March 2011

Sir Elton John and David Furnish arrive in Toronto next Tuesday for Mirvish Productions’ Canadian premiere of Billy Elliot the Musical, and their first and only stop is CTV.

In celebration of the March 1 debut of the hit musical, the multiple Grammy® -winning superstar along with his acclaimed producer and partner make their first visit – and only Canadian stop – to CTV’s 299 Queen Street campus in Toronto for exclusive sit-down interviews on television and radio.

Stopping by THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW, ETALK, CANADA AM and CHUM FM, the pair put viewers at the front of the line for the premiere of this Tony Award ®-winning stage sensation, before CP24 provides live coverage of the red carpet arrivals that night.

With ticket giveaways from each of the outlets, CTV is also giving fans an opportunity to be among the first to see “THE BEST SHOW YOU WILL EVER SEE” (New York Post).

Executive Produced by David Furnish and with a score by Sir Elton John that The New York Times called “show-stopping and electric,” Billy Elliot was honoured with ten 2009 Tony® Awards including Best Musical. Set in a small English town and based on the film of the same name, the story follows Billy as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, discovering a surprising talent for dance that inspires his family and his whole community, and changes his life forever.

“As the four young dancers playing Billy – J.P., Myles, Cesar and Marcus – prepare for the Canadian debut of this magical musical, we welcome Sir Elton John and David Furnish to CTV,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “Our viewers can’t wait to hear the story of how their stage production conquered the West End, Broadway and cities around the world.”


Follow Elton John and David Furnish’s exclusive visit to CTV:


Tuesday, March 1


John spends some one-on-one time with Marilyn and some of his biggest fans. John is set to talk about his dedication to this project and his anticipation for its Canadian premiere. Only the biggest Elton John fans can be part of the live studio audience. For a chance to win tickets to this once in a lifetime experience viewers can visit and go to THE ULTIMATE ELTON FAN page to tell their story. Additionally, the four “Billys” featured in the Toronto cast – Cesar Corrales, Myles Erlick, Marcus Pei and J.P. Viernes, along with Billy Elliot star Kate Hennig (Mrs. Wilkinson), also join Marilyn to discuss the new Canadian production.


7 p.m. ET – ETALK 

John and partner David Furnish make their way to the ETALK newsroom, sitting down with anchor Ben Mulroney to discuss the highlights and challenges of taking this musical from London and Sydney and now to Canada. Later in the week, the 30-minute CTV special ETALK PRESENTS: ELTON JOHN AND DAVID FURNISH takes an in-depth look at the production and the couple’s personal successes that have brought them to this achievement.



Follow John and Furnish down the red carpet with live coverage on CP24 as they count down the moments to the big premiere. In addition, viewers will meet various cast members, including all four “Billys”, before they put on their dancing shoes for all of Toronto. Melissa Grelo will be reporting for CP24 and Leah Miller will be reporting, with her dancing shoes on, for ETALK.



Fans can go to to follow live blogger for information as John and Furnish celebrate the Toronto premiere of Billy Elliot. The live blog will go behind the scenes, offering exclusive photos and videos of their appearances at CTV’s 299 Queen Street West headquarters.


Wednesday, March 2

7 a.m. ET – CANADA AM 

In addition to discussing Billy Elliot, Bev Thomson and Seamus O’Regan talk to two of the busiest men in show business about how they continue to inspire a new generation of young artists.


8:10 a.m. ET – Roger, Darren and Marilyn 

An in-studio chat with CHUM FM’s Roger, Darren and Marilyn rounds out John and Furnish’s exclusive CTV tour. Hitting the airwaves the morning after the big premiere, the pair joins CHUM FM for some light-hearted laughs and breakfast cheer.


About Billy Elliot 

Billy Elliot the Musical is the spectacular show with the heart, humour and passion to be called “THE BEST SHOW YOU’LL EVER SEE” by the New York Post and honoured with ten 2009 Tony Awards® including Best Musical.  Since its 2005 London debut, which was followed by acclaimed productions in Sydney, New York, Melbourne, Chicago, Seoul, and on tour across America, Billy Elliot has delighted the critics, swept the awards and captured the hearts of over six million people worldwide. Based on the internationally acclaimed film, Billy Elliot is brought to life by a phenomenal cast of forty five performers and the Tony Award-winning creative team – director Stephen Daldry, choreographer Peter Darling and writer Lee Hall – along with music legend Elton John’s score.  For more information about the show, please visit

Tickets for Billy Elliot are available online at or by phone from TicketKing at 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333.

Monday, February 28:

Polar Bear Special

Along with Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida, George Stroumboulopoulos delves deep into the issues facing polar bears and explores what can be done to save the population of polar bears in Canada.

*Please note that this is a repeat episode


Tuesday, March 1:

Guests: Christopher Plummer

*Please note that this is a repeat episode 


Wednesday, March 2:

Guests: Adam Beach


Thursday, March 3:

Guests: Olympic Champion Jennifer Heil


Friday, March 4:

Guests: Wes “Maestro” Williams, as well as musical guest Jim Bryson & The Weakerthans


George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight airs Monday through Friday at 11:05pm (11:35pm NT) on CBC Television.

All the stars align for CANADA AM on Wednesday, March 2 with a jam-packed guest line-up from the worlds of music, entertainment and sports.

CANADA AM co-host Beverly Thomson and Seamus O’Regan catch up with two of the busiest men in show business – Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish who are in town for Mirvish Productions’ Canadian premiere of Billy Elliot the Musical.

They’ll talk about the success of Billy Elliot and how they continue to inspire a new generation of young artists. Hockey greats Mark Messier, Guy Carbonneau and Doug Gilmore join CANADA AM to talk about the Bring Home The Cup Contest; and capping off the morning is Grammy® award winner Adele, who recently released her second album Adele 21. She’ll perform two songs; “Chasing Pavements” and “Rolling in the Deep”. What-a-Wednesday on CANADA AM.

CANADA AM with Beverly Thomson, Seamus O’Regan, Marci Ien, and Jeff Hutcheson airs weekdays beginning at 6 a.m. ET on CTV.


Other highlights this week on CANADA AM include:


Monday, Feb. 28

·         OSCAR®  HIGHLIGHTS: Live from Los Angeles, ETALK’s Ben Mulroney recaps the highlights of the awards from Sunday night.

·         OSCAR® FASHION & PARTIES: FASHIONTELEVISION’s Jeanne Beker review the looks she loved from the red carpet and Gossip girl and ETALK correspondent Lainey updates viewers with the details on what happened after the awards were handed out.

·         GIRFRIENDS AND YOUR CREDIT: Find out what your friendships mean for your credit score. CANADA AM identifies five types of friends and the influences they have on your purse strings and how to protect yourself from over spending.

·         JENNI FARLEY aka JWOWW: From MTV’s Jersey Shore to CANADA AM Jwoww is here to talk about her new book The Rules According to JWOWW: Shore Tested Secrets on Landing a Mint Guy, Staying Fresh to Death, and Kicking The Competition to the Curb, a modern girls guide to dating Jersey Shore style.


Tuesday, Mar. 1

·         YANNI CHRISTOPHER: The master of the Pan Flute chats with Beverly Thomson about his newest album Truth Of Touch, his intense work ethic and his loyal fans.

·         TIMOTHY TAYLOR: He is a former Scotiabank Giller Prize nominee for his first novel Stanley Park, and now has published his second work of fiction – The Blue Light Project a gripping thriller a four day hostage situation in a television studio. 


Wednesday, Mar. 2

*See above


Thursday, Mar. 3

·         PETER WALSH: Acclaimed organization and clutter expert teaches viewers simple tricks to keep order in their households, and explores the underlying reasons why clutter creeps into our lives.

·         ED HELMS:  Comedian and actor, best know for his role as Dr. Stu Price in The Hangover is here to talk about his next project, Cedar Rapids. The new comedy follows a naïve insurance agent from small town Wisconsin to the big smoke of Cedar Rapids, Iowa for an annual insurance convention that is anything but conventional.

·         PAT FORAN: Have you ever opened your cell phone bill only to be shocked by the charges you’ve racked up? What if you were trying to beat the system using long-distance calling cards but were charged anyway? CANADA AM’s consumer reporter takes on the cell phone bill of one unassuming cell phone user.


Friday, Mar. 4

·         MERIDETH BAXTER: She grew up in Hollywood and is best known for her role as the mom on the TV show Family Ties, but there is more to the story. In her new book UNITED: A Memoir of Family, Fame and Floundering, she shares her battle with breast cancer, overcoming her addiction to alcohol, and for the first time she talks about the domestic abuse she suffered in a former heterosexual marriage and her decision to go public with being gay.

·         THE CONSPIRACY SHOW: Radio host Richard Syrett takes on conspiracy theories from 9/11 to Aliens on earth, in an attempt to sort fact from fiction.

·         MOVIE REVIEWS: CANADA AM’s film expert, Richard Crouse reviews new releases The Adjustment Bureau, Rango, Take Me Home Tonight, and Beastly.

Canadians are about to get served with the country’s fiercest culinary competition of all time. Food Network Canada and Insight Production Company Ltd. revealed today the stellar lineup of Canadian competitors and resident judge who will be appearing in the highly anticipated series 

Top Chef Canada. The inaugural season of Top Chef Canada will premiere April 11, 2011 at 9pm ET/10pm PT exclusively on Food Network Canada.

Top Chef Canada will challenge 16 competitors’ culinary skills to see who can cut it as Canada’s Top Chef, taking home the grand prize of $100,000 and a GE Monogram kitchen worth $30,000. Hosted by celebrated television personality, Thea Andrews and head judge, chef and restaurateur, Mark McEwan, Top Chef Canada promises the kind of high stakes competition and addictive drama that will inspire viewers to cheer on their favourite competitors each week.

The 16 chosen competitors hail from far and wide across Canada with their own unique culinary backgrounds and expertise. Click on each competitor’s name below to open a link to his or her Top Chef Canada audition video on Food Network Canada’s YouTube channel.


·         Clayton Beadle, 26, Whistler, BC

·         Derek Bocking, 30, Montreal, QC

·         Darryl Crumb, 29, Winnipeg, MB

·         Connie De Sousa, 29, Calgary, AB

·         Francois Gagnon, 32, Montreal, QC

·         Dustin Gallagher, 28, Toronto, ON

·         Steve Gonzales, 35, Toronto, ON

·         Jamie Hertz, 31, Nelson, BC

·         Chris Kanka, 34, Toronto, ON

·         Dale Mackay, 30, Vancouver, BC

·         Andrea Nicholson, 28, Toronto, ON

·         Rebekah Pearse, 29, Calgary, AB

·         Todd Perrin, 40, Quidi Vidi Village, St. John’s, NL

·         Rob Rossi, 27, Toronto, ON

·         Michael Stauffer, 30, Dundas, ON

·         Patrick Weise, 40, Toronto, ON


Joining the cast as resident judge on Top Chef Canada is the revered vanguard of Los Angeles dining and entertaining, proud Toronto native Shereen Arazm. Creator and operator of Tinsel Town’s most respected tables including Italian eatery Terroni and sushi staple Geisha House, Shereen also set Hollywood’s nightlife ablaze owning and operating famed outlets Concorde, El Centro, Shag, Central, and Wonderland. Her successful career was featured in an episode of Women on Top on Slice™ in 2007, the same year that LA Times Magazine’s holiday issue named her one of the four top entertainment hosts in Los Angeles. After having a daughter in 2008 with husband Oren Koules, Shereen returned home to Toronto in summer 2010 ready to take on Canada’s top culinary talent as resident judge on Top Chef Canada. Shereen will be joined by various distinguished guest judges who will be revealed at later dates. 

“Over the last 10 years, Food Network Canada has consistently delivered to Canadians the very best entertaining, food-related content,” says Barb Williams, Senior Vice President of Content, Shaw Media.  “Top Chef Canada is a successful, proven format that showcases the true wealth and diversity of Canadian culinary talent.  We couldn’t be more thrilled to share that with viewers.”

“Top Chef Canada is not just a TV show but a celebration of our Canadian culture,” says John Brunton, Executive Producer, Insight Production Company Ltd. “Our competitors have trained around the world under the watchful eyes of internationally renowned chefs like Daniel Boulud, Gordon Ramsay, Susur Lee among others. We can’t wait for Canada to experience the world class cuisine that we have here at home. In the culinary world, Canadians truly compete on an international stage.”

To keep tabs on what Canadians are saying about Top Chef Canada, check out the official Top Chef Canada page on Facebook at or follow @TopChefCanada on Twitter.

The first season of Top Chef Canada will premiere April 11, 2011 at 9pm ET/10pm PT exclusively on Food Network Canada.