon & Kim is in pre-production, with the support of Ontario Creates and Shaftesbury Inc. Co-creator and writer Andrew Hunt is concocting 20 x 5’ episodes and 10 x 3’ songs to bring a progressive perspective and approach to children’s educational content.
Balloon House is also in development with CBC Kids on Bunker Buds, a tween sitcom funded by the CBC Creative Relief Fund.
Gladshare Media Studios
Vlogs Around The World™ is an animated, 3-minute, fun learning experience! A young vlogger named Josh travels the world to explore landmarks and world wonders, teaching viewers about “cool places” and presenting facts in an engaging way. It promotes diversity in children’s television and allows children to “travel” while at home, especially due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Vlogs Around The World™ has three early sample episodes being pitched, and Gladshare is currently seeking funding for the show to launch in mid-spring.
French and Friends, in pre-production and set to launch in summer 2021, is an engaging and interactive show designed to teach basic French skills to children ages 6 to 10. It stars a young, black boy who has recently moved to Montreal (a French-speaking city), but doesn’t know much French, so the viewer gets to help him learn.
True and the Rainbow Kingdom received multiple award nominations, including:
- Outstanding Directing for a Preschool Animated Program – Daytime Emmy Awards
- Best Preschool Program & Best Direction – Canadian Screen Awards
- Best Preschool Program – Rockie Awards
Its YouTube Channel continues to grow with over 400,000 subscribers and almost half a billion views! CBC Kids has new episodes, seasonal specials, music videos and nursery rhyme shorts airing throughout 2021. True and the Rainbow Kingdom soars around the world on Tiny Pop (UK), TV Azteca (Mexico), Canal Panda (Portugal, Spain), NET (Indonesia), TVP ABC (Poland), 9Go! (Australia), DR (Denmark), Discovery Frisbee (Italy), RTS (Switzerland), HOP (Israel), and Star Channel (Greece).
Pikwik Pack‘s launch on Disney Junior (US) and Treehouse (Canada) was covered by top news and parenting outlets including Washington Post, Miami Herald, Yahoo News, Fatherly, and Red Tricycle. New episodes are rolling out throughout 2021. International broadcasters have been signed, including Super RTL (Germany), Canal Panda (Portugal), HOP (Israel), and Minimini+ (Poland), with more to be announced. Pikwik Pack will soon launch toys and books with Playmates Toys as global master toy partner and Scholastic handling US publishing!
Big Blue made a splash with pre-sale broadcast deals with ABC ME (Australia) and CTC Kids (Russia). It was the #3 Most Watched Show at MIPCOM, topping the list in the MIPJunior Screening Library! This underwater adventure series is diving deeper into production and is set to debut on CBC Kids and ICI Radio-Canada Télé.
CBC and The National highlighted Guru Studio in their prime time feature on how Canadian studios are working hard to keep kids and families entertained during the pandemic. Guru was again ranked as a top production company in the Kidscreen Hot50 Awards.
Production is ramping up on Mecha Builders, a new Sesame Street spin-off featuring Sesame Street characters re-imagined as giant robots. It will air on HBO Max (US).
PAWesome news! More seasons of PAW Patrol are in production, with all new themes and vehicles.
Happy Camper Media
2020 marked the second year in row that Super Agent Jon Le Bon! won the Prix Gémeaux for Best Animated Series! Short-form content Super Agent Jon Le Bon!: How to Save the World in 90 Seconds was the fourth most-viewed series at MIPJunior 2019.
The 2D animated series featuring the best, or at least the luckiest, agent is now available in a 7-minute format. The first episodes of the French version are now on Radio-Canada (SVOD and linear) and will roll out on CBC. Super Agent Jon Le Bon! and Happy Camper Media were featured in Journal Le Soleil and on Radio-Canada following the release. The animated adaptation of the best-selling book-based comic is now available for international buyers through distributor Zodiak Kids.
Happy Camper Media has secured financing for 41 new episodes of Super Agent Jon Le Bon!, bringing the total number of 7-minute episodes to 80. Pre-production has already started, and the episodes will roll out in 2022 on Radio-Canada.
La petite dragouille, Happy Camper Media’s first preschool animated series (15 x 3.5min), has gone into production. It will premiere in Canada in fall 2021, commissioned by Radio-Canada. Adapted from the best-selling book-based property, it features La petite dragouille, a curious and determined potato dragon who is a tourist of life and avid explorer of the little things all around her, eager for all kinds of experiences.
The Ollie & Moon Show wrapped up on TVO, SRC, TFO and Knowledge last summer and is now airing across Germany on top kidnet Kika and across the UK on Sony Pictures’ Pop TV.
Audrey’s Shelter, a 52 eps x 11 min animated series about endangered animal species, is in the pipes for 2021. It is currently under development with France Télévisions and Watch Next Media.
La Pastèque Productions
Season 1 of La liste des choses qui existent earned two nominations at the 2020 Prix Gémeaux in the Best Text and Best Direction categories for a Show or Series Produced for Digital Media: Youth.
Based on the comic strip of the same name, this first web series from La Pastèque was posted online during March Break 2020. Co-produced with the NFB, it is broadcast on Squat, Télé-Québec’s youth platform, and on the NFB website. Season 2 is in production and these 13 new episodes will go live in March 2022.
La Pastèque Productions is developing a new web series in co-production with URBANIA. The Space Factor, inspired by the comic book of the same name by Guillaume Perreault, stars postman Bob. On board his spaceship, he delivers packages throughout the galaxy! Humour and adventure mingle throughout the deliveries, and give rise to spicy and crazy situations. La Pastèque hopes to complete funding for Season 1 this year.
Lopii was nominated for – and won! – its very first award: a 2021 Kidscreen Award for Best Web Series for My Stay-at-Home Diary. It airs on TVOKids, TFO, and WSIU/PBS in the US. Bomanbridge Media has come on board to distribute the series in Europe and Asia.
Lopii is in post-production on Season 2 of My Home, My Life with TVOKids, with 21 brand new episodes and 21 new My Family Fun Time digital shorts in March 2021.
Short C is for Circus is now airing on Sesame Street Season 51.
#Couleurs du Nord is in development in association with TFO. It’s an 11-minute series for youth to discover the issues facing Indigenous communities in the north.
The Fay and Fluffy Show (distribution partner Sinking Ship Entertainment), Twin World and Bestest Day Ever with My Best Friend! (developed with the help of Bell Slate Development Fund) are also in development.
marblemedia was nominated for six Canadian Screen Awards in 2020 and took home hardware for Just Like Mom and Dad as Best Kids Non-Fiction Children’s Series! It received great mentions including from ET Canada, Global News, and Toronto Star.
Production has wrapped on a ground-breaking new scripted family series from two perspectives: The Parker Andersons and Amelia Parker, debuting across North America this April. These garnered production press from The Toronto Star, Playback and C21.
marblemedia’s high-octane unscripted competition series All-Round Champion debuted to record audiences for BYUtv on-air and online. They have wrapped production on season 3, and season 2 is currently airing on TVOkids and Knowledge Network.
marblemedia was on Playback’s Indie Top 10 List for 2020 and was named a Global 100 Company by Realscreen. They’re celebrating their 20th anniversary this year! The company has expanded its Kids team with the hiring of A.J. Trauth as VP Kids, based in LA.
D360 has closed several deals for Skyship Entertainment’s roster of preschool shows including Super Simple Songs and its literacy-led titles such as Super Simple ABC Phonics Fun, Turn and Learn ABCs and Pratfall ABCs.
Markham Street Films
Markham Street Films was selected as a Realscreen Global 100 Company.
Hit youth series Jenny won the Young Artist Awards’ Best Performance in a TV Series as well as two Prix Gémeaux awards for Best Children’s Series and Best Female Lead!
During its first two seasons, it garnered several nominations, including:
- International Emmy Kids Awards – Kids Series
- Kidscreen Awards – Best New Series – Teens / Tweens
- Prix Jeunesse International – Main TV category – 11 to 15 Fiction
- Rose d’Or Awards 2019 – Children and Youth
Rare for a French-Canadian live action series, Jenny was sold to a plethora of prestige channels around the world including Canal+ (France), KiKa (Germany), YLe (Finland), Globoplay (Brazil) as ready-to-air, and to Slovakia as a format for airing on TV JOJ.
Avenida is currently wrapping production on season three for Unis TV. Jenny is distributed by Attraction Distribution.
The Solutioneers won Best Short Form Series and was nominated for Best Live Action Kids Program at the Content Innovation Awards 2020! Its companion series STEAM Stars, hosted by sisters Swapna and Sandhya Mylabathula, was also nominated for Representation on Screen. The Solutioneers will launch on ABC Australia this summer, and a new season is in production! Shaftesbury is also in production on a new season of ClearWaterKids Challenge. These and other kids titles from the Shaftesbury slate aired on CBC Gem and CityTV SK from April 2020 onwards as part of an initiative spearheaded by the Shaw Rocket Fund, aimed at supporting kids with education and entertainment while at home during the pandemic.
A second concept born out of this goal, the Boredom Busters series (Shaftesbury Kids YouTube) includes bite-sized videos hosted by cast members from Shaftesbury Kids and Family shows, such as Michael Seater, Hattie Kragten and the STEAM Sisters. Filmed in the safety of cast members’ own homes during the COVID-19 lockdown, they cater to kids with a variety of hobbies and interests. This series was nominated for the Innovation & Ingenuity Award – Kids Programming at the Content Innovation Awards 2020.
Inspired by Shaftesbury’s Frankie Drake Mysteries, Mary & Flo: on the Go! is an animated series following Mary and Flo as they travel across the world encountering famous women of the 1920s. It features the voice talent of Frankie Drake Mysteries stars Rebecca Liddiard, Sharron Matthews, Chantel Riley and Lauren Lee Smith, with cameos from notable Canadians including Jann Arden, and original music composed by Rob Carli. Episodes began rolling out in January 2021.
Digital puppet series Miikshi, with funding from IPF, has wrapped post-production ahead of its spring launch. It follows the adventures of a shy but genius sheep scientist, who saves the world one day at a time.
In September 2020, the Shaw Rocket Fund, Wattpad, and Shaftesbury teamed up to launch the Shaw Rocket Fund Accelerator Writing Contest to promote inclusive stories for Canadian teens. Shaftesbury Kids is working with 18-year-old Loridee De Villa to adapt her winning story into a 10 x 20 min podcast, while offering her mentorship with professionals from the industry throughout production (scheduled to begin in spring 2021). It will tell the story of Filipino-Canadian Ella Jane, who falls into a swimming pool at a disappointing house party and finds herself waking up on a mysterious train in another dimension.
With animation from Smiley Guy Studios, Shaftesbury is in production on the series What the Stink? based on the best-seller Stinky Science by Ed Kay and Mike Shiell. This gleefully gross series combines humour and facts to explore the science of stinks.
Shaftesbury is in pre-production on POV:me, the brainchild of South Asian writer Marushka Almeida. This series features real kids from diverse backgrounds partaking in conversations about language, race, cultural taboos, food, and life in general.