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Wapos Bay creators announce changes to series.

Singer and actress Andrea Menard was among those at the Wapos Bay studio in Saskatoon on April 15 along with other voice actors, producers, writers, and animators to say goodbye to the animation series after a ten-year run on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).


"I've been there from the beginning," Menard told Sage, adding that she played the roles of Sarah and Kohkom.

"I'd never done a character like that before so it was kind of fun. And I've been here ... and I've been a part of the characters' growing and the town. I've been blessed to be a part of it," she said.

Dennis Jackson, who is the writer, producer, creator, and director for Wapos Bay said with the children's animation ending after 34 episodes and a movie, they are now embarking on a new series geared towards teens called Guardians. It will appear on APTN in Fall of 2012.

"It's really different from Wapos Bay," he told those gathered at the press event. "Guardians is more of a sci-fi show which takes place way into the future."

It features Indigenous kids as the main characters exploring the new earth a million years into the future. Arimus Afron is a 14-year-old Cree male who leads the group of Indigenous teens from New Zealand, Australia and East India as they struggle to survive and rebuild after coming out of their embryonic states deep beneath the Earth.

"It's pretty out there," said Jackson. "But it is for teens and that's one of the reasons."

He added that he's proud of the success they have seen with Wapos Bay and the fact that his creative team has promoted Saskatchewan stories made by Saskatchewan people.

Jackson's wife, Melanie, said it's quite bittersweet to develop a project for so long and see it come to an end, but added that they have co-production deals for Guardians in the works with Australia, New Zealand and possibly East India.

"APTN is on board for Guardians," she said. "It's a very attractive option to have in their line-up and they're really excited about it."

She mentioned that Guardians is a post-apocalyptic storyline that contains Cree culture.

"This main character is going to be a Cree boy, and even though there's no other Crees around him, he is the culture," she said. "He has the smudging, the prayers, his language is also retained," she added.

Transmedia Producer Ryan Lockwood oversees website production and all the related digital assets for the Wapos Bay series. He spoke to media about a new website, blog and a cross-platform game that is still in development.

"We're really excited about, which is a really neat stop motion website for kids and family members," Lockwood said, and added that it's loaded with a lot of adventure and fun and exploration."

"And we also have built a blog at And that's where you can go and log in and see what's happening day to day, see a lot of video, a lot of photography from the show," he said.

According to a press release, Guardians is a sci-fi stop motion animated television series that is currently in development with SaskFilm, APTN, and the Canada Media Fund.



COPYRIGHT 2011 Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)
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Title Annotation:SASKATOON
Author:Fiddler, Christine
Publication:Saskatechewan Sage
Geographic Code:1CSAS
Date:May 1, 2011
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