‘The Amazing Race Canada’ challenges Canadians to explore their own backyard

‘The Amazing Race Canada’ challenges Canadians to explore their own backyard
by: Sheri Block

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After watching teams compete on “The Amazing Race” with envy for more than 10 years, Canadians will finally get a chance to see how they would fare when “The Amazing Race Canada” comes to CTV next summer.

A complementary version of the hit international series, “The Amazing Race Canada” will have teams discovering their own country coast to coast, with potential stops in all 10 provinces and three territories.

Since many Canadians have not travelled outside of their own province, Phil King, President, CTV Programming and Sports, says it gives racers – and viewers – an opportunity to explore their own backyard.

“It’s big enough, it’s diverse enough, ocean to ocean, so to speak, north, south, there are very different cultures in many of the provinces, different climates, different geography, so it made sense to stay here,” he says.

But just because the racers won’t be leaving the country, it doesn’t mean there isn’t the potential for some culture shock.

“We need someone from the East Coast getting lost in the Great White North and someone from Quebec trying to find their way in the Prairies, and someone from Vancouver going to northern Quebec with maybe a language barrier,” says King. “We’re going to throw all of those obstacles at people for sure.”

Filming is expected to begin in the late spring, which will allow the series to showcase Canada when it is not covered in snow and ice.

It is Canada, however, so blustery conditions are never completely off the table.  

“This is one of the few countries where you can go golfing in March in Vancouver and of course, in May you can go up to the Yukon and it will still be very cold."

It’s just one of the things that makes Canadians a tough bunch, says King. As well as being hearty, Canadians are also known for being very polite, but King doesn’t think this trait will hold anyone back when it comes to the race.

“If they want to win, they better figure out a way to beat the other contestants. I think when we have to get down and dirty as Canadians, we can do whatever it takes to win.”

No word yet on who will be hosting “The Amazing Race Canada” but King is confident they will find the best person for the job.  

“The only thing I can confirm is it won’t be Phil Keoghan from the U.S. version of ‘Amazing Race’ . . . he’s just a very busy man.”

Even though Keoghan won’t be at the helm, King says “The Amazing Race Canada” will still have all of the elements Canadians love about the U.S. version.

“We don’t want to tinker with success but we want to have Canadians seeing themselves on screen and seeing their great country and hopefully be able to show parts of the country that people actually haven’t seen themselves. We lovingly call it a love letter to Canada.”

Casting information and other show details will be announced in the coming months at www.CTV.ca/TheAmazingRaceCanada. Fans can also follow #RaceCDA at @AmazingRaceCDA and stay up to date on the CTV Facebook page.