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Michelle is a 33-year-old nuclear engineer and the mother of two young boys. Born in Sackville, New Brunswick, Michelle has lived in Winnipeg, Kingston, and now resides in Pembroke, Ontario. She holds two degrees from the Royal Military College of Canada and is described by her husband as the smartest person he has ever met.

Michelle Kennedy

Growing up, she always wanted to be an astronaut but decided to settle on being a nuclear engineer so she could have time for a family.

If she wins money on the show she would like to take her family on a vacation to New Zealand and donate a portion to the cancer community who has been so supportive in her husband’s fight against cancer.

CONTESTANT BIO: MARK SZLIARD, Environmental Engineer

Mark is a 30-year-old Environmental Engineer who lives in Toronto. He got his Bachelors degree in Engineering from McMaster University. He says that he loves to solve problems and that protecting the environment is very important to him.

Mark Szliard

His job involves helping businesses “go green” with energy conservation. Mark loves adventure and travel. He has a music studio in his house where he plays the keyboard, drums and guitar. Mark’s friends describe him as one of the smartest people they know as well as a charming and handsome man.

Mark would donate some of his prize money to charities in developing countries and then buy a house.


Ian is 30 years old, single and originally from Lindsay, Ontario. He now lives in Ottawa, where he practices law. He describes himself as up-and-coming in his field. Ian has been practicing law for 1-year. He jokes that he has been in school for 24 years; he has 3 degrees – an Honours Biology Degree, Masters in Philosophy and a Law Degree.

Ian Clarke

He says that when he was a child he wanted to be the Prime Minister, then a doctor, he finally realized being a lawyer was he wanted to do. His mother taught Grade 3 for 38 years.

If he won money on the show he would love to take his entire family – mother, father and his 44 year old brother to Disney World.

CONTESTANT BIO: GENEVIEVE WU, Pharmaceutical Sales Rep

Genevieve is a high energy 28-year-old born in Nova Scotia who now works and lives in Toronto. Genevieve is a first generation Canadian. Her mother is from Taiwan and her father is from Hong Kong. She has what she describes as a “serious phobia” of squirrels.

Genevieve Wu

While she is only 4’11”, she claims to be able to piggy back people twice her weight. Genevieve is an avid traveler and next on her list of destinations are Africa, South America, and Antarctica.

If she wins some money on the show she hopes to continue her travels.


April is 34 years old, married and a mother of a young daughter. She is originally from North Sydney, Nova Scotia but has also lived in six other provinces across the country.

April Whalen

She now lives in Sudbury, Ontario with her husband who is a nickel miner. They met at a hockey game and say it was love at first sight. April is quirky, sweet and full of energy.

She has a special talent of playing the bagpipes lying down!


Andrew is a 26 year old veterinarian originally from Brampton, Ontario now residing in Midland, Ontario. He takes care of all types of animals large and small, everything from horses, cats, dogs and cows.

Andrew Oster

He has some very interesting stories about his work. He can be described as a big loveable guy, his nickname is “Moose”. He lives with his parents and has been dating his girlfriend for 8 years. Andrew loves to wear his lucky cow tie and sweater vests.

He was valedictorian of his graduating Veterinarian class.

CONTESTANT BIO: ALICIA RODDY, Occupational Therapist

Alicia is 30 years old, married and lives in Ajax, Ontario. Her job involves rehabilitation for people who have suffered brain injuries, a job that she describes as very rewarding.

Alicia Roddy

She met her husband Paul in an internet chatroom which led to a romantic proposal. She recently had her first child Kaelan who is a 7 month old boy and the joy of their lives. Alicia is a first generation Canadian; her parents emigrated from Trinidad in 1972.

One of her dreams would be to go on an African Safari if she won money on the show.

Global Television today announced the roster of nine contestants on ‘ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A CANADIAN 5TH GRADER?’. Who will rise to the challenge and who will need to confess that it’s not as easy as it looks?

A professor, a lawyer, an air traffic controller and even a nuclear engineer are put to the intellectual and emotional test… as 5 special homegrown editions of the primetime hit debut October 25th @ 9pm ET/PT.

Chosen from all hopefuls who made the first cut at, these nine Canadians represent a highly qualified cross-section of the nation’s top careers – each with the guts to test their grey matter on the CANADIAN 5TH GRADER stage, aided by a panel of seven kid classmates. Though each contestant is learned and accomplished, their degrees and careers take a backseat to the basic schoolhouse questions doled out by quizmaster Host, Colin Mochrie.

“The wide range of professional occupations among our contestants is a huge part of the fun of these shows,” said Barbara Williams, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production for CanWest MediaWorks. “We know audiences nationwide will tune in to support their favourites as they work towards a million dollar prize, and the official bragging rights of being smarter than a Canadian 5th Grader.”

Contestants Ian Clark (Lawyer) and April Whalen (Marketing Professional) kick off the first of five special 1-hour episodes next week.


Ian Clark – Lawyer, Ottawa, ON

Peter Hazelton – Air Traffic Controller, Oshawa, ON

Michelle Kennedy – Nuclear Engineer, Pembroke, ON

Andrew Oster – Veterinarian, Midland, ON

Alicia Roddy – Occupational Therapist, Ajax, ON

Mark Szliard – Environmental Engineer, Toronto, ON

April Whalen – Marketing Professional, Sudbury, ON

Genevieve Wu – Pharmaceutical Sales Rep, Toronto, ON

Sandra Zicherman – Professor, North York, ON

In one of the most competitive Fall seasons on record, Global Television continues to come on strong – shattering one of Canada’s long-held ratings monopolies with a month of stellar performance in the industry’s vital 18-49 demographic.

Following the first 4 weeks of the new season, the primetime Top 10 race is a dead heat for the first time in years.

Led by ratings juggernaut, “House”, Global Television has delivered 6 of Canada’s Top 10 favourite programs for the period of September 17-October 14th, capturing the attention of key media observers and opinion-makers.

A straightforward, consistent look at the numbers speaks volumes:

all 2007

Canada’s Top 10 Programs – Adults 18-49

HOUSE 1,741,000 Global

SURVIVOR: CHINA 1,283,000 Global


HEROES 1,129,000 Global

C.S.I. 1,018,000 CTV

FAMILY GUY 974,000 Global


C.S.I. MIAMI 915,000 CTV

PRISON BREAK 856,000 Global

THE SIMPSONS 833,000 Global


Overall, Global’s 18-49 audiences have increased 17% in primetime…with CTV’s 18-49 audiences dropping 22% compared to the same time period last year (September 24-October 14).

Regionally, Global’s Top 10 performance matches national wins…

Toronto: Global-6/10, CTV-3/10, CBC-1/10
Vancouver: Global-5/10, CTV-3/10, CBC-1/10, CITY-1/10

Thursday, October 25 – 9pm ET/PT

In this special five-episode homegrown version of the hit game show, viewers can watch as Canadian 5th graders test the IQ’s of adults across the nation.

Comedian Colin Mochrie to host, tune in to meet the nation’s 5th Grade class.