TVO Original TRIPPING the Rideau Canal is an immersive four-hour real-time journey along the historic waterway

By TVO News - Published on Mar 25, 2020
Tripping along the Rideau Canal in a runabout.

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On April 10 at 7 pm ET on TVO and streaming anytime after that on  tvo.org, TVO presents the world broadcast and online premiere of TVO Original TRIPPING the Rideau Canal.  For the first time on Canadian television, a documentary will run for four continuous hours. This beautiful, immersive documentary takes viewers along a 27 km portion of the historic Rideau Canal in real time allowing audiences to soak in the sights, sounds and history of the canal itself.


TRIPPING the Rideau Canal is the antithesis of the kind of scripted reality programming that covers the television landscape today. Whatever happened on the canal that day is eau naturelle,” says Jane Jankovic, TVO Executive Producer, Documentaries. “TVO is one of the few channels that can broadcast this kind of innovative programming. We’re really excited to show this incredibly important waterway to Canadians.” 


Launching in a 1948 mahogany Shepard runabout, TRIPPING the Rideau Canal begins just outside of Manotick, Ontario at a 160-year-old grist mill. Travelling north, the trip travels through four different lock stations, many of which, remarkably, are still operated by hand with their original equipment from 1832. The Rideau Canal is operated by Parks Canada and was designated a National Historic Site in 1925 and a UNESCO Heritage site in 2007. 


Animated sequences and numerous factoids are seamlessly embedded into the flow of the journey to take viewers back in time to various periods of the Rideau Canal’s existence. 


“We think this was our most important task, to allow the viewer to experience the Rideau Canal without interruption but also to give them enough information to have a deep understanding of this important historic waterway,” says Mitch Azaria, Executive Producer at Good Earth Productions. “We wanted to do this in a way that did not interrupt the immersive experience. It was a challenge and we think we were successful.”


TRIPPING The Rideau Canal will also air on TVO April 10 and April 12 at 11pm ET, and is available to stream anytime across Canada on tvo.org beginning April 10 at 7 pm ET.


Visit www.trippingtherideaucanal.ca for extra program materials: 
•    Experience the Rideau Canal in 360° Virtual Reality through six immersive short stories along the waterway.
•    Watch as the documentary crew tries to solve the challenges of a four-hour broadcast with ten behind-the-scenes-stories on the making of TRIPPING the Rideau Canal. 
•    Watch portions of the documentary based on their location on the canal with our interactive map of the Rideau Canal.

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