I grew up watching TVOntario, which hosted so many great shows in my youth – Polka Dot Door, The Elephant Show, The Edison Twins, to name a few. Admittedly, I never really grew out of watching children’s programming, and with a 2 year old son now, I now get to share this pleasure of quality public programming with another generation.
So when I was invited to be a guest on TVO Kids after school block, The Space, for Wednesday, August 26th, it truly was a dream come true!
I have done many media spots before, but this was really the first time that I got to do a tv program entirely dedicated and targeted to kids. It was great to be able to go onto the set and just be a big kid, and talk solely about my love of building, and to share that with kids across Ontario.
I brought many creations with me, each with a different theme and purpose, but we only had the time to feature a few of them. The fire-breathing chicken I built as a symbol of my own childhood, the sort of surreal and silly creation that my friends and I would concoct and laugh about – I built it thinking that 8 year old Graeme would have loved to see it on TV.
The penguin ice mining creation was one that I collaborated with some of my friends on, which I thought was a good symbol of teamwork and cooperation. So much of my youth was spent playing LEGO with my friends, and learning how to share limited resources and build narratives together.
I brought a DUPLO house my son built, because I wanted to show that building and creativity can start at any age, and all creations are worthy of sharing. In fact, when I came home, my wife showed me a video of my son watching me with his DUPLO house on TV, exclaiming “Wait a minute! I built that house!” He was so proud that his creation was on TV.
My son was lucky to have his creation featured, and I know that has inspired him. I also know that there are many millions more children across Ontario who are amazing builders, and I hope that I was able to inspire them too.
What I’ll take away from this experience most of all, however, is the reflection I had afterwards – that through all the years since my childhood, TVO has been able to consistently offer quality programming that can be accessed by everyone in Ontario. TVO has been helping to educate and shape young minds for decades, and it is an invaluable service provided by public television. I hope that it continues to do so for years to come, and it is something that should not be taken for granted.
Below are the four video segments I filmed for the show, posted with permission from TVO. Enjoy!