#Couleurs du Nord is a children’s television show focusing on artwork, local culture, and highlighting diverse stories, particularly Indigenous and Francophone stories. For each episode, the crew shows up in a different town or village. A group of children (who are cast for the show from that community) hang out with host Mique Michelle, share local lore, have some laughs, and before long, those tales become materialized in a mural, painted by Michelle and the kids.
The formula allows for a unique way to discuss a community’s culture, and the artwork stands as a reminder for all who see. When BayToday spoke with Michelle as she was shooting the first season, she emphasized how “kids should be able to see people who look like them” on television, and this project helps to accomplish that.
For the first season, the crew shot in Hearst, Sturgeon Falls, Kapuskasing, Timmins, Cochrane, Timiskaming Shores, Sudbury, and North Bay. There are about eight to nine people who travel to make the show, and overall, filming “was a great experience,” explained Rennata Lopez, whose Lopii Productions created and produces the series.
Lopez explained how the new season will be filming from August until October. However, she could use your help. Since each show revolves around a mural, the team relies on the kindness of strangers to donate a wall for the cause.
The team would prefer not to film in the same location as last year, so if you reside somewhere not listed above, Lopez would be happy to hear from you. But please have a wall to offer before reaching out, or at least, a very solid lead to an available wall. Community groups, clubs, and other organizations are also welcome to contact the production crew, given they too have a wall that could handle a mural.
Overall, the show is designed “to celebrate all of the wonderful diversity and culture in Northern Ontario,” Lopez said, and with a little help, she plans to make season two just as memorable as the first. As for that first season, those episodes begin to air on TFO this September.
For more information, or to reach out to Rennata about filming locations (and that wall, of course), visit Lopii Productions website at www.lopiiproductions.com. Once locations are secured, and the crew has a list of communities to visit, they will begin casting children for the episodes as well. Information for casting will also be posted on their website.
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.