A Swift Current produced docuseries aired its first of six episodes last night on CityTV Saskatchewan.
Staying Wild follows the struggles and successes of Saskatoon’s Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (LSWR), brought to cable by three Saskatchewan production companies: Little Ox Film Company, Overtime Studios, and 3 Story Pictures.
George Tsougrianis, producer and director with Overtime Studios in Swift Current, said the project has been in the works for the past year.
“In terms of actually having boots on the ground and producing this thing, we've got a team of about a dozen or so people that have been working and each person has a specific role,” he explained. “We had several camera people, and then we had a series of editors and postproduction people that actually put the thing together. So, it's a real process. We started shooting last May, and here we are almost a full year later and we're basically just finishing the show now—so that gives you an idea of the process.”
Tsougrianis credits the origin of the story to Jackie Kripki, who had been playing with the idea for several years before the production teams and funding came together to create Staying Wild.
He expressed excitement for the centre’s executive director as well, Jan Shadick, who has been advocating for wildlife for more than 20 years.
“Hopefully when people watch this series, they will begin to understand the monumental task that she has done here,” he said. "Most of the rehab centers that you would find are somewhere outside of a city, but in Jan's case, she is smack dab in the middle of Saskatoon.
“That centre punches well above its weight; it treats over 2,000 animals per year, which is comparable to much larger facilities in Calgary and Edmonton, for example. It's just a tremendous amount of work that they do. And that's the other hope—that by doing this show, it will help spread the word in terms of what she is doing, and again, funding is one of the challenges, but also volunteers are something that she's always looking for. That's some of the other good things that will hopefully spin out of the show.”
According to a media release, the docuseries was commissioned by CityTV and produced with additional financial support from Canada Media Fund, SaskTel Max Equity Fund, and Creative Saskatchewan’s production grant.
A guide of where to watch Staying Wild on cable can be found below, and folks can also catch it on CityTV’s website next week.