"Canada Files," a new half-hour interview series premiering on WNED-TV at 6 p.m. on Feb. 9, will be hosted by veteran Toronto broadcaster James Deeks, and produced by his Toronto-based production company, Primary Counsel Productions. WNED-TV will air the series of programs focusing on outstanding Canadians from all walks of life, and will offer the series to other PBS stations to air.
"Canada Files" is currently in production with guests that include novelist Booker Prize-winning novelist Margaret Atwood, former CBC National News anchor Peter Mansbridge, Vancouver business tycoon Jim Pattison, rock legend Robbie Robertson, and several others.
“We were instantly attracted to the concept when Jim Deeks first presented it to us,” said Donald K. Boswell, president & CEO of WNED/WBFO. “We have already begun promoting the series to our sister stations in the PBS network, and we’re confident that many will want to air it as well – especially those stations in states alongside the Canadian border, with sizeable Canadian audiences like ours.
“Broadcasting programs of interest to both American and Canadian audiences is an important part of our station’s mandate.”
One of the underlying purposes of "Canada Files" is to give American audiences the opportunity to become aware of and appreciate Canadian heritage through the many guests they already know.
“The last couple of years have seen a bit of strain in the unique and harmonious 200-year relationship we’ve had across our 5,500-mile border,” Deeks said. “We thought this would be an interesting and entertaining way to reinforce our presence and goodwill with America, as well as reminding Canadian audiences of the importance of so many of our prominent people.”
The initial series will consist of 13 half-hour episodes of one-on-one discussions between Deeks and his guests.
A former television journalist and news anchor at CTV Toronto, Deeks most recently co-hosted a program on RogersTV Toronto called "Toronto Files." He’s also well-known to WNED viewers as one of its regular, on-air Pledge Drive hosts.