Posted by Somebody's Mother on 6:57 a.m.

CBC: Bring Back On the Road Again

On January 27th, CBC’s On the Road Again broadcast its last show. At the end of the the show, Wayne Rostad announced that the CBC had decided that this would be iOn the Road Again’s last year. Both my husband and I were stunned and did what we always do when our television says stuff that it shouldn’t – we yelled back.

Yes, On the Road Again has been on television for twenty years and it is vaguely possible that the show is out of date. Rostad’s songs approach a level of hokey-ness that many of us are incapable of handling. I may have a low threshold for corn but I think the sad thing about the cancellation of On the Road Again has more to do with where our society has gone as opposed to where the show has gone.

From seven to eight o’clock every night, there are back to back shows that do no more or less than advertise celebrities and the projects that they are coming out with. We are inundated with information about their movies, records, marriages, babies, drug abuse problems and of course their divorces. All of this stokes the industry that is larger than life and that keeps us happy when we are too tired from a long day at work to do more than absorb the latest about J-Lo, Britney and the queen of entertainment shows, Paris Hilton. More importantly, these shows keep us buying the records, movies and the products that the shows advertise.

On the Road Again has done something different. Every week for the last twenty years, Rostad visits ordinary people who do extraordinary things. This is pure unadulterated feel-good stuff that is not glamorous. Some of these folks are wacky in every sense of the word but most of them are inspiring as people with a passion for something and the will to carry it out.

There is the octogenarian who sends a weekly column from Old Crow, Yukon to a newspaper in Vancouver and the artist who uses every day articles to create beautiful sculptures. We’ve seen a Haida artist who tells the story of her people in the blankets that she creates and the calligrapher in Whitehorse who has an unabashed love of the written word. Week after week, we’ve been able to learn how varied this country is with its fascinating people who are every bit as interesting as the movie stars who rise with a bang and fall with a thud.

On the Road Again is the kind of television that our national network should be providing us with. It may not be as commercial as e-Talk and Entertainment Tonight or even Entertainment Tonight Canada. The point of having a national network is to provide people with the opportunity to see and appreciate what is going on in our country. It’s not all about celebrities or even celebrities visiting Canada; it’s about who we are, the people who don’t enjoy fame or notoriety.

It takes a special person to be able to put three meals on the table and then go on to build a replica of the leaning Tower of Pisa in one’s backyard or create an unofficial museum of vintage clothing in one’s home.

I am really sorry that I won’t be finding out about these people any more and I think that it is a real mistake that the CBC has cancelled a show that has been a lively tradition for the past twenty years.

Nobody made a big stink when The Friendly Giant was cancelled but other shows have been revived if a network receives enough complaints. If you feel the way I do, fire up your computer and go to http://www.cbc.ca/contact/index.jsp and send the CBC a message that you think cancelling On the Road Again is a bad idea. We like having a show that shows the wonderful eccentricities, creations and obsessions of Canadians from East to West. The CBC needs to hear that from the real people, the people who pay the taxes that keep the CBC going.



Anonymous says:

The CBC needs a show like On the Road Again. But can it please be hosted by someone other than Rostad.

I grew up in the Valley and over the years I've been exposed to all the Rostad entertainment I can handle. Wayne's ego far outstretches his talent.

I thought Wayne was corny when I was a pre-teen, let alone in my thirties.

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