Shaftesbury/Smokebomb and shift2 Partner with Corus Entertainment, Ubisoft, and Let's Talk Science on New Digital Series Emerald Code

Scripted series about a group of friends using science and technology to navigate high school life premieres on YTV.com in 2017

TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2016 /CNW/ - Leading production company Shaftesbury, along with its digital studio Smokebomb Entertainment and branded entertainment agency shift2, have announced a new multi-platform digital series Emerald Code to be produced in partnership with Corus Entertainment for YTV, Ubisoft and Let's Talk Science. Going into production in early 2017, the series will star newcomers Anwen O'Driscoll and Star Slade. Premiering on YTV.com in 2017, the series will also air on YTV at a later date. The announcement was made at the launch event for Canada 2067, a nation building initiative to support the evolution of Canadian education by enhancing student exposure and access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) across all levels and areas of learning, held at Shaftesbury's brand new office space in Leslieville, the heart of Toronto's studio district. The event was emceed by Lisa Gilroy, co-host of YTV's The Zone, and attended by a number of special guests including The Lieutenant Governor, the Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, astronaut Dr. Roberta Bondar and Murdoch Mysteries actress Mouna Traoré.

"As content creators, we know the power of entertainment to educate and inspire. Emerald Code is a series aimed at girls 8-12 with the intent of making STEM and coding fun. We look forward to working with Corus Entertainment, Ubisoft and Let's Talk Science on such an important and exciting endeavour," said Christina Jennings, Chairman and CEO, Shaftesbury/Smokebomb.

"Many companies around the world share our objective – to encourage more girls and women to get involved in STEM industries, to aspire to careers in technology. We are looking to partner with these companies, who truly want to bring this discussion to life using a story world that will engage and inform girls of the value of STEM," said Kaaren Whitney-Vernon, CEO, shift2.

"We have a strong youth brand with highly engaged audiences – both on air and online – and we're proud to be working with Shaftesbury to bring the Emerald Code story to life for YTV," said Daniel Eves, SVP, Kids & General Entertainment, Corus.

"Ubisoft believes passionately that diverse teams are more innovative teams, and we are committed to investing in programs that grow awareness with young women about STEM and careers in technology," said Heather Steele, Communications Director, Ubisoft Toronto. "It's important that young people have strong role models that help to foster a lifelong interest in the value of STEM, and Ubisoft is excited to partner with Shaftesbury/Smokebomb and shift2 on Emerald Code to help create this dynamic digital series."

"With so many Canadian youth disengaging from STEM studies before high school graduation, we need to find new and creative ways to bring science and technology to life for youth," said Bonnie Schmidt, President and Founder of Let's Talk Science and driving force behind Canada 2067. "Emerald Code will showcase the importance of STEM and digital literacy and it will underscore the creativity and capacity of youth to tackle interesting real life challenges in inspiring ways!  Let's Talk Science is proud to support this new series."

After discovering web design and programming at summer camp, 15-year-old Charlotte Parsons is amazed at everything she can create by herself with science and technology. Inspiring her friends to do the same, Charlotte and her pals soon realize that they have tons of ideas and inventions that can make their lives easier, more connected, and way more fun! They navigate the complicated and confusing world of high school by learning new skills and exchanging ideas in order to create unique and useful tools – like Riley, a robot that can be updated to suit their ever-changing needs, as well as a virtual reality world where the friends play out their real-life high school situations. Soon, Charlotte and friends are solving problems, coming up with wild schemes, and most importantly, cracking the code to living an awesome high school life!

About Shaftesbury/Smokebomb
Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television and digital platforms. Shaftesbury's slate includes 10 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, UKTV, and ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment; David Shore's Houdini & Doyle for Sony Pictures Television, Corus Entertainment, ITV, and Fox; thriller series Slasher for Super Channel and NBCUniversal's Chiller; and Kids' CBC series The Moblees. Shaftesbury's digital arm, Smokebomb Entertainment, produces original digital, convergent, and branded entertainment projects including the hit YouTube series Carmilla, funded by U by Kotex®; mystery series V Morgan Is Dead, brought to life by RBC; fashion comedy series MsLabelled, produced in partnership with Shaw Media and Tetley Tea; and the Slasher VR app for iOS, Android, and Oculus Rift. In June 2014, Shaftesbury/Smokebomb launched shift2, a branded entertainment agency that drives profitable engagement with millennials using scripted series, turning brands into executive producers. 

About Corus Entertainment
Corus Entertainment Inc. is a Canadian-based integrated media and content company that creates, broadcasts, licenses and delivers content across a variety of platforms for audiences around the world. The company's portfolio of multimedia offerings encompasses specialty television and radio with additional assets in television broadcasting, live events, children's book publishing, children's animation, animation software, and technology and media services. Corus' television brands include ABC Spark, Cartoon Network (Canada), CMT (Canada), Cosmopolitan TV, Disney Channel (Canada), Disney Junior, Disney XD, Nickelodeon (Canada), OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada), Telelatino, TELETOON, Treehouse, W Network, YTV, Historia, La chaîne Disney, Séries+ and TÉLÉTOON. Its 39 radio brands include CKNW AM 980, Rock 101, Country 105, 630 CHED, Fresh Radio, JUMP! 106.9, Q107 and 102.1 the Edge. The company also owns Nelvana, an internationally renowned animation production company, Kids Can Press, Toon Boom and Quay Media Services. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (CJR.B). Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.

SOURCE Shaftesbury

For further information: Emily Claire Afan, PR Manager, Digital & Brand, Shaftesbury/Smokebomb, eclaire@shaftesbury.ca, 416 363-1411 ext. 177; Judy Lung, Director, Communications & Marketing, Shaftesbury/Smokebomb, jlung@shaftesbury.ca, 416-363-1411 ext. 186; Rebecca Rebeiro, Corus Entertainment, rebecca.rebeiro@corusent.com, 416.479.6474; Michelle McTeague, Corus Entertainment, Michelle.mcteague@corusent.com, 416.966.7724

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