The Forest City is set to be a featured destination in an upcoming episode of The Amazing Race Canada.
Filmed last April, the episode will showcase different locations around London and will air Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 9 p.m.
“This is great news for London,” said Mayor Ed Holder. “I think it’s a great opportunity for London to literally showcase itself and, at the same time, it really is a harbinger of a lot of great things to come for the film and television industry for London.”
Originally planned pre-pandemic, The Amazing Race reached out to Tourism London as well as film production officials at Fanshawe College. Later on, Film London, a new city-funded agency working to promote and further the local film industry, was contacted.
Andrew Dodd, manager of the Film London office, said that even while production was slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “London was always on their radar.”
“We’re not a small town anymore,” he said. “We’re ready to show the rest of the world that we’re here and that we’ve got great resources, and that London can be an exciting hub for film and television.”
In 2013, Londoners and best friends Jet Black and Dave Schram starred in the first season of The Amazing Race Canada and more recently, were selected by online voters to return for the show’s seventh season in 2019.
Now in its eighth season, the show features 10 teams of two players with pre-existing relationships in a race across Canada. One team is eliminated after each leg of the competition until the final pair is left standing to win the grand prize of two Chevrolet Silverado ZR2’s, a “once-in-a-lifetime” round world trip for two, and a $250,000 cash prize.
The episode set to showcase London on Tuesday, titled “Racing for our Lives,” will have contestants “choose between aviation or animation before proving that they are best in class with some furry friends. Later, teams must find their zen if they want to make it to the mat in time for their big band welcome.”
Michelle Giroux, associate dean for the school of digital and preforming arts at Fanshawe College, said that she can’t wait for viewers to see what’s in store.
“I can’t tell you how impressed I was with working with the team,” Giroux said. “Just watching our faculty team come together to work with the show, I’m excited to see it all come together.”
During the pandemic, Fanshawe launched a new animation program. Giroux said that this upcoming episode “gives me a scale, beyond my wildest dreams, to be able to promote such a cool program that we’ve put together for young people to be educated in a world that is exploding.”
“We are so fortunate to have been part of this,” she added. “We’re grateful to the producers and everybody that’s part of that show to be given an opportunity on this because they don’t come around that often.”
Natalie Wakabayashi, director of culture and entertainment for Tourism London, hopes that the upcoming episode might also give travellers more of an outstanding incentive as well as inspiration to want to visit the Forest City.
“It’s such an amazing opportunity to put us on the national stage and be able to showcase some of what London has to offer to all Canadians,” she said.
“As the epicentre of Southwestern Ontario, it only made sense that The Amazing Race Canada would eventually touch down in the Forest City of London,” said Mark Lysakowski, executive producer and showrunner of the Amazing Race Canada in a statement to Global News.
“This episode was a special one for us, and a pivotal one for the Race. We hope that the viewers will enjoy all that London has to offer as much as we did.”
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