Kiefer Sutherland narrates CBC'S Keeping Canada Alive, an unprecedented and powerful 24-hour snapshot of Canada's health care system

  • Broadcast Premiere Sun., Oct. 4 at 9 p.m./9:30 NT
  • One of the largest CBC companion online experiences to date

TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2015 /CNW/ - Canada's health care system is one of the most beloved, maligned, and hotly debated institutions in Canada. Imagine having an insider's view of the system from coast to coast, in one day, through the eyes of patients and caregivers. Narrated by Emmy Award-winning Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland, CBC's new factual series Keeping Canada Alive (6 x 60') gives viewers an unprecedented look at the health care system and the powerful emotional stories that take place within it. Over a 24-hour period on May 6, 2015, 60 camera crews descended on more than 40 health and home care locations in 24 Canadian cities to capture a six-part, one-hour television series highlighting 36 emotionally charged and highly intimate stories – from a three-month-old baby having a hole in his heart patched to a terminal cancer patient receiving end-of-life care.

"Our production crew was granted unprecedented one-day access to our health care system, a system that impacts every single Canadian at some point in their lives," says John Ritchie, chief creative officer, Force Four Entertainment. "It is our privilege to give Canadians this never-before-seen snapshot of the moving stories of health care professionals and patients that make our health care system beat in a single 24-hour period."  

"The CBC is proud to bring audiences this groundbreaking series that is big in scale yet offers a very intimate and revealing portrait of all that our health care system does in a single day," says Jennifer Dettman, ‎executive director, Unscripted Content at CBC. "This show will inspire a national conversation about the institution that touches our lives from the moment we're born to the moment we die‎."

The companion online experience, which can be found at, is one of the most ambitious to date and features almost 40 hours of extended breakout footage, original content, and more, as well as a 24-hour stream of raw footage which will go live Mon., Sept. 21. Keeping Canada Alive airs Sundays at 9 p.m./9:30 NT starting Oct. 4 on CBC.

The innovative online companion expands on many of the TV series' stories by giving more insight into the health care industry as a whole. Viewers can access additional content encompassing raw footage of full surgeries, medical procedures, interviews and other events filmed that day. The site also includes facts, highlights, commentary and polls relevant to the video content.  Close to 40 hours of footage will appear before the launch of the TV series. Visitors to the site can customize their experience by selecting themes and locations across the country.

Health care facilities and caregivers featured in Keeping Canada Alive come from British Columbia (Richmond, Vancouver, Kamloops, Haida Gwaii, Comox), Alberta (Edmonton, Calgary), Saskatchewan (Fort Qu'Appelle), Manitoba (Winnipeg, Pine Falls), Ontario (Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Thunder Bay), Quebec (Montreal, Chisasibi), Nova Scotia (Halifax, Wolfville, Liverpool), Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown), New Brunswick (Minto), Newfoundland (St. John's), Labrador (Nain), and the Northwest Territories (Yellowknife).

Keeping Canada Alive is produced by Force Four Entertainment with John Ritchie, Gillian Lowrey, and Rob Bromley acting as executive producers. Dana Johl is series producer and Dianna Bodnar is the creative producer. The supervising producer is Deborah Wainwright and series director is Grant Greschuck. Greg Laikin is the supervising story producer and senior story editor. Cynthia Chapman is line producer.

Keeping Canada Alive is commissioned by CBC Television, in association with the TELUS Fund, the Canada Media Fund, with the assistance of the Government of British Columbia, the Government of Ontario, and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. The series is based on an ITV format.

Social Media:  Twitter: @CBC #KeepCanAlive - Facebook: CBC - Instagram: CBC and Tumblr

Vancouver-based Force Four began operations in 1983 and has grown to be one of Canada's most successful and respected television production companies, producing more than 500 hours of television and earning accolades on the national and international stage. The company's highly successful television programs include lifestyle, reality and scripted programming that have sold and aired around the world.  Force Four's most popular series include Border Security: Canada's Front Line, The Cupcake Girls, Shannon and Sophie, Village on a Diet, Murder She Solved, and the scripted sitcom Seed. The company has been awarded the prestigious Peabody Award, ten Gemini Awards and over 25 Gemini nominations. Force Four was acquired by international entertainment leader Entertainment One (eOne) in 2014, and remains helmed by its previous owners president Rob Bromley, chief creative officer John Ritchie, and chief operating officer Gillian Lowrey.

About CBC/Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages.

A space for us all is CBC/Radio-Canada's strategy to transform the public broadcaster, and ensure that it continues to fulfill its mandate for Canadians, now and for future generations. Through to 2020, it will increase its investment in primetime television programming and continue to create radio programs of the highest quality, while promoting the development of digital and mobile platforms and content.

About TELUS Fund
Launched in 2013, the TELUS Fund finances the creation of exceptional health and wellness TV programming and digital media that promote the health and well-being of Canadians. The TELUS Fund is an independently governed, not-for-profit corporation funded by TELUS. Each year, TELUS Fund aims to support 10 to 20 winning submissions with approximately $250,000 per project. Successful projects will be available via television, Internet and mobile platforms. The TELUS Fund is made possible through the overwhelming success of Optik TV, now reaching more than 937,000 TELUS TV customers.

SOURCE Force Four Entertainment

For further information: Susan Stafford, UNIT:PR Inc. (for Force Four), T: 416.506.1238, E:; Kylie McGregor, CBC Television, T: 416.205.8638, E:

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