• New Collection: Canadian Parliamentary Democracy


    Our latest collection presents an overview of Canada's parliamentary system. Students will gain insight into the role of Members of Parliament and the basic structure and functions of the House of Commons and Senate.

    We also examine some of the more recent hot-button issues in Canadian parliamentary life, including calls to address what some perceive as a “democratic deficit”, whether by means of Senate reform, coalition governments, or changes to Canada’s electoral system, such as introducing proportional representation.

  • A Skill for Life (with English subtitles)


    Stress has become a scourge in our societies, but it was long believed that children are not affected by it. In 1988 Edmundston, New Brunswick nurse Renée Guimond Plourde noted that her 6-year-old son, who was just starting school, suffered from symptoms related to stress. In the absence of literature on the subject, parents, in cooperation with administrators and teachers at the school, began to seek ways to help children manage their stress in everyday life. The children themselves chose visualization as a stress-management tool.

    Twenty-five years and several thousand children later, the experiment continues and has been expanded to other New Brunswick schools. There has also been growing interest at the international level. This documentary looks at the history of the project and its future prospects.

  • Silent Majority: raising awareness on bullying


    Based on the true story of Adam Tanguay, a young man who was bullied at primary school, high school, and even later at his workplace, Silent Majority highlights the emotions felt by the victims, aggressors and witnesses of school bullying. The film aims to empower students to do the right thing when confronted with a similar situation.

    In addition, the Silent Majority Teacher's Facilitation and Companion Guide (available as a free downloadable PDF on Curio.ca) is intended to help educators generate meaningful discussion in class after viewing the film. This guide was written by Michel Dubé, B.Sc., a youth counsellor who worked on the original French-language version of the film.

    Finally, Silent Majority: Beyond the Movie, a companion behind-the-scenes documentary that is also featured on Curio.ca, looks at the making of the film and includes a Q&A session with the film’s actors sharing their views on bullying.

  • Burgundy Jazz Teacher Resource Guide Now Available

    BURGUNDY JAZZ educational guide trailer from Catbird Productions on Vimeo.

    View the web documentary here.

    Burgundy Jazz is a multiplatform web documentary exploring Montreal’s incredible contribution to jazz music history through the legendary black musicians of Little Burgundy – the neighbourhood that was a hub of musical creativity, private clubs and speakeasies from the Jazz Age 1920s to the Golden Era of Jazz in the 1940s and 50s. Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones, Norman Marshall Villeneuve, the Sealey Brothers, Nelson Symonds, and Louis Metcalf are among the greats who lived or played in "Burgundy".

    The accompanying Burgundy Jazz Teacher Resource Guide, aimed at educators at the elementary (Grades 6-8) and secondary school levels, supports learning initiatives for each platform: web doc, app and eBook. It is designed to link to a variety of disciplines and subject matters, including Arts Education (Music), Social Sciences (Geography and History) and Language Arts, while leveraging Media Education/Media Literacy, critical thinking and Citizenship Education. Students are invited to think about social themes raised in Burgundy Jazz while they broach inquiry-based learning and media production. Explore the guide’s research-creation projects highlighting technology education, with low-tech options also available.

    5 units/98 pages

    Discover the guide

  • Interrupt This Program


    Interrupt This Program uncovers the underground arts scenes in cities that have experienced major traumas: natural disasters, long-term war, political unrest or economic meltdown. This series documents the creative underbellies of five unique cities, each facing its own set of challenges: Beirut, Kiev, Athens, Port-au-Prince and Medellin. In each episode, we meet three or four young, determined local artists (plus one Canadian ex-pat to offer an outsider's perspective) who are committed to making art that elicits change, displays courage or protests their city's political and societal status quo.

    In Beirut: a writer, a graffiti artist, a hip-hop artist and a Baladi (belly) dancer embody art as protest in a post-civil war city divided by religion.

    In Kiev: a poet, a rocker and a performance artist continue to push creative boundaries in a city that is struggling in the wake of the Euromaidan Revolution.

    In Athens: a photographer, an electronic pop band, a mural artist and a writer demonstrate how art is a means of survival in the midst of a city under economic crisis.

    In Port-au-Prince: a radio host, a photographer, a Rabòday singer and a creole rapper showcase the emerging and subversive sounds and images of Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.

    In Medellin, once considered the most dangerous place in the world, a rapper, a musician, a filmmaker and an urban planner take us on a tour of their city, currently experiencing a cultural renaissance.

  • Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows

    Omar Khadr: Child Soldier or Murderer? 


    The 28-year-old Canadian has been at the centre of controversy since he was 15. In October 2010, Khadr pleaded guilty to five war crimes, including “murder in violation of war", in return for a plea deal that gave him an eight-year sentence and a chance to return to Canada. He later recanted his confession and his Guantanamo conviction is being appealed in the U.S.

    Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows features unprecedented access and exclusive interviews with Omar Khadr during his first few days of freedom in Edmonton, where he was finally released on bail on May 7, 2015, after nearly 13 years in detention.

    This documentary delivers an intimate portrait of how a teenager from a Toronto suburb ended up being at the centre of one of the first U.S. war crimes trials since the prosecution of Nazi commanders in the 1940s. He is the only juvenile who has ever been tried for war crimes. Out of the Shadows gives Omar Khadr the opportunity to speak for himself on camera for the first time.

    Based in part on Michelle Shephard’s authoritative book Guantanamo’s Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr, the documentary takes us from his childhood spent traveling between a Canadian suburb and Peshawar at the height of the jihad against the Soviets, into Afghanistan and the homes of al-Qaeda’s elite, into the notorious U.S. prisons at Bagram and Guantanamo and back again to Canada.

    Directed by Patrick Reed and co-directed by Toronto Star journalist Michelle Shephard, Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows is a White Pine Pictures production in association with the CBC.

    For more information, visit the Firsthand website.

  • Walter & Tandoori's Xmas

    A film by Sylvain Viau starring Russell Peters, Rick Jones, Sonya Ball and Philip Le Maistre

    A small town. A business magnate. A talking chicken. A gaggle of turkeys on the run from being eaten for Christmas dinner. And an unlikely hero caught in the middle of it all!

    Selected at the Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur (2012)

    Nominated at the World Premieres Film Festival Philippines (2014)


  • God Save Justin Trudeau: a look into 21st century Canadian politics


    With Justin Trudeau elected prime minister following the October 19, 2015 federal election, the Liberal Party has once again formed a majority government in Canada. Prior to joining Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair in the electoral race, Trudeau was already a well-known political figure in the country. One of the most famous, and perhaps controversial, events in recent years took place when the Liberal Party leader came face to face with Senator Patrick Brazeau in a charity boxing match on March 31, 2012.

    God Save Justin Trudeau is a documentary film that takes viewers through Trudeau's months-long training for the bout, which ultimately led to his victory in the ring. At the time, Trudeau was Member of Parliament for Montreal's Papineau riding. As the film's co-director Guylaine Maroist explains, the documentary was meant to be a metaphor for sensationalism on the political scene.

    See a side of the Liberal Pary leader you hadn't seen before in this documentary that is neither a boxing film nor a Liberal propaganda piece. One thing for sure  – no one will be left indifferent by God Save Justin Trudeau.

    On 1 November 2015, as part of the first edition of the Vevey International Funny Film Festival in Switzerland, the documentary was awarded the first VIFFF d'Or for Best Film in the International Competition.

  • Keeping Canada Alive: a closer look into our health care system


    Narrated by Emmy® Award-winning Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland, Keeping Canada Alive is an epic, groundbreaking six-part factual series that gives viewers a powerful snapshot of Canada's health care system as filmed over a 24-hour period in May 2015. More than 60 cameras descended on health and home care locations in 24 Canadian cities to capture incredibly moving and highly intimate stories as shared by patients and health care providers. 

    The cameras rolled as people sought treatment and medical professionals did everything they could to provide it. In addition, the companion online experience is one of the most ambitious to date and features more than 40 hours of extended breakout footage, original content, as well as an online 24-hour stream of raw footage.

  • Yahya Samatar: from humanitarian worker to refugee

    How far would you go for freedom? DNTO dedicates an episode to one man's harrowing journey from Somalia to the banks of Manitoba's Red River.

    Entering Canada was the scariest moment of Yahya Samatar’s life. But that’s not even the beginning of his incredible odyssey, and it’s far from the end. As the refugee crisis continues to grip the world's attention, DNTO host Sook-Yin Lee zeroes in on one refugee’s epic story. How he survived a death sentence in Somalia, hacked his way through Central American jungles, endured months behind bars and, against all odds, hoisted himself up the muddy banks of the Red River.

    In the season premiere of DNTO, find out how, in just his first few weeks in Canada, this total stranger from the other side of the world has burst into the lives of Canadians and compelled them to act.