Operation Unplugged

Travel+Escape in partnership with HLP+Partners, and Parks Canada announces the launch of documentary-adventure series Operation Unplugged. The six episode series will premiere on Travel+Escape on Tuesday, February 21 at 9pm ET/PT.

Operation Unplugged follows 8 of the most self-proclaimed technology dependent Canadians and unplugs them from their network, stripping them of their devices for 30 days. Then, they embark on an adventure of personal journey through Canada’s breathtaking National Parks and National Historic Sites.

“We’re thrilled to bring Canadians a homegrown show that challenges us all to unplug from our devices more often and reconnect with the outdoors,” said Marcia Martin, SVP Creative Content, Commissioned & In-House Programming, GlassBOX Television. “Filmed in stunning HD, with Canada’s spectacular National Parks as its backdrop, Operation Unplugged will engage and entertain audiences from coast to coast.”

Celebrating their landmark 100th Anniversary, Parks Canada partnered with the series as part of their youth initiative marking the occasion. With a focus on motivating youth to get involved with the outdoors, Parks Canada staff helped host Alan Bishop guide the cast through their missions in the various National Parks and Historic Sites across Canada. The cast member who had the most impactful journey of self-discovery will be appointed Operation Unplugged Explorer, earning a trip for two to Nahanni National Park Reserve and attending an international conference with representatives of Parks Canada.

“Canada’s future lies in the hands of its young people, and I am excited to be introducing exciting and innovative initiatives like Operation Unplugged to inspire young Canadians to learn more about Canada’s treasured places and develop deeper connections to our national and historic heritage,” said Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada.

Viewers are encouraged to join in on the Operation Unplugged movement by visiting OperationUnplugged.com and participating in online missions inspired by the series. Users can sign up, login and then participate in weekly quizzes and video missions – all allowing the user to earn points, badges and win weekly prizes in the Choose Your Own Unplugged Canadian Adventure contest.

In addition to OperationUnplugged.com, users can log on to TravelandEscape.ca for additional show content including online episodes of Operation Unplugged posted 24 hours after each episode airs. Users can also sign up to receive weekly updates and episode recaps of their favourite cast member. Tune-in to the series and then go to TravelandEscape.ca for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card from Atmosphere.

Integration sponsor Atmosphere outfitted the cast with clothing and gear from their outdoor recreational chain for the series. The brand was also involved in a number of contesting opportunities, providing prizing and gear to the winners. VIA Rail provided the coast-to-coast train transportation for the cast featured on the series.

(From a press release)

Travel+Escape together with HLP+Partners and Parks Canada announced today the 8 technology obsessed Canadians who take part in the documentary-adventure series Operation Unplugged, premiering Tuesday, February 21 at 9pm ET/PT. 

Host and world adventurer Alan Bishop takes the self proclaimed technology obsessed cast, unplugs them and immerses them in a month long mission-based personal journey through breathtaking National Parks and National Historic Sites across Canada.

There are no ‘escape’ or ‘pause’ buttons in this environment. Their ‘status updates’ will be yelled from a mountain peak. Their ‘chat room’ will be face-to-face. Their ‘tweets’ will be recorded by hand in a personal journal. Included in the group are a compulsive gamer, text fanatic, smartphone slave and social media diva.


The cast includes:

DANIEL PALUZZI – 21 – Woodbridge, ON

CATHERINE ‘CAT’ LeBEL – 26 – Montreal, QE

KAMMER KINNARATH – 27 – Winnipeg, MB

CHRIS MEIKLE – 42 – Ottawa, ON

JILLIAN STOREY – 20 – Creighton, SK

VANESSA PAMPALON – 21 – Montreal, QE

SCOTT SIMONS – 19 – Pickering, ON

ALANA OBEY – 30 – Vancouver, BC


“Working together with HLP+Partners we’ve selected a dynamic group of people engaged in their own personal journey of self discovery,” said Marcia Martin, SVP Creative Content, Commissioned & In-House Programming, GlassBOX Television. “We think our viewers will enjoy this entertaining new series and really connect with the cast.”

“The cast selected represent a cross-section of tech-obsessed Canadians,” said Henry Less, Partner and Executive Producer, HLP+Partners. “Through their eyes, we may catch a glimpse of our tech-dependent selves.”

Parks Canada has partnered with GlassBOX Television on the production. Canada’s National Parks and National Historic Sites provide the backdrop for the personal journeys as the cast navigate through unique physical and psychological missions at some of the most stunning and picturesque settings in Canada. Other series partners include VIA Rail and integration sponsor Atmosphere.

Operation Unplugged is being produced by HLP+Partners for Travel+Escape, in collaboration with Parks Canada. The series is executive produced by Henry Less, Sissy Federer, Lee Herberman and Kevin Newman.

A casting search has begun to find eight technology obsessed Canadians who are willing to “unplug” for a new docu-adventure series Operation Unplugged to air on Travel & Escape channel early next year.

The series will take the selected self-proclaimed “techno-dependent” Canadians on a coast-to-coast adventure through Canada’s National Parks and Historic Sites.

Participants must be at least 18 years of age and enrolled in a post-secondary education program this fall in order to be eligible. The casting call closes on May 27th, and the series begins shooting across Canada this August. Application form and more information available at www.operationunplugged.com.

Operation Unplugged is a multiplatform production, with a robust online component allowing viewers to connect with the host and competitors, follow additional storylines and engage in interactive games.

Alan Bishop, a world adventurer who has worked on Survivor and The Amazing Race as a challenge producer, will host the series. Alan will guide the recruits through a series of challenges that will turn their world upside-down as they struggle to survive the great outdoors without their favorite gadgets.

In addition to casting for Operation Unplugged, Travel & Escape is inviting advertisers to get involved in the series through meaningful brand integration. Categories such as automotive, technology, outdoor clothing/gear outfitters and QSR’s are natural fit offering advertisers organic ways to showcase their brands.

Operation Unplugged is being produced for Travel & Escape channel by HLP + Partners in collaboration with Parks Canada. The series is being Executive Produced by Henry Less, Lee Herberman and Kevin Newman.

(From a press release)