From Manitoulin Island to Music Row Crystal is living the dream on CMT

    Premiering with back-to-back episodes Tuesday, February 12 at
    8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

    TORONTO, Jan. 16 /CNW/ - CMT chronicles the extraordinary story of
up-and-coming Canadian recording artist Crystal Shawanda in the new six-part
series Crystal: Living the Dream. Produced in Canada by Henry Less
Productions, in association with CMT, the series will premiere in its regular
time-slot Tuesday, February 12 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, airing two back-to-back
episodes each week.

    From dealing with her band mates to choosing a single to release,
Crystal: Living the Dream follows this talented young woman as she faces the
challenges of breaking through a sometimes cut-throat industry that can be
full of disappointments.

    "The show offers a personal view of the rollercoaster of emotions and
events that Crystal endures while pursuing the dream of becoming a successful
singer and songwriter. It's truly a story of hope and inspiration that is
filled with intimate moments, both staggeringly emotional and endearingly
funny," said Angela Donald, Series Producer and Head of Productions, Henry
Less Productions.

    Born Ojibwa in the Wikwemikong reserve on Manitoulin Island, Crystal is
on the verge of stardom in Nashville. Taking inspiration from country legend
Loretta Lynn, Crystal doesn't just have an extraordinary voice - she is also a
songwriter. "Shawanda" means "Dawn of a New Day" and for Crystal, her dawn
will come if she realizes her dream of playing the Grand Ole Opry. In a town
filled with the almost-famous and superstars in equal measure, does Crystal
have what it takes to make her voice heard?

    Crystal started writing and performing at a young age. She found
inspiration in the people living on the reserve and when she was just
11-years-old, Crystal would hitch rides with her dad on his trucking route to
Tennessee to play any gig she could.

    With determination and the support of some of the best country music
talent, Crystal was signed to RCA in Nashville - home of such stars as Martina
McBride and Sara Evans. She is now preparing to release her first major label
recording. With high-flying managers Doc and Scott McGhee (best known for
working with KISS, Bon Jovi and Hootie and the Blowfish), and award-winning
producer Scott Hendricks (Brooks & Dunn and Alan Jackson), Crystal could be
the "next big thing."

    Crystal: Living the Dream will also have a strong Web presence with
behind-the-scenes extras and personal notes from Crystal herself launching on February 4.

    "CMT audiences are not only getting a compelling documentary series about
an incredible young talent - Crystal's extraordinary story is explored in even
more depth on a rich one of a kind website based on unseen footage and her own
journals and photographs," said Ted Ellis, Vice President, Programming, CMT
Canada. " offers viewers an immersive web experience that allows them to
continue her story in a truly unique and personal non-linear style that gives
an intimate perspective on the creative process."

    Crystal's debut single, You Can Let Go will be officially released to
radio this month.

    Viewers can tune in to Crystal: Living the Dream Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/5
p.m. PT beginning February 12.

    CMT Canada, available in 8.5 million homes, is Canada's source for
country music lifestyle programming. Exploring themes relevant to country
music and country music fans, the network offers an exciting mix of comedy and
dramatic series, movies and country music news, videos, concerts and specials.
CMT's Video Advantage Program, established in 2000, supports the development
and production of original Canadian music videos for emerging artists. With
over 3.3 million impressions each month, the station's website,, is
Canada's number one website dedicated to country music.

    CMT is owned by Corus Entertainment, a Canadian-based media and
entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in both specialty TV and
radio. Corus also owns Nelvana Limited, an internationally recognized producer
and distributor of children's programming and products. The Company's other
interests include music, television broadcasting and advertising services. A
publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.NV.B) and New
York (CJR) Exchanges. Corus' website can be found at

    For high-resolution images, please visit

For further information:

For further information: Molly Merrick, Publicist, Corus Entertainment,
(416) 530-2247,; Natalie Harper, Publicist,
Brookline PR for Henry Less Productions, (403) 538-5641 ext. 104,

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