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Chad Rubel
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This is not an April Fool. The NHL is still shut down thanks to preventive measures over COVID-19. We did want to keep the impression of regularity with the monthly update. We don't know what games the U.S. outlets would have carried down the stretch. We have preserved as much of the schedule, including a theoretical NHL Center Ice free preview. Consider this a blessing for the archives. Continue reading
Posted 21 minutes ago at Canadian Crossing
Your heart may not be ready seconds after the series finale of Schitt's Creek, but a documentary on the show Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt's Creek Farewell will run on CBC and Pop TV. The series finale moves up to 8 p.m. Eastern with the hour-long documentary to run at 8:30 p.m Eastern. The series finale will also run on Comedy Central and Logo. The special features the magical phrase "never-before-seen footage." There will be cast and crew interviews. The style now is to have other celebrities talking: they include: Paula Abdul, Will Arnett, Carol Burnett, Cameron Crowe, Tony Hale, Amy Sedaris, Johnny Weir, and more. Hopefully, Mariah Carey will be on the list. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Canadian Crossing
If the 2020 Junos were any example, the winners of the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards will remain a mystery for some time. The music event was scheduled for March 15 in Saskatoon while the Canadian Screen Awards live finale was scheduled for last night in Toronto. We still don't know the 2020 Junos winners. The Academy Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television weighed in on Friday: "We remain committed to the celebration of our Canadian Screen Award nominees and Special Award honourees, and look forward to feteing them properly when the time is right." The plan appears to be a ceremony of some kind when curves are flattened in dealing with the COVID-19 coronavirus. Hopefully, the winners won't have to wait too much longer to find out who won the awards. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Canadian Crossing
There was the gourmet strawberry ice cream that ended up in the shopping basket. The containers of Belgian chocolate pudding that were the only thing I could find that I wanted at Trader Joe's. The on-sale canisters of Planters Cheez Balls. These are the byproducts of stress eating and buying in recent grocery store trips during the limited trips outside thanks to the COVID-19 coronavirus. I also bought spinach, carrots. I have had blueberries in my freezer from last summer. Limited exercise. Restaurants out unless they are carry out (no car so no drive-thrus). Food as entertainment is true more than ever. You can allow yourself treats during isolation. You can manage your food supply. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Balance of Food
Shelter in place hasn't quite reached British Columbia and Vancouver. Given the trend in Canada and the United States to try and flatten the curve over the COVID-19 coronavirus, that trend may soon hit the west coast of Canada. The housing situation in Vancouver with multiple roommates or small living spaces is more traumatic during a pandemic. This leads us to Meng Wanzhou. Meng has been living in Vancouver since December 1, 2018 when she was arrested on U.S. charges. Meng has been home confined since the arrest. She initially lived in her less prominent mansion, the 6-bedroom residence near a park. In May 2019, Meng moved to her other Vancouver estate, one more than triple the size of the less prominent mansion. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Canadian Crossing
I've read enough stories about Canadian films to learn a bit about Cube and how the Canadian film was a must-see. Cube is a science-fiction film filled with math, which makes the 1997 film seem relevant today. The film starts with Alderson (Julian Richings) in a cube trying to get out into another room. Alderson sets off a trap and reaches his demise. We then meet Quentin (Maurice Dean Wint), a police officer; Joan Leaven (Nicole de Boer), a talented math student; David Worth (David Hewlett), a cynic; and Dr. Helen Holloway (Nicky Guadagni). They don't know why they are in the cube. They travel from room to room trying to solve the puzzle to escape the cube. Rennes (Wayne Robson), a renowned prison escape artist joins the group. Later, Kazan (Andrew Miller), a mentally challenged man, becomes part of the effort. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Canadian Crossing
Like a lot of political issues we write about in Canada (health care), provinces have a lot of control. Canada is used a lot for shooting films and TV shows, many of them not Canadian. Outside of Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec, provinces have to battle against each other to keep their film industries viable to outside filmmakers. Let's look at recent efforts in Manitoba and Alberta. Both governments are run by conservative parties: Progressive Conservative in Manitoba and United Conservative in Alberta. Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox is building on an existing 30% tax credit that refunds companies on their total project costs. Cox says there will be an 8% credit for projects that use Manitoba-based production firms. Filming is an issue but so is editing and post-production positions. The Manitoba tax credit was scheduled to expire at the end of 2019 but the Pallister Government has made the tax credit permanent. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Canadian Crossing
CBC has worked to make its CBC News Network coverage of the COVID-19 coronavirus more available to Canadians. That is great news. Unfortunately, another CBC News move is hurting Canadians wanting to get information. CBC News is running CBC News Network instead of supper-hour TV newscasts at 6 p.m. and local newscasts at 11 p.m. after The National. The COVID-19 coronavirus is a worldwide story, a Canadian story, and a local story. Those local stories are being lost because CBC doesn't have the person power to cover those stories. That is what we are being told. Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
For the first time since 2016 and only the second time in the Toronto Blue Jays exhibition games in Montréal, Toronto will take on an American League team — New York Yankees — at Olympic Stadium. The teams will meet Monday and Tuesday at Olympic Stadium on the east side of Montréal. Game time will be just after 7 pm Eastern. Rogers Sportsnet will have live coverage of both games. MLB Network will tape-delay the Monday contest and air the Tuesday game live. The attendance took a tumble since MLB adjusted to start the season on a Thursday. The 2018 total of 51,151 set a new low while the 2019 total fell to 46,984. The crowds were in the 43,000-53,000 range when the format was Friday-Saturday. The Tampa Bay-Montréal split-season rumours might impact attendance for the 2020 series. Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
CBC has had to deal with sudden programming shifts due to NHL lockouts. With the NHL season in serious doubt due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, CBC has been filling the Saturday night gap with Canadian films. The lineup starting at 7 pm Eastern last week was Bon Cop, Bad Cop and Bon Cop, Bad Cop 2. The original is an absolute classic; the follow-up took a lot of the humour found in the original. This Saturday night, the lineup is Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story; Goalie with Mark O’Brien (Republic of Doyle) as Terry Sawchuk. Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
You may have seen the grocery store shelves in North America where people came in and hoarded groceries thanks to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Most of that food likely won't get eaten in the next 2-3 weeks. The hoarding makes some feel safe leaving others without actual options. Milk, bread, eggs are usually what gets taken in with an impending snowstorm. This is worse in a major way since most communities dig out of a snowstorm faster. If you got to the grocery store later than you wanted, here are some good foods that will help you last longer in a "shelter in place" scenario. Rice lasts a very long time, much longer than bread. The worse the bread is made, the longer the bread will keep thanks to chemicals. Bread of any type will last in the freezer. Rice is the go-to carbohydrate. Brown rice holds nutrition and fiber advantages over white rice. Fiber is crucial when trapped inside for long periods, keeping you full longer. Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2020 at Balance of Food
The world's longest undefended border will close to non-essential travel thanks to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Canada and the United States has mutually agreed to make the move. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said "essential travel will continue," to preserve "critical" supply chains between countries. "Canadians and Americans cross the border every day to do essential work or for other urgent reasons — that will not be impacted," Trudeau said yesterday. Windsor nurses working in Detroit hospitals are essential. Auto parts crossing borders are essential. Canadian beer is awesome and we want to bring some back: non-essential. The latest move involving U.S. citizens came on Wednesday, 2 days after Canada closed the border to all but Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Exceptions were made for diplomats, aircrews, immediate family members, and U.S. citizens. The U.S. citizens section is now limited to essential travel. Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
The criticism has been focused on Netflix for not investing in Canadian programming. Amazon Prime Video has also been guilty of not investing in Canadian programming. Finally, Amazon Prime Video is investing in an original Canadian series: Kids in the Hall. Kids in the Hall isn't new: the original CBC series from 1989-1995 that also ran on HBO and CBS. The original cast will be back for 8 episodes: they are Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson. Lorne Michaels will also return as executive producer. The group did have the film Brain Candy (1996) and the TV miniseries Death Comes to Town (2010), the latter running on CBC and IFC. Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
About 10 years ago (February 28, 2010), most of Vancouver and Canada was focused on the Golden Goal as Sidney Crosby scored in overtime to give Canada the gold medal in men's hockey over the United States. Luk'Luk'I takes us to the Downtown Eastside on that day to show people playing a version of themselves. The neighbourhood is known for poverty and drug use. Wayne Wapeemukwa introduces us to Angel Gates, Joe Buffalo, Ken Harrower, Eric Buurman, and Angela Dawson aka Rollergirl. Angela runs into hockey fans who are clearly lost. Eric is addicted to heroin and is followed by a UFO. Angel is a sex worker. Joe brings up his past in residential schools. Eric wants to reunite with his adult son. Ken is a gay and disabled man looking for love. Angela has a clash with police. They don't have much connection to each other: just a lens into a day in their lives. Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
We encourage people seeing Canadian films. We also recognise the need to watch them safely, given the COVID-19 coronavirus. You might have thought you were safe since your love is for Canadian films. The domino theory is too strong. Today, we take the extraordinary measure of closing TIFF Bell Lightbox, along with its programming, as of 5pm, Saturday, March 14, for a one-month period until Tuesday, April 14, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
In a new era of social distancing, farmers markets remain a personal way to get fresh produce and converse with the person who created the food. New York is banning gatherings of more than 500 people. San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose all have bans of more than 1,000 people. Washington Governor Jay Inslee set the mark at 250 in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties (Seattle metro area). All the bans are tied to reducing the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Most of the country does not have to worry about a local farmers market reaching those proportions, even in good weather. The bans could become more significant as the weather warms if COVID-19 doesn't ease in its growth projection. The Pike Place Market in Seattle covers a lot of ground. You can certainly find more than 250 people in nice weather. Pike Place has a lot of buildings as well as the open market so that might not be an issue under the Washington state ban. The Ferry Building Farmers Market in San Francisco likely doesn't hit 1,000 but there are usually several hundred people across the front and south side of the building on Saturday mornings. Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2020 at Balance of Food
No one knows exactly when or how the NHL will return. The COVID-19 coronavirus gets to decide when/how professional sports will return. On Thursday, the NHL, MLS, and MLB took action to clear the field and ice to re-evaluate depending on the spread of COVID-19 in North America. This isn't just about sports. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, tested positive for COVID-19 last night. The prime minister remains in isolation. Some NHL thoughts to note: While fans are hopeful for more regular season games, there is virtually no chance that will happen. Having 16 or 18 or 12 teams reduces the impact on markets of non-playoff teams. San Jose and Santa Clara County won't have to worry about the Sharks playing a game. Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
The Hometown Hockey broadcasts will air with Ron MacLean and Tara Slone from the Rogers Sportsnet studios in Toronto. Canada has been in a lot better shape than the United States in numbers and maturity of getting information to people. The Hometown Hockey events do draw large crowds. Social distancing is difficult to do when you literally have a parade each week at these events. Here is to hoping that North Vancouver, Campbell River (BC), and Edmonton get scheduled for the 2020-2021 NHL season, subject to a return of COVID-19 in the fall. Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
Before was a concept, the SARS coronavirus impacted a lot of areas, including Toronto. The WHO even issued a travel advisory in late April 2003 against Toronto. The WHO did lift the travel advisory after a week. I confess the only thing I really remember about the SARS coronavirus was that Conan O'Brien took his late night NBC show to Toronto. Late Night with Conan O'Brien played the Elgin Theatre on February 10-13, 2004. Credit for the move came from Peter Soumalias, a co-founder of Canada's Walk of Fame, and Toronto native and Late Night executive producer Lorne Michaels. O'Brien had a bit of fun with getting the crowd going with "Go Leafs Go" chants. Canadian guests included Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Michael J. Fox, Ron James, and Stompin' Tom Connors. Triumph the Insult Comic Dog got in a bit of hot water over comments made about the French Canadians. Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
They say romantic comedies aren't about the destination — since you know what will happen — but the journey. The F Word takes place in Toronto yet Ireland and Taiwan are thrown into the mix. Romantic comedies are supposed to be filled with twists and turns, but these two potential lovebirds might get sick from the constant upheaval. Toronto makes for an excellent co-star, which is good because you keep having to remind yourself this is a Canadian film. Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) and Chantry (Zoe Kazan) are friends; he wants a relationship. Allan (Adam Driver) is Wallace's best friend and is more successful with women. Allan, the lone atypical character in a romantic comedy, is the only one in the film who seems to be happy. There are Canadians in the cast a bit further back on the callsheet with Megan Park and Mackenzie Davis close to the top and Jordan Hayes, Meghan Heffern, Jonathan Cherry, Sarah Gadon, and Tommie-Amber Pirie a lot further down the list. Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
We've heard the rumbles in some Canadian provinces and U.S. states to go to permanent Daylight Saving Time. There are a bunch of logistical issues with going to permanent Daylight Saving Time. Yukon is going ahead with permanent Daylight Saving Time when the clocks change early on Sunday morning in North America. During Daylight Saving Time, Yukon will be on the same time as British Columbia (its neighbour to the south) and an hour ahead of Alaska (its neighbour to the west), same as the times are now. In the winter, Yukon will be 1 hour ahead of British Columbia (its neighbour to the south) and 2 hours ahead of Alaska. In fact, Yukon will be on the same time as the Northwest Territories, Calgary and Edmonton in Alberta, and the western parts of Nunavut in the winter. This is distinct from Saskatchewan that remains on Central Standard Time year round. British Columbia has put into motion the concept of permanent Daylight Saving Time contingent on similar movement in Washington, Oregon, and California, its U.S. time zone neighbours. That would put the province 2 hours behind Toronto in the winter. Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
What's Eating America with Andrew Zimmern is shining a light on food-related society issues. The 5-part series is running on MSNBC Sunday nights at 9 pm Eastern. The opening episode devoted 2 hours to the ties between immigration and the food supply. Subsequent episodes covered climate change, addiction with voting rights and fresh food fail coming up. The immigration and climate change episodes relate all too well to food supply concerns in the United States. Great to have a 5-part series, but wish all the episode were devoted to concerns in the food supply chain. Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2020 at Balance of Food
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band takes us through the rock and roll history of Robbie Robertson and his journey through starting his music career, meeting Levon Helm, and working his way through multiple versions of what became The Band. The film was "inspired by" Robertson's 2016 memoir Testimony. Robertson meets Helm when the latter was the drummer for Ronnie Hawkins. Hawkins convinces Robertson to leave Canada for the Mississippi Delta. Levon and the Hawks became a thing. This band became the band for Bob Dylan, getting booed every night during the tour. Robertson and Helm are joined one by one by the other Canadian members of the group: Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, and Richard Manuel. Robertson got his love for music by going back to his roots at the Six Nations of the Grand River, where his mother was from. Robertson grew up in Toronto. He finds out as a teenager that his blood father was, in the words from a witness in the film, a "Jewish gangster." Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
Canadian film lovers have to appreciate a Canadian promoting a Canadian film on a U.S. talk show. Nina Dobrev was on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Monday night promoting Run This Town, a saga on the Rob Ford crack video while he was the Toronto mayor. Unfortunately, from everything we've heard, Run This Town isn't a good film. Worse than that was Robyn Doolittle's role being cast by a man. I'm glad they're rewriting the fact that it was a female reporter who investigated Rob Ford. Why have a woman be a lead character when a man could do it? Ammaright? Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2020 at Canadian Crossing
The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches | La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes is a powerful, quiet, depressing film depending on your tolerance level. The film is an adaptation of the Gaétan Soucy novel about Quebec life before the Quiet Revolution. Alice Soissons (Marine Johnson) is a girl raised to think she is a boy. Alice lives with her father and older brother. Her father tells her that her penis fell off and that is why she doesn't have one. They live a highly secluded life. She finds a book. Her brother discourages her from reading any books. He ends up raping his sister. Their father suddenly dies. Only when Alice reaches the outside world does she know she is female. Director Simon Lavoie makes a smart choice by filming in black and white. The adaptation of the film has very little dialogue. You really have to pay attention to everything and may miss some elements. Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2020 at Canadian Crossing