Some local kids attending French public schools got a taste of show biz June 16-17 as they participated in a shoot for a Francophone kids' television program.
Twenty Grade 5 students from Hélène-Gravel, Jeanne-Sauvé, Pavillon-de-l'Avenir and Franco-Nord schools will be featured competing in a number of challenges on the show, "Le 5e élément" (The Fifth Element).
All of the filming for the show is done outside — in the case of the locally shot shows, filming took place on the grounds of Dynamic Earth and Science North.
That meant braving the rainy weather during the June 17 Science North shoot. One of the challenges that day involved one student balancing on a skate board, carrying a bowl of water, while another student pushed them to the finish line.
“We wanted to do something with kids, but outside, because we find that kids are not outside enough,” said the show's line producer, Colette Mallais.
"Le 5e Element" also filmed shows in New Brunswick, Ottawa and Temiskaming, and will be shooting in Quebec in the fall. The show will air on the new Francophone channel, Unis, at noon Sept. 1, Mallais said.
Sidney Mantle, 11, a Grade 5 student at Hélène-Gravel, said the idea of appearing on a television show is exciting, although she was a bit nervous about the television shoot at first.
“It's pretty cool,” she said. “I get to do things I might not have done before. My mom said 'Oh, dear, maybe you'll become famous.'”
It's a great experience for the students, said Jo-Anne Dumont, a cultural consultant with the local French public board, Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l'Ontario.
“At first they're very shy in front of the camera, and then when the camera's right in front of your face for so many shots, by the end of the day they're not as shy,” she said.
“Some of them, they speak very softly, but then they have to learn to speak louder. It's kind of interesting to see them blossom, even in one day.”