JAMES MACKINNON AND ALISA SMITH BIOS
Hosts, guides, and cheerleaders, James and Alisa are two of the most prominent figures of the “locavore” movement in Canada and around the world. Celebrated authors of The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating, James and Alisa are determined to affect change – one person at a time. In the series “The 100-Mile Challenge,” the pair will provide
participants with expert information, tips, encouragement, corrections, and a series of challenges, James and Alisa guide the 100-milers through the deep, personal transformations they will undergo in this “shared yet individual” experience.
JAMES MACKINNON – James MacKinnon along with Alisa Smith co-authored the bestselling book The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating (Random House Canada, 2006) which won the B.C Book prize for non-fiction in 2008. His other books include I Live Here (Pantheon Books, 2008) and Dead Man in Paradise (Douglas & McIntyre, 2005), which won The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. As a journalist, MacKinnon has earned four National Magazine Awards and is a senior contributing editor to Explore magazine. After a year on the 100-Mile Diet, he will never again eat store-bought sauerkraut. James and his co-author Alisa live in Vancouver, B.C.
ALISA SMITH – Alisa Smith is the bestselling co-author of The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating (Random House
Canada, 2006), which won a B.C. Book Prize for non-fiction in 2008. She has been invited to speak in communities
around North America to spread the word about the importance of local food. As a freelance writer she has been
published in Outside, Reader’s Digest, Utne, Explore, Canadian Geographic and many other publications, and has
received National Magazine Awards nominations for her work. Alisa and her co-author James live in Vancouver, B.C.
RANDY AND ALMA HAWES
Randy jumped at the chance to participate in the “The 100-Mile Challenge.” A
member of the provincial Liberal Party and Mission’s former mayor, Randy is also
food-obsessed which meant that “The 100-Mile Challenge” is right up his alley.
As for Randy’s devoted wife, Alma, an office worker, she is going along on this
experiment, but she is not sold on its value. Through the challenges the Hawes
undertake, such as spreading compost at a local organic vineyard, arranging for
food donations to a charity, making good on preparing a 100-mile barbecue dinner
bought in an auction, and Alma having to make dinner for Randy for the first time
in many years, the Hawes will confront the pitfalls of the challenge head on.
JOCELYN AND KYLE MCINTOSH
A couple with two young boys, the McIntosh household is chaotic at best.
Schoolteacher Jocelyn has her hands full with work and the kids, while Kyle
spends all his time running his own business, which sells “toys for big boys” (i.e.
all manner of recreational equipment). Jocelyn signed the family up out of concern
for Kyle’s health. Overweight and in poor condition, Kyle is a junk food lover with
seemingly little regard for his doctor’s warning to start eating better. Kyle initially
agrees to participate in “The 100-Mile Challenge,” but can he stick with it through
the 100 days?
JOHANNA CLARK, FRANCES VERNON, AND CASSIE CLARK VERNON
Starting the challenge from a position of self-sufficiency with their own small farm, this
unique family is already on the 100-mile path; however, the family dynamic may provide
roadblocks along the way. Community support worker Johanna runs the farm and does
the majority of the cooking. Involving her partner Frances and 14-year-old daughter
Cassie in the process will require her to release some of her control. Frances, who
delivers mail in their rural area, is admittedly in a rut and experiencing a mid-life crisis.
She wants to re-invent herself and the challenge offers her an opportunity to reconnect
with her “hippie” past. Cassie (14) is a typical teenager with a candy dependency which
will be seriously affected by 100 days without junk food. The Clark Vernon’s journey
includes Frances’ foraging excursion, and turning their lamb Duncan into sausage.
ALEX WEREMCHUK & STEVE WILLIAMS
The Weremchuk Williams family’s 100-mile learning curve is extremely high. They are
fast-food and packaged food junkies who take the path of least resistance when it
comes to food preparation. Alex, who works in administration for a real estate appraiser,
wants to become healthier. For Steve, who runs a business from home, it’s about
overcoming the debilitating anxiety attacks brought on by his agoraphobia. For their
daughters, Hailey (10) and Sydney (7), it means reducing the sugar-fueled chaos that
dominates their home life. Will they be able to learn to cook meals from scratch? Catch
their own fish? Cook on a campfire? And most importantly, will Steve be able to venture
past the already small “comfort zone” around his home to gather good eats?
MIKE & ANGELA ST. CYR, ELLEN ROBINSON-ATMAROW
The St. Cyr’s are a functional family in a dysfunctional world. Homemaker Angela
has ambitions to get more involved in town activities, but her main concern is
feeding her family. Adhering to a strict budget while trying to prepare healthy
meals for her husband Mike, her mother Ellen, and her two daughters Emily (8)
and Kaity (4), Angela may find turning her kitchen 100-Mile-friendly daunting.
Initially, Mike, who works in law enforcement, is just along for the ride, but neither
Angela nor his colleagues expect him to stay true to the Challenge. The St. Cyr
children, Emily and Kaity, are cooperative but not exactly fans of the Challenge.
Grandma Ellen is looking to improve her health and this Challenge may be just
the tonic. Over the course of 100 days, this family will be tested and transformed.
STEVE AND SHERIDA PETERS
Owners and operators of Mission’s green grocery “Fruits & Greens,” the Peters are
central to “The 100-Mile Challenge.” The challenge presents an opportunity for
Steve and Sherida to take on a project together, strengthen their bond, and
overcome the painful tragedy in their past (they lost a child and a business three
years ago). Add in the difficulties of raising their son Markus (4) who is autistic,
Sherida’s desire to develop confidence in the kitchen, and the self-imposed burden
Steve has placed on himself to be the provider not only for his family but for the
community, as well, and the Peters are a family on an emotionally powerful journey.
LIST OF 100-MILE CHALLEGE FOODS
TYPES OF FOOD BANNED IN MISSION DURING THE “100-MILE CHALLENGE:”
• olive oil and olives
• commercial breads and cakes
• commercial pasta
• peanut butter
• nutritional yeast
• bananas, mangoes, papaya (tropical fruit)
• pepper and most spices
• distilled liquors (tequila, scotch and gin)
• tea – black and green
• peaches and apricots
TYPES OF FOOD OK TO EAT IN MISSION DURING THE “THE 100-MILE CHALLENGE:”
• locally grown fruits and veggies
• locally produced wine and cider
• hazelnut oil
• local meats – both wild and farmed
• local cheeses and milk
• local seafood
• foraged herbs, mushrooms and fruits
• jams made with local fruits and honey
• Seeds for spices – lovage, fennel, mustard, nasturtium
• Hot peppers for spice
• Herbs of all type – fresh and dried
• cider vinegar
• homemade salt from evaporated sea water
• wheat berries
• club soda
• wild and raised flowers
• walnuts and hazelnuts
• horseradish including wasabi
• rose hips
STATISTICS ON CANADIAN EATING HABITS*
• Half of adults and seven out of 10 children aged 4 to 8 do not meet the minimum of five daily servings of
vegetables and fruit.
• By age 30, more than two-thirds of Canadians do not attain the minimum daily levels while more than a
third (37%) of children aged 4 to 9 do not consume the recommended two daily servings of milk products.
• Canadians fat consumption comes from a relatively small number of specific foods. The main contributor,
accounting for 15.9% of fat intake, is what can be classified as the “sandwich” category, consisting of
items such as pizza, sandwiches, submarines, hamburgers and hot dogs. This is followed by sweet
baked goods, such as cake, cookies, and doughnuts (8.5%).
• Snacks (food and drink consumed between meals), account for 23% of adults and 27% for children and
• Adults in low and lower-middle income households are less likely than those in the highest income
households to get more than 35% of their daily calories from fat.
• Members of the highest income households are more likely than lower income groups to eat food
prepared in a fast-food outlet.
• On a given day, a quarter of the population of Canada reports having consumed a meal or beverage from
a fast food establishment. While this could be as little as a coffee or as healthy as a salad, 40% of
people report having consumed pizza, sandwich, hamburger or hot dog.
• On a given day women (age 71 and up) are the group most likely to eat only food prepared at home at
• On a given day, young men (age 19-30) are the least likely to eat only food prepared at home, less than
40% report having done so.
* Source: Statistics Canada – Canadian Community Health Survey: Overview of Canadians’ eating habits –
12 REASONS TO EAT LOCALLY*
1. TASTE THE DIFFERENCE: At a farmers’ market, most local produce has been picked within 24
hours. It comes to you ripe, fresh, and with full flavor, unlike supermarket food that may have been
picked weeks or months before. Close-to-home foods can also be bred for taste, rather than withstanding
the abuse of shipping or industrial harvesting.
2. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE EATING: Buying food today is complicated. What pesticides were used? Is
that corn genetically modified? Was that chicken free range or did it grow up in a box? People who eat
locally find it easier to get answers as they build relationships with farmers whom they trust, and are able
to see the source of the food.
3. MEET YOUR NEIGHBOURS: Local eating is social. Studies show that people shopping at farmers’
markets have 10 times more conversations than their counterparts at the supermarket. Join a community
garden and you’ll actually meet the people you pass on the street. Sign up with the 100-Mile Diet
Society; they’ll be working to connect people in your area who care about the same things you do.
4. GET IN TOUCH WITH THE SEASONS: When you eat locally, you eat what’s in season. You’ll
remember that cherries are the taste of summer. Even in winter, comfort foods like squash soup and
pancakes just make sense–a lot more sense than flavorless cherries from the other side of the world.
5. DISCOVER NEW FLAVORS: Ever tried sunchokes? How about purslane, quail eggs, yerba mora, or
tayberries? These are just a few of the new (to them) flavors they sampled over a year of local eating.
Count the types of pear on offer at your supermarket. Maybe three? Small farms are keeping alive nearly
300 other varieties–while more than 2,000 more have been lost in our rush to sameness.
6. EXPLORE YOUR HOME: Visiting local farms is a way to be a tourist on your own home turf, with
plenty of stops for snacks.
7. SAVE THE WORLD: A study in Iowa found that a regional diet consumed 17 times less oil and gas
than a typical diet based on food shipped across the country. The ingredients for a typical British meal,
sourced locally, traveled 66 times fewer “food miles.”
8. SUPPORT SMALL FARMS: James and Alisa discovered that many people from all walks of life
dream of working the land. In areas with strong local markets, the family farm is reviving. That’s a whole
lot better than the jobs at big box stores and fast-food outlets that the globalized economy offers in North
9. GIVE BACK TO THE LOCAL ECONOMY: A British study tracked how much of the money spent at a
local food business stayed in the local economy, and how many times it was reinvested. The total value
was almost twice the contribution of a dollar spent at a supermarket chain.
10. BE HEALTHY: Everyone wants to know whether the 100-Mile Diet worked as a weight-loss program.
You may lose a few pounds but importantly you’ll felt better than ever. James & Alisa ate more
vegetables and fewer processed products, sampled a wider variety of foods, and ate more fresh food at
its nutritional peak. Eating from farmers’ markets and cooking from scratch, they never felt a need to
11. CREATE MEMORIES: A friend of ours has a theory that a night spent making jam–or in his case,
perogies–with friends will always be better a time than the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
12. HAVE MORE FUN WHILE TRAVELING: Once you’re addicted to local eating, you’ll want to explore
it wherever you go. On a recent trip to Mexico, earth-baked corn and hot-spiced sour oranges led James
and Alisa away from the resorts and into the small towns.
*source: The 100 Mile Diet.org FAQ page
DAVID PAPERNY – Executive Producer
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, David Paperny is the Academy Award® nominated and Gemini-award
winning co-founder, lead partner, and executive producer at Paperny Films, a respected producer of high-quality
factual entertainment programming in Canada. In this role at Paperny Films, David is one of the lead creative
masterminds behind the company’s prolific production slate.
David received his B.A. from the University of Toronto and his M.A. from the Annenberg School of Communications,
University of Pennsylvania. He began his career in broadcast journalism in 1983 at the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation) in Toronto. While at CBC, he worked as a field producer on several national current affairs programs. In
1989, David moved to Vancouver where he traveled the world producing documentaries for the CBC. His unique, in-
depth coverage of the L.A. riots of 1992 received a Gemini nomination.
Two years later, in 1994, David received an Academy Award® nomination for “The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter”
(CBC/HBO 1 x 60’), a riveting film that documents the two-year odyssey of a young man dying of AIDS. David
originally produced the film for a local TV news show and then re-cut a version for HBO. David’s documentary led to
the building of the Dr. Peter Center in Vancouver, an HIV/AIDS day centre and hospice, recognized internationally as
a model for community-based health care delivery.
Shortly after receiving his Oscar nomination, David and his wife Audrey Mehler formed their own independent
production company called Paperny Films in Vancouver. Paperny Films specializes in non-fiction programming and
has produced over 25 original documentary specials and 20 long-running series since its launch. The company’s
programs have been commissioned by every major broadcast and cable network in Canada and sold around the
world. In the US, broadcast buyers have included HBO, PBS, Sundance Channel, Food Network, HGTV, National
Geographic, and Discovery Channel. The company has been selected as one of the top non-fiction production
companies in the world.
Most recently, David received the top honor in the Canadian television industry by winning a Gemini Award
(Canada’s Emmy) for ‘Best Biography Documentary’ for the feature film “Confessions of an Innocent Man” (CTV 1 x
60’), which he directed and co-produced. The film tells the story of the false conviction and torture in Saudi Arabia of
western expatriates. He also received the City of Vancouver Arts Award in 2008. David is originally from Calgary,
CAL SHUMIATCHER – Executive Producer
Cal Shumiatcher is a versatile, Gemini-award winning filmmaker with over 20 years of experience as a producer and
director, working in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. He oversees all production at Paperny Films and is actively
involved in the creation and development of new projects, including drama and new media opportunities. He became a
partner at Paperny Films in 2007.
Cal’s dramatic television production credits include the series “Beggars and Choosers”, “The Chris Isaak Show”, and
“Tracker”. He produced the feature films “North of Pittsburgh”, “Matinee”, “Boys Will Be Girls”, “Tomcat”, “My Kind of Town”,
and co-produced “Cuba Libre” starring Harvey Keitel. He also produced the computer animation pilot “Weird-Ohs”. Cal
directed episodes of “Beggars and Choosers” and the computer animated series “Beast Wars: Transformers”. In addition,
he acted as the line producer for the feature “Saved!”, starring Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin and Jenna Malone. As a
sound designer, Cal has won two Genie awards while being nominated five times.
As a documentary producer Cal’s credits include the four-hour series including “Chasing the Cure” (Discovery Health
Canada 4 x 60’), “Murder in Normandy” (History Television 1 x 60’) and “Victory 1945” (History Television 2 x 60’), as well
as the biographies “To Russia With Fries” (1 x 60), “The Deal Maker”(1 x 60), “Mordecai” (CBC 1 x 60), “On the Edge” (1 x
60) and “Whisky Man” (1 x 60). He is executive producer of “The Blonde Mystique” (W Network 1 x 60’); “Kink” (Showcase
63 x 30’,); and “First Comes Love” (LOGO 13 x 60’).
As the executive producer for Paperny, Cal has produced several series, including the fifth season of “Crash Test Mommy”
(Slice 52 x 60’); the Gemini nominated, “Road Hockey Rumble” (OLN 26 x 30’) and Food Network’s “Glutton for
Punishment” (52 x 30’); Discovery Channel’s “Jetstream” (8 x 60’), the high-power series on Canada’s elite fighter pilot
training school in Cold Lake, Alberta; CBC’s “The Week the Women Went” (8 x 60’) which explores what happens when all
the women in an ordinary Canadian town leave for seven days; and HGTV’s “The Stagers” (26 x 30’) which chronicles the
activities of the busy Vancouver home staging company Dekora.
Other executive producer credits include, CBC’s “Devil Plays Hardball” (1 x 60’) which pairs homeless people with volunteer
mentors to help turn their lives around; and the feature documentary “Confessions of an Innocent Man”, (CTV/NFB 1 x 90’),
the story of William Sampson, a British/Canadian who survived three years of torture in a Saudi prison for a crime he didn’t
commit which won the 2008 Gemini award for ‘Best Biography Documentary.
THE PRODUCTION COMPANY: PAPERNY FILMS
The award-winning Paperny Films Inc., operated by partners David Paperny, Audrey Mehler and Cal
Shumiatcher, is one of Canada’s leading producers of high-quality factual entertainment. From
groundbreaking documentaries and documentary series to popular reality and lifestyle programmes,
Paperny Films has produced over 300 hours of provocative entertainment and won over 30 awards since
its inception in 1994. Seen on 15 networks across Canada and in 36 countries worldwide, Paperny Films
programmes excel in capturing the essences of the human story. In addition, the company recently
opened a scripted development department to delve into comedic and dramatic programming.
Paperny Films launched with the Academy Award® nominated documentary “The Broadcast Tapes of
Dr. Peter” (CBC/HBO 1 x 60’). This intimate film, which portrays a Vancouver doctor living with AIDS,
was nominated in the ‘Best Documentary Feature’ category in 1994.
Today, Paperny Films documentary library boasts such luminaries as Mordecai Richler, Nancy Greene,
Jimmy Pattison, Dr. Henry Morgentaler and Ivan Reitman. One of their most recent documentary,
“Confessions of an Innocent Man” (CTV 1 x 60’) – which depicts the harrowing true story of William
Sampson, a western consultant who survived imprisonment in Saudi Arabia – won a 2008 Gemini-award
for ‘Best Biography Documentary’.
By combining the intimacy of their documentaries with the scale of serialized programming, Paperny
Films has also created some of Canada’s best documentary series to date. Most recently, the Canadian
military granted the company exclusive access for two series: the critically acclaimed “Jetstream” (Dis-
covery 8 x 60’), which documents the tactical training of Canada’s top fighter pilots, and “Combat School”
(Discovery 6 x 60’), a series where Paperny Films crew embeds themselves with a Royal Canadian
Regiment platoon as the soldiers progress from their first day of training to combat in Afghanistan. Pa-
perny Films upcoming Food Network series “The 100-Mile Challenge” (6 x 60’) is another
groundbreaking documentary series. Based on the best-selling book The100-Mile Diet, this series sees
the town of Mission, BC commit to consuming only food and drink produced within a 100-mile radius for
THE PRODUCTION COMPANY: PAPERNY FILMS
One of Papery Films largest productions to date – “The Week the Women Went” (CBC 16 x 60’) – also
involved an entire town. Season one of this hit reality series was the number one rated new Canadian
series across all networks in winter 2008. The series explores what happens when all the women in a
Canadian town leave for seven days. Season one featured the town of Hardisty, AB and heads east to
Tatamagouche, NS for season two.
Paperny Films lifestyle programmes are also very popular. “Glutton for Punishment” (Food 52 x 30’), the
series that features epicurean adventurer Bob Blumer tackling food challenges around the world, is
currently shooting its fourth season. In its fifth season, “Crash Test Mommy” (SLICE 65 x 60’) takes an
unsuspecting caregiver on a wild ride through parenthood. The hit HGTV Canada and US series “The
Stagers” (26 x 30’) – which goes behind-the-scenes at Canada’s leading home staging company – is in
its second season. The New York Times recently highlighted this series.
In addition, Papery Films character-driven docusoaps have pushed the envelope of factual
entertainment. “Chop Shop” (SLICE 13 x 30’) is a sleek, fun series set within the sexy world of a counter-
culture hair salon while “KINK” (Showcase 63 x 30’) – in its fifth season – explores alternative sexuality
through fantasies and fetishes.
As Paperny Films evolves, they move from strength-to-strength by securing several development deals
in their scripted programming department.
Paperny Films is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Music Composed by
Main Title Design
Post Production Supervisor
Post Production Audio
The Mix Room
Vice President – Post Production
Director of Development
Cecile Peyret, Denny McArthur
Jaimie Falconer, Michelle Wishart
Special Thanks To
DISTRICT OF MISSION
GREEN EARTH ORGANICS, DAN HENRY
KRAUSE BERRY FARMS
STELLA’S RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE
BAD DOG GRILL
BURNABY FARMERS MARKET
CEDAR ISLE FARM
KERMODE WILD BERRY WINES
THOMPSON CREEK FARM
NASA – FOR THE WORLD AND SATELITE VISUALS
Developed with the participation of
BRITISH COLUMBIA FILM
Produced with the participation of
The Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund
Produced with the participation of
The Province of British Columbia Film Incentive BC
With the assistance of
The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit
Executive in Charge of Production for Canwest Broadcasting
© 2009 100 Mile Productions Inc.