Pinsent. Carr. Richler. Arden. Gould. These are just a few of many names synonymous with Canadian culture. This year, Bravo!’s original series GREAT CANADIAN BIOS showcases the lives of twelve of our nation’s most iconic, accomplished and revered artists, premiering Sunday, January 16 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Bravo!
Kicking off with an insightful portrait of Canadian acting legend Gordon Pinsent, this year’s lineup features new and compelling biographies on Emily Carr, Ryan Larkin and Roy Kiyooka. Ensuring the season is packed full of Canada’s most celebrated cultural icons, Bravo! offers encore presentations profiling the extraordinary lives of Jann Arden, Yousuf Karsh, Des McAnuff, Mordecai Richler, Paul Quarrington, Ian Tyson, Denny Doherty and Glenn Gould, whose GREAT CANADIAN BIOS profile was recently shortlisted for an Academy® Award.
Each of these GREAT CANADIAN BIOS was produced by a different independent production company in association with Bravo!. Air dates and times of each episode are below.
GORDON PINSENT: STILL ROWDY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS – Bravo! Premiere
Sunday, Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Saturday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT
Canadian icon and international star Gordon Pinsent is a man of many talents. In this documentary, Bravo! offers a fresh perspective on the life and numerous sides of this acting legend. Brilliant on stage and screen, Pinsent is real and revealing as he takes the viewers through the complicated highs and lows of his life. GORDON PINSENT: STILL ROWDY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS offers a revealing looking at a man who has spent a lifetime captivating audiences on stage and screen. GORDON PINSENT: STILL ROWDY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS is written and directed by Barbara Doran, produced by Lynanne Sparrow and Barbara Doran of Morag Loves Company.
JANN ARDEN: FREE – Encore Presentation
Sunday, Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Saturday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT
This documentary follows Canadian singer/songwriter Jann Arden as she opens up about her private life while preparing for a cross-country tour. With good humour and wit, JANN ARDEN: FREE gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at the mounting of her show performances as she engages in frank conversation about her career and personal struggles. JANN ARDEN: FREE is produced by Pyramid Productions Inc. and directed by Matt Embry.
EMILY CARR: WINDS OF HEAVEN – Bravo! Premiere
Sunday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT
Saturday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT
EMILY CARR: WINDS OF HEAVEN is a ninety-minute film journey into the undeniable beauty of Emily Carr’s paintings. An entertaining glimpse into Carr’s connection to the First Nations people of the Northwest Coast of British Columbia, EMILY CARR: WINDS OF HEAVEN divulges the intimate details of Carr’s artistic life. From the overbearing challenges of her Victorian upbringing, through her fifteen-year retreat from the world of art, this documentary captures the essence of Carr’s spirit as she becomes a modern artist with passion and resolve. EMILY CARR: WINDS OF HEAVEN is produced by Cine Metu Inc. and White Pine Pictures and directed by Michael Ostroff.
KARSH IS HISTORY – Encore Presentation
Sunday, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Saturday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT
KARSH IS HISTORY takes an in-depth look at the life and work of legendary Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh. During his astonishing six-decade career, the more than 15,000 portraits Karsh produced (including the likes of Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, and Albert Einstein) are arguably the portrait gallery of the most celebrated figures of all time. KARSH IS HISTORY won Best Arts Documentary at FIFA (International Festival of Films on Art) 2009. KARSH IS HISTORY is produced by Productions Grande Nord Quebec and directed by Joseph Hillel.
GENIUS WITHIN: THE INNER LIFE OF GLENN GOULD – Encore Presentation
Sunday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT
Saturday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT
Recently shortlisted for an Academy® Award, GENIUS WITHIN: THE INNER LIFE OF GLENN GOULD casts a fresh light on the mysterious pianist whose ideas were as controversial, and his private life as passionate, as his music. The film features never-before seen footage of Gould, photographs, and excerpts from his private home recordings and diaries. The biography also reveals personal memories from Gould’s most intimate friends and lovers, some who have never spoken about him publicly before. GENIUS WITHIN is produced by White Pine Pictures Inc. and directed by Peter Raymont and Michele Hozer.
RYAN’S RENAISSANCE – Bravo! Premiere
Sunday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT
Saturday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT
RYAN’S RENAISSANCE chronicles the compelling events which transpire after Academy® Award-nominated animator turned panhandler Ryan Larkin moves in with two musicians, when he begins to work on his first film after a 35 year hiatus. Raw and revealing footage captures moments of undeniable human pain alongside uplifting twists and turns. As he searches for a home, Larkin takes viewers on a journey of creativity, passion, and the yearning for a place to call home. RYAN’S RENAISSANCE is produced by MusiVision and directed by Nicola Zavaglia.
DES MCANUFF: A LIFE IN STAGES – Encore Presentation
Sunday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT
Saturday, March 5 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT
DES MCANUFF: A LIFE IN STAGES follows the theatre genius and Stratford Theatre Festival Artistic Director on a journey with a dual focus. While McAnuff searches for understanding from the father he never knew, he also reveals a creative zeal that defines his relentless passion for the world of musical theatre. Viewers follow McAnuff back to his Toronto high school, to Stratford for the Summer season, and to Australia for the launch of “Jersey Boys” in this biography. DES MCANUFF: A LIFE IN STAGES is produced by Ballinran Productions Ltd. and directed by Michael Savoie.
MORDECAI RICHLER: THE LAST OF THE WILD JEWS – Encore Presentation
Sunday, March 6 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Saturday, March 12 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT
MORDECAI RICHLER: THE LAST OF THE WILD JEWS an original and compelling glimpse into the life and character of Mordecai Richler, one of Canada’s most controversial literary geniuses. Following Richler’s unique ascent through the ranks of Canadian culture, this documentary captures stolen moments in time as Richler takes his place among the “Wild Jews”. A cohort of great Jewish writers and intellectuals, the “Wild Jews”, would go on to become the most important writers of their generation by reshaping North American literature. Revealing the stories behind the men, Bravo! explores the making of Mordecai Richler and this generation of Jewish visionaries. MORDECAI RICHLER: THE LAST OF THE WILD JEWS is produced by MOTSJO Inc. and directed by Francine Pelletier.
REED – Bravo! Premiere
Sunday, March 13 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Saturday, March 19 at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT
In the 1960’s, Roy Kiyooka was a seminal force in the New York School of Painting, and his “hard edge” works received critical acclaim until he abandoned painting at the peak of his career. He became a poet in the tradition of the wandering monk Basho, took up photography and began to make music. REED is the story of extraordinary Japanese Canadian artist and poet Roy Kiyooka told by his daughter Fumiko. Interviews with his comrades reveal Roy’s philosophies as an artist and human being. Reed is produced and directed by Fumiko Kiyooka.
IAN TYSON: SONGS FROM THE GRAVEL ROAD – Encore Presentation
Sunday, March 20 at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT
Saturday, March 26 at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT
Canadian music legend Ian Tyson takes fans on a musical odyssey through his 50-year career, from folk music icon and popular television host, to rancher, horseman, and champion of a new generation of cowboy music. The five decades captured in the biography are marked by soaring successes, lasting friendships, surprising turns, and a legacy of timeless songs. Tyson tells his story with the help of old friends — Sylvia Tyson, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Corb Lund, John Hiatt and David Wilcox. IAN TYSON: SONGS FROM THE GRAVEL ROAD is produced by Pyramid Productions Inc. and directed by Matt Embry.
PAUL QUARRINGTON: LIFE IN MUSIC – Encore Presentation
Sunday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT
Saturday, April 2 at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT
PAUL QUARRINGTON: LIFE IN MUSIC is a documentary about an artist whose sudden diagnosis of his terminal illness led him to embrace both life and art. Packed with intimate moments with Quarrington himself, this documentary features interviews with Quarrington’s family, friends, and members of the arts community. The list includes writer Roddy Doyle, musician and writer Dave Bidini, author Wayson Choy, musicians Dan Hill and Joe Hall as well as Paul’s life-long friend and fellow musician Martin Worthy. The documentary also includes dynamic performances from Porkbelly Futures, and a touching performance by Paul’s brothers Joel and Tony Quarrington. PAUL QUARRINGTON: LIFE IN MUSIC is produced by BookShorts Inc. and directed by Bert Kish.
HERE I AM: DENNY DOHERTY AND THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS – Encore Presentation
Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT
Saturday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m. ET/ 3:30 p.m. PT
HERE I AM is a heart-felt, intimate look at the remarkable life of Halifax’s Denny Doherty – actor, songwriter, and lead singer for The Mamas and the Papas. Music gems help document his journey, including mega-hits like “California Dreamin’” and “Monday, Monday”. The musical journey also includes recordings of Doherty and some of his closets friends: Scott McKenzie, Barry McGuire, McKenzie Phillips, Doris Mason, and Dennis Ryan and interviews with Michelle Phillips and John Phillips. HERE I AM is produced by Creative Atlantic Inc. and directed by Paul Ledoux.