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Chad Rubel
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Welcome to the CFL preseason, 2024 version. The prairie teams — Winnipeg and Saskatchewan — play each other on May 20 (Victoria Day) in Regina to start the preseason schedule. Each of the 9 teams plays a home game and a road game. Games reside within the division so no crossovers. The Toronto Argonauts preseason home is once again in Guelph, ON. The new normal for TSN is 2 televised preseason games, same as 2023 and down from 4 in 2022. The Canadian English language rights holder shows a doubleheader on May 31 with Montréal in Ottawa followed by Edmonton in Vancouver to battle the BC Lions. RDS will carry both Montréal Alouettes preseason games en Francaise. CFL+ has the other preseason games in Canada and all the games outside Canada. The service is free, though you need to register. There are simultaneous preseason games so you can't watch every game live. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Canadian Crossing
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The Adjuster had been on my radar for its appearance on a far distant version (1993) of the TIFF Top 10 Canadian Films of All Time. The film piqued more curiosity because this is an early Atom Egoyan film and how difficult finding a copy would be. Noah Render (Elias Koteas) is an insurance adjuster who is extra kind and empathetic to those whose houses were lost. The victims get put up in a motel. Noah's wife Hera (Arsinée Khanjian, wife of Atom Egoyan) works as a film censor. They live with their child Simon (Armen Kokorian) and her sister Seta (Rose Sarkisyan) in an unfinished suburban development without neighbours. We see examples of rule breaking: Noah sleeps with some of his clients in the motel while Hera secretly tapes footage of sexual content and brings that home for Seta to watch. Bubba (Maury Chaykin) and Mimi (Gabrielle Rose) are a couple into public displays of sexual energy and attention. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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We wrote about the plan in British Columbia for a 3-year experiment to decriminalize certain drugs for a healthier policy on overdoses. About halfway through the experiment, the province, with the help of the federal government, is making some adjustments, mostly in the area of where people can consume those drugs. We were a bit surprised — from a naive standpoint — about the strength of the rhetoric involving terms such as "failure" and "recriminalize." Marijuana is legal coast to coast to coast in Canada and the provinces have restrictions on where you can consume marijuana. The changes stem from making sure the drugs are not consumed in public and other areas of note. The parallel is that the drug use isn't as much of an issue as where the drug use is happening. One key difference is that with homelessness as a factor of opioids that, unlike marijuana use, there isn't an "inside space" for easy consumption. Since Canada waited a long time with making edibles legal, and many restrictions on smoking inside rental apartments, drug policy happens in stages. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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American TV has a lot of shows that have aired on more than one network. Brooklyn Nine-Nine ran 5 seasons on Fox and 3 on NBC. Taxi had most of its run on ABC but finished on NBC. Murdoch Mysteries started out on Citytv and ran for 5 seasons. CBC picked up the program and has aired it since January 2013. CBC and Citytv had a production deal in 2015 where the CBC ran Young Drunk Punk reruns while Citytv ran Mr. D reruns. The shows originally appeared on the other network. Ann Pornel wrote a recent column in the Toronto Star on how Canadian TV is falling short of diversity with the Run the Burbs cancellation. Pornel noted in the article that One More Time (CBC) and Shelved (CTV) were cancelled after a single season. This was news to a lot of people, including your humble narrator. CBC has had a dearth of comedies of late. The home of Schitt's Creek, Kim's Convenience, and Workin' Moms hasn't replenished that comedy supply. Having to resort to mediocre American comedies (Animal Control) in key time slots. We know CBC is down one comedy with the cancellation of Run the Burbs and likely another if One More Time isn't returning. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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Miryam Charles has a very interesting story to tell: her teenage cousin Tessa died in 2008. Tessa's death was definitely not peaceful and there is some ambiguity over suicide versus murder. Charles showcases conversations with an adult version of Tessa (Schelby Jean-Baptiste) and her mother Valeska (Florence Blain Mbaye) in Cette Maison | This House. The 2022 film features documentary-type footage of the family's homeland of Haiti. The house in question is in Bridgeport, CT, where she died. Tessa was born in Stamford, CT in 1994. The main pull of the film is the mother-daughter connection, playing what if scenarios that often happen after a young person dies. The daughter is gathered in an indoor garden in the living room. Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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Norman Jewison is one of the most famous Canadian directors who didn't really have a Canadian film career. Times were very different back then. We like to talk back about the works of Canadian filmmakers who aren't making Canadian films. This time around, we want to look into rising Canadian filmmakers Celine Song and Emma Seligman. Celine Song did wonderfully in her feature film debut with Past Lives with Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Song missed out on both yet should be happy with her debut film. Song tells a story parallel to her own experience in Past Lives, including her time in Canada after emigrating to Canada from South Korea. Canada plays a small role in the film. Song's world is in the United States, specifically New York, which is where part of Past Lives in set. Her follow-up film, currently titled Materialists, is filming in New York City featuring Dakota Johnson, Pedro Pascal, and Chris Evans. Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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Eating at a place from a celebrity chef? Not much enthusiasm from your humble narrator. I thought about this when on the tarmac at the airport in Las Vegas. The woman next to me went on and on about eating at Gordon Ramsey's place and Bobby Flay's place in Las Vegas. I was detoured to the Las Vegas airport by Southwest when I should have been killing time in Denver. I was eating snack packets that day and even the lure of a meal from Ramsay or Flay didn't make me salivate. These celebrity chefs aren't cooking your personal dinner. They lend their approach and recipes and then jet off somewhere to be on food television. As the woman switched topics to the excitement of gambling in Las Vegas, my mind wandered to a question I never thought I would ask myself: "Would I eat at a restaurant from a celebrity chef?" Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2024 at Balance of Food
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Edmonton beat Los Angeles for the 3rd straight year in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Oilers won in 7 (2022), 6 (2023), and now 5 (2024). Edmonton was 9-20 on the power play while Los Angeles went 0-12, not factoring in 2 goals in Game 5 just after the power play expired. The Oilers depth showed up in the opening round and Edmonton will need that through the spring. The Oilers had lost 10 straight Game 1s in a series before winning Game 1 against Los Angeles. The only thing more shocking than the Canucks comeback win is that Sportsnet took this long to give John Shorthouse a playoff series to call. His energy and keeping his breath is just masterful: pic.twitter.com/X3OU3yzPOZ — Logan (@CanuckSkate) April 29, 2024 Vancouver's amazing comeback in Nashville for Game 4, featuring Brock Boeser with a natural hat trick. The U.S. announcers downplayed this rather remarkable effort. The Canucks won Game 3 with only 12 shots on goal. Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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We see a lot of reaction to Run the Burbs as being corny. I am not normally a fan of "corny" but made an exception for Run the Burbs. Andrew Phung made that an easy sell. Good casting all around and you got the impression that everyone liked each other. Nice reunion with from Paul Sun-Hyung Lee. CBC cancelled the show after 3 years. Ironically Strays, the "official" Kim's Convenience spinoff, lasted 2 seasons. I won't go too much into the contrast with Children Ruin Everything, which I feel is a more cartoonish version of Run the Burbs. Both sides of the border have weighed in and cartoonish > corny in these examples. Canadians can catch up on the show via CBC Gem. Americans can watch Seasons 1-2 on Hulu with hopefully (please) the addition of Season 3 this summer (maybe). Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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We are often curious why Canadians struggle to tell Canadian stories. Citizen Gangster is a good example in telling the story of Canadian gangster and alleged murderer Edwin Alonzo Boyd. Edwin Boyd (Scott Speedman) is back from World War II and working as a Toronto bus driver. Boyd is frustrated and antsy trying to support his English wife Doreen (English actor Kelly Reilly) and their 2 children. Boyd also wants to be an actor, which would be corny in a made up story but is part of his life. Boyd combines his love for acting and desire to get money by using theatrical greasepaint, which ends up being a persona that makes him not a typical bank robber. Boyd is rather successful in his new life until he gets called and goes to jail. There Boyd meets Lenny Jackson (Kevin Durand), who once they escape from prison, becomes a part of Boyd's gang along with Ann Roberts (Melanie Scrofano) and Val Kozak (American actor Joseph Cross). Kozak's girlfriend Mary Mitchell (Charlotte Sullivan) is along for the ride. Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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Bob Cole passed away at the age of 90 on the same day that Rogers announced that Monday Night Hockey would move to Amazon Prime Video Canada. Amazon will produce the games themselves, which meant new announcers. There was a part of me that thought (before the announcement on Cole), "you know who Amazon should hire? Bob Cole." Oh baby indeed. Cole and Harry Neale, who is 87, would have been ideal on some level. Greg Millen and Garry Galley, recent partners of Cole, who retired in 2019, would also work well. Cole and Cassie Campbell-Pascall, which did happen, could have been fun. (We are not being serious.) Cole, who was a part of Newfoundland even before The Rock was a part of Canada, was a legend for his wonderful NHL calls, mostly on CBC. He also did news and sports on CBNT, the CBC Television channel on channel 8. St. John's only has 2 TV stations, meaning Newfoundland only has 2 TV stations. If you aren't a sports fan, you might know Cole as the Voice of the Republic on Republic of Doyle. Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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The term cinema vérité has lost most of its original intentions with the advent of reality TV drama that is extremely fake. If you want to get a good dose of how things went in the beginning, find a copy of A Married Couple from director Allan King. King is a real-life friend of advertising executive Billy Edwards. King decided to make a film featuring his friend Billy and his wife, Antoniette Edwards, about their troubled marriage. Billy and Antoniette love to argue. The fights run along gender lines in this 1969 film. Antoinette wants money for her pursuits. Billy says it is wasted money since things will collect dust because she won't use them. Billy brings home the money and uses that power against Antoniette. Antoinette gets upset because she is running late but has to drive him to work when he won't take the subway. Billy has a bed in his office; Antoinette wants to sleep in her own bed. There are lighter moments, especially around their young son Bogart and dog Merton. They even are thinking about having another kid. Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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We have struggled to articulate an argument for Canadian content to be, well, more Canadian. The audience may appreciate things that are Canadian if they knew what they were. Canadian audiences, English Canadians specifically, might not be as appreciative. The more they know, the more they may be surprised that they like. Bill C-11, aka the Online Streaming Act, ideally is supposed to improve the definition of Canadian content. Richard Stursberg, executive vice president of CBC/Radio Canada from 2004 to 2010, has an idea for determining Canadian content based on a cultural test, similar to what they do in the United Kingdom. In a world where Brooklyn and The Nest are Canadian films while Women Talking and Turning Red are not Canadian films, we need a different standard. Currently, producers or Telefilm Canada funding determine a lot as to whether a film is a Canadian film. Canadian television is rather easy to define, though Big Brother Canada and Amazing Race Canada feel closer to their U.S. counterparts. Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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The PWHL returned to the ice after the 2024 IIHF Women's World Championship in Utica, New York. A record crowd came out to watch Toronto and Montréal play at the Bell Centre, home of the Montréal Canadiens. The game received the Duel at the Top moniker for the event. Toronto's Sarah Nurse scored the game-winning goal 13 seconds into overtime for th 3-2 win. Nurse had 2 goals in the game. The idea of seeing Nurse and Marie-Philip Poulin (Montréal) and many others on the NHL ice in front of a full crowd is incredible. The same teams participated in the previous world record: Battle on Bay Street in February with 19,285 fans at Scotiabank Arena, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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Western Conference (1) Vancouver vs. (2) Edmonton Vancouver leads series 3-2 Date Matchup Time U.S. TV Cdn TV May 8 Vancouver 5, Edmonton 4 10p ESPN CBC May 10 Edmonton 4, Vancouver 3 (OT) 10p TNT CBC May 12 Vancouver... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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The number of Canadian NHL teams in the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs has jumped up to 4 instead of the recent trend of 3 teams. Toronto and Edmonton have done this for awhile. Winnipeg is back for the second year in a row and Vancouver is now back in the NHL playoffs. Montréal and Ottawa seemed out really early. Winnipeg eliminated Calgary, which somehow seem fitting. Les Habs is the last Canadian team to reach the Stanley Cup finals in 2021. The 4 teams in for 2024 want to surpass that goal. You could be feeling deja vu with the Toronto Maple Leafs playing Boston and the Edmonton Oilers hosting Los Angeles. The Oilers and Kings meet in the first round for the third year in a row. Division winner Vancouver draws Nashville in the opening round. Winnipeg will have home ice advantage against Colorado in the first round. Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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Year 3 of the new TV contract saw some odd patterns with NHL games involving Canadian teams on television and streaming. ESPN still ran away more road games involving Canadian teams and was obsessed with only Toronto and Edmonton for most of the season. TNT was virtually invisible through February where Canadian teams were involved. Its TBS coverage of the 2023 Heritage Classic was an embarrassment. ESPN+/Hulu decided to experiment with a Hockey Night in Canada game late in the season. The slim portfolio of Hulu subscribers who don't have ESPN+ can't be enough to justify entering such sacred ground. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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Besides being invisible, dietitians are generally quiet. The Washington Post and The Examination, a new nonprofit newsroom specializing in global public health, recently wrote a story about "anti-diet" dietitians on social media. Not all of the dietitians involved acknowledge their links to corporate food companies. Even those whose posts are listed as sponsored should be seen with a critical eye. The "anti-diet" concept sounds intriguing if taken with a sincere lens in navigating the food scene but is mostly used to justify consuming big company breakfast cereal and other such food. Social media and influencers are not the best sources of food information, sponsored or otherwise. I can rationally say that and mean it. Doesn't mean that millions of girls and young women aren't vulnerable to that influence. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2024 at Balance of Food
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Kraft Hockeyville was out east for 3 straight seasons from 2020-2022 in Twillingate, NL; Elsipogtog First Nation, NB; and Sydney, NS. Last year, the winner was in Ontario in West Lorne. Now for the second year in a row, Ontario has another winner in Elliot Lake. While West Lorne was in the southwestern part of the province. Elliot Lake is between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury in northern Ontario. The northern Ontario community beat out Cochrane, AB; Enderby, BC; and Wolseley, SK. Elliot Lake gets $250,000 in arena upgrades and a NHL preseason game. The finalists get $25,000 in arena upgrades. All 4 communities also receive $10,000 worth of youth hockey equipment. Rogers Sportsnet usually carries that NHL preseason game, though not the 2020 and 2021 winners. Figure that Toronto and/or Ottawa will be involved. Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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Welcome to the 11th annual tradition from Reel Canada that is the 2024 version of National Canadian Film Day. This is the day to celebrate the wonder that is Canadian film. There are special events, local events in Canada, and special guests. The holiday also reflects on 3 recently departed directors in Norman Jewison, Charles Officer, and Don Shebib. Jewison is known for his American films. This year's spotlight is Films That A.I. Could Never Make. There are 50 Canadian films in the spotlight this year. Your humble narrator has seen 38 of the 50 films in the spotlight. Here are the films I have not seen: Cette maison | This House (2023); Fire (1996); Hey, Viktor! (2023); Lovable (2007); The Magical Life Of Long Tack Sam (2003); Manborg (2011); A Married Couple (1969); La Moitié Gauche Du Frigo | The Left-hand Side Of The Fridge (2000); Ru (2023); Testament (2023); Wedding in White (1972); and A Winter Tan (1987). Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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I knew of Gary Burns from waydowntown, one of the wildest Canadian films I have ever witnessed. Man Running is a very different kind of film. Jim (Gord Rand) is a doctor running an extreme marathon that goes night and day in the mountains. The marathon is a way to get out the physical stress of dealing with assisted suicide after an ill teenage girl (Milli Wilkinson) asks for his help. The film progresses with flashbacks to the doctor dealing with his patient. Jim also interacts with a female runner (Ivana Shein) during the race. Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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After the 1-game play-in tournament loss in 2023, the 2023-2024 Toronto Raptors didn't even come close to that kind of playoff pressure. The 2023-2024 Toronto Raptors finished with a 25-57 record with a winning percentage of .305. The team lost 21 of the final 24 games and had the fifth worst record in franchise history. This was the team's second losing record in a decade and the only one in a full season since 2012-2013. Darko Rajaković had a rough start in his first season as the Raptors head coach. The home record was 14-27 for a .341 winning percentage. Consider that the 2020-2021 Raptors, who had to play their home games in Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, had a home record that season of 16-20 for a .444 winning percentage. Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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Cosmopolis is a David Cronenberg film but more specifically a Cronenberg interpretation of a Don DeLillo novel. The world comes to billionaire and currency speculator Eric Packer (American actor Robert Pattinson) as he and his limo slowly make their way across Manhattan in his search for a haircut. There are a few hindrances in the way: presidential motorcade, a rap star's funeral, and anarchist riots with protesters holding fake rats. Packer occasionally leaves the limo to spend time with his wife Elise (Sarah Gadon) and then Eric is back in the limo. He gets various visitors, including finance chief Jane Melman (Emily Hampshire), head of technology and cyber security Shiner (Jay Baruchel), art consultant Didi Fancher (French actor Juliette Binoche), and Dr. Ingram (Bob Bainborough) who gives Eric a physical exam every day. Eric's security chief Torval (Kevin Durand) checks in with Eric outside the limo stuck in traffic. As much fun as a film set in a limousine could be, eventually the film does leave the limo and go off in a direction. The world for Eric crumbles thanks to the currency speculation gone wrong. Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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Canada has had the distinction of being the only G-7 country without a national school lunch program. That distinction may change soon since the Trudeau Government announced that funding for a national school lunch program will be part of the budget release one week from today on April 16. The Trudeau Government wants to spend $1 billion over 5 years on a national school food program. The government target is to provide meals to 400,000 more kids outside of those currently getting food from local school food programs. The national school lunch program may essentially be funding to the provinces (and maybe territories) so they would run the actual programs. Still a bit to figure out. Canada's food insecurity concern may be a reason why we are finally seeing school lunch legislation. Helps that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used to be a school teacher and knows the importance of kids having full bellies to improve their education potential. Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2024 at Canadian Crossing
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We have written a few pieces noting that our friends in Canada don't have a national school lunch program. Canada is the only G-7 country without a national school lunch program. The federal budget details will become more clear on April 16. The Trudeau Government has leaked the idea of spending $1 billion over 5 years on a national school food program. The government hopes the program will start delivering meals to students by the fall. The government target is to provide meals to 400,000 more kids outside of those currently getting food from local school food programs. Plenty of kids are getting school lunch even now; more kids are going hungry. The debate has been on the radar. We wrote this story in 2017 and the topic wasn't new then either. Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2024 at Balance of Food