TVO presents the premiere of “TRIPPING the Rideau Canal”
Opened in 1832, the Rideau Canal is one of Ottawa’s most popular tourist destinations and is the oldest continuously operated canal in North America. Attracting nearly one million visitors per year, the waterway spans 202 kilometres and connects the National Capital the St. Lawrence River at Kingston. Open from May to October, more than 8,000 boats pass through the canal each year.
As a National Historic Site and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Rideau Canal is a natural gem right in our own backyard that boast a rich history. Through Parks Canada, the canal employs roughly 150 people to operate the locks.
Produced by the award-winning team of Good Earth Productions, TVO presents the world broadcast premiere of TRIPPING The Rideau Canal starting on the 10th of April at 7p.m.
For the first time on Canadian television, the documentary will run in its entirety for a full four hours. This immersive production showcases a 27-kilometre portion of the historic Rideau Canal. Viewers will feel like they are aboard the 1948 mahogany Shepherd Runabout as it makes is journey up the canal in real time. With no narration or music, the audience will be experience the natural sights and sounds of the canal itself.
“The canal is a stunning landscape with a hand cranked lock system, virtually unchanged in nearly 200 years! We figured if we started out four hours south of Ottawa, near Manotick, we would pass through gorgeous cottage country, incredible mansions on the outskirts of Ottawa, four different lock stations and end in the shadow of the Parliament buildings, I mean, how cool is that,” says Executive Producer, Mitch Azaria.
As Good Earth Productions started to talk about possibilities with TVO’s Jane Jankovic and Linda Fong, “We immediately felt a journey of some kind would be best. We wanted to give the viewer the experience of being on the trip themselves. We agreed that we would develop some ideas,” says Azaria.
There are a number of animated historic sequences in the documentary that bring the viewers back in time to see the canal in another age. Additionally, there are numerous factoids embedded in the footage which provide fascinating information about the Rideau Canal, giving the viewers a deeper understanding of this engineering marvel.
“I’d like to take all of the credit for the documentary but, the truth is that it was a coming together of a number of smart people all of whom had parts of an idea,” says Azaria. The production crew is made up of a highly talented collection of people who made this documentary possible.
Though the idea of filming four hours on the canal appeared to be straightforward, the crew had to overcome the obstacle of putting the viewers on the canal in a comfortable boat to sit back and enjoy the journey. The canal proved to be a difficult filming location but the production crew was able to overcome the many challenges, producing a beautiful documentary that showcases Ottawa’s magnificent waterway.
Enjoy a trip on the Rideau Canal this April 10, 2020 at 7 p.m. on TVO. TRIPPING the Rideau Canal will also be available for streaming anytime beginning at 7 p.m. on April 10, 2020 at tvo.org.