Skip to Content

Celebrating Canada’s LGBTQ2+ Community

All Eyes On 2022

Xavier Dolan makes his mark on the small screen, and content celebrating diversity streams online. Here are six eye-openers worth waiting for…
 
By Mathieu Chantelois
 
Day in and day out, I keep my eye on all the new stories coming to our screens. I’m currently on parental leave from the Canada Media Fund caring for a new baby girl, the second little one to join my family since the pandemic began. Between feedings and diaper changes, I wanted to share some of the must-see content I’ll be streaming in the coming months. What do all these exciting audiovisual projects have in common? They highlight the incredible work coming from Canadian LGBTQ2S+ creators today.
 

16 Hudson (Season 3)
If children are open books, then it is our job as adults to fill their blank pages with lessons of love, tolerance and empathy. This is exactly what the award-winning children’s program 16 Hudson does each and every episode.
 
Set in a charming, big-city apartment building, this animated series tailored to preschoolers features kids and their pals learning all about one another’s diverse cultures and traditions.
 
The children’s parents, including two gay dads, come from all over the world (Iran, China and the Philippines, to name a few of their countries of origin), and the series features families celebrating holidays such as Diwali, Norooz and Chinese New Year.
 
The new season consists of 21, seven-minute episodes airing on TVOKids, along with five new 16 Hudson shorts. Season 3 will also air on SRC-Radio Canada.
 

La nuit où Laurier Gaudreault s’est réveillé
Cinema’s enfant terrible Xavier Dolan makes his first foray into television with his adaptation of playwright Michel Marc Bouchard’s hit play, La nuit où Laurier Gaudreault s’est réveillé (The Night Laurier Gaudreault Finally Woke Up), with most of the original cast from its staging at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde in Montreal two years ago. In typical fashion, Dolan wears a number of different hats: author, director, producer and actor.
 
Like the original play, the TV series follows an internationally renowned thanatologist (Julie Le Breton) on her return to her hometown in the early 1990s to embalm her mother. She’s reunited with her brothers (Patrick Hivon, Éric Bruneau and Xavier Dolan) and over the course of their conversations, laced with resentments, old wounds and reconciliations, we discover a family deeply divided by dark secrets.
 
It’s Dolan’s second adaptation of a Bouchard play (his first was Tom à la ferme) and, once again, everyone’s favourite filmmaker flirts with horror, mystery and gallows humour.
 
The five, 60-minute episodes will be presented sometime in the spring before lighting up screens for our French cousins at Canal+.
 

(Photo credit: Samantha Falco)

Avocado Toast the series (Season 2)
Avocado Toast the series returns for a second season of hilarious and heartbreaking storytelling focusing on middle-grade teacher Molly (Heidi Lynch) and her introduction to the world of bisexual dating, while her best friend and former creative director Elle (Perrie Voss) deals with a serious case of burnout. And if that’s not enough, the millennial pals are still learning way too much about their parents’ sex lives.
 
Show creators Lynch and Voss bring a sex-positive spin to their dramedy celebrating a wide range of identities and desires. Especially gratifying is the way the show celebrates the sex lives of older women, whose stories are rarely explored on-screen.
 
This season also boldly examines issues of mental health and physical illness, adding deeper layers to this laugh-out-loud dramedy.
 
All 10 of the 15-minute episodes will be available on OUTtv’s digital streaming platform, OUTtv.com.
 

Sugar Highs
In the 1953 classic How to Marry a Millionaire, three lovely ladies (Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall) set out to land three rich men.
 
Take that premise, flash-forward almost 70 years and give it an oh-so-gay spin, and you’ve got Sugar Highs. This dramedy series follows a group of twentysomething friends who would rather party than work menial low-wage jobs, so they set out to find themselves sugar daddies to pay their bills.
 
But this brand of “wallet love” comes with all kinds of complications – good and bad – that make for fascinating, fun and sexy viewing.
 
Actors Samuel Davison, Adam Fox, Joey Beni and Michael Ayres star as the resourceful sugar babies, with guest sugar daddies and sugar mamas that include Scott Thompson (The Kids in the Hall), Jennifer Whalen (Baroness von Sketch Show) and Brian MacQuarrie (Picnicface).
 
Look for Sugar Highs on OUTtv.
 


The Colour of Music
Being a female musician is a challenge in the male-dominated music industry, but it’s painfully difficult for queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (QTBIPOC) women+ artists.
 
In this eye-opening documentary, director Han Nguyen takes us inside Ottawa’s live music scene, where venues and music programmers predominantly book white, cisgender male acts.
 
The doc introduces us to queer Black folk musician Kimberly Sunstrum, Sri Lankan-born folk artist Amanda Lowe Warnakulasuriya and Anishinaabekwe singer-songwriter Larissa Desrosiers. They are all joined by DJ Jayel, a masculine-presenting woman of colour. Through interviews, home movies and powerful performances, we learn how these artists are fighting to be seen and heard in a music scene designed to silence them.
 
Systemic barriers have profoundly affected the musicians’ mental health and well-being, but as the film ultimately reveals, it’s their love of music that sustains them through hard times.
 
The Colour of Music will air on CBC.
 

Y a une étoile
Trans non-binary artist Xavier Gould is part of a new generation of Acadians creating groundbreaking content for francophone audiences. After participating in the CBC documentary series Canada’s a Drag, Gould worked on a feature-length documentary with Moncton director and screenwriter Julien Cadieux.
 
In this emotional and uplifting road-trip movie, Gould meets up with other francophone queer folks determined to live their differences out in the open in their Acadian hometown. The goal of Gould’s project is to debunk the myth that everyone in the LGBTQ2S+ community would be happier if they moved to urban city centres.
 
The crew also takes their cameras into an Indigenous community to illustrate the added difficulty of trying to embrace queerness inside an already under-represented group.
 
Audiences will be deeply moved by this inspired and inspiring work, interspersed with the music of the late and highly acclaimed Acadian singer Angèle Arsenault. Through Gould’s film, audiences will come to understand that a queer Acadia actually does exist.
 
Watch Y a une étoile on TV5Unis.
 

 
MATHIEU CHANTELOIS is an award-winning journalist, proven marketing and communications professional, and strong advocate for inclusion in the screen-based industry. He joined the Canada Media Fund in 2019 where he is vice-president of communications and promotion.
 

 

Related Articles

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7 Episode 8 Recap: Santa’s School For Girls

It’s Christmas in July as the queens compete in a holiday themed over-acting challenge

27 June 2022 / Entertainment Latest

Colton Haynes’ Miss Memory Lane: A Review

“A brutally honest and moving memoir of lust, abuse, addiction, stardom, and redemption from Arrow and Teen Wolf actor Colton Haynes”

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7 Episode 7 Recap: Legendary Legend Looks 

The queens take inspiration from iconic Ru looks and make their own show stopping outfits for the runway. Fashion icon Betsy Johnson is a guest judge

POST A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published.