90 minutes – TV Movie
Date of first broadcast: February 12, 2012
Production company: McMac Media Inc.
Originating network: CBC
Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is a collection of stories by Stephen Leacock, first published in 1912. Set in the fictional small Ontario town of Mariposa, the stories are based on Leacock`s experiences in Orillia, Ontario. The book was adapted into a CBC television series in 1952 becoming the first English series produced in Canada. Broadcast as Sunshine Sketches it costarred John Drainie as the Narrator, Paul Kligman as John Smith, Timothy Findley as Peter Pupkin, Eric House as Dean Drone, Peg Dixon as Liliane Drone and Robert Christie as Golgotha Gingham. This 2012 made-for-television movie was shot over 21 days from early September to early October, 2011 in a number of small towns in Ontario including Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Millbrook, Port Hope, Elora and the Heritage Village in Muskoka. Leacock was born in Swanmore, Hampshire, England in 1869 and is considered the father of Canadian comedy. He produced a humourous book every year from 1910 until his death in Toronto in 1944. The Leacock Medal for Humour was created in 1946 and the first recipient named in 1947. Writer and co-Executive Producer Malcolm MacRury is a Gemini Award winning writer and producer behind such programs as Republic of Doyle, Hemingway vs. Callaghan and Lives of the Saints. He became interested in Sunshine Sketches in the early 1980s while he was in Montreal and before he got into filmmaking. He tried in 1985 without success and again in late 2004 early 2005 but again wasn’t able to pull together all the diverse elements of a major production. With 2012 being the 100th anniversary of the book, and with CBC celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2011 he felt the timing was right. Made for an estimated 5.8-million dollars, in addition to the CBC, production partners included Movie Central as well as cable giants Rogers, Shaw and Cogeco.