Reality TV episode to be shot in Yellowknife

Reality TV episode to be shot in Yellowknife
Canadian singer-songwriter Édith Butler will be in Yellowknife this June for the filming of La Petite Séduction, a French Canadian-produced reality TV show.Photo: Edith Butler.

Yellowknife is about to get an opportunity to show off on national television with the announcement that TV show La Petite Séduction is headed North for the first time this summer and looking to be wowed.

A French Canadian-produced reality show, each episode of La Petite Séduction follows a guest celebrity as they partake in community events that aim to “seduce” them with culture and charm.

It’s the perfect premise for Yellowknife to shine, Marie-Eve Duperré, economic development officer with the Conseil de développement économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (CDETNO), told The Journal.

“I think for Yellowknife it will be easy to charm this person because Yellowknife is very special,” Duperré said. “We would like to show the vibrancy here, to show the energy in the community and maybe the local institutions.”

CDETNO partnered with the Association franco-culturelle de Yellowknife and the Fédération franco-ténoise (FFT) to bring the TV show to Yellowknife, which has taken a year of applying and communicating with the show’s directors.

It’s been worth it, Duperré said, as it will be the first time the show comes North.

“It’s the first time in one of the three territories,” she said. “For Yellowknife, it is a very good opportunity to be on the spot on national TV. We will showcase our touristic attractions, the local culture and the local colours.”

The show, launched by CBC in 2006, for years focused on small-town Quebec, but over the last few seasons the producers have branched out to French communities in Ontario, the East Coast and Western provinces.

The star slated to be seduced by Yellowknife is Édith Butler, an Acadian singer-songwriter and author from New Brunswick.

Butler has distinguished herself in Canadian song lore since her career began in the 1960s. She was recently made a recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement and was named to the Order of Canada in 1975.

“We have been told by the producers of the show that she likes small towns and I think that she also likes nature, small animals and such, so it’s a very good fit for us,” Duperré said.

The episode is scheduled to be filmed in Yellowknife June 13 to 15, which gives the organizing team a few months to prepare.

“We have to organize five activities, a welcome activity and a final big activity and basically through those activities we try to charm the celebrity. These activities will reflect the local culture, like fishing, Aboriginal culture and all that kind of stuff,” FFT’s Nicolas Carrière explained.

The organizing committee met on Apr. 1 to brainstorm a “seduction strategy” for Butler and to generate community interest.

Mayor of Yellowknife Mark Heyck is already on board, announcing in a joint press release that the community is “excited to showcase our vibrant Northern community, local personalities and unique businesses to French speaking audiences.”

Carrière stressed that it will take the entire community of Yellowknife to seduce the star, not just the Francophone population.

“To do a show that represents the reality of Yellowknife, we have to show the diversity of Yellowknife and we have to work with organizations that are not in the Francophone community,” he said. “We want to include everybody.”

To volunteer for the show, which could include screen time in the episode, residents can contact any one of the three Francophone organizations.

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