Cardinal lead actor, Billy Campbell, left, Tom Hastings and lead actress, Karine Vanasse at the 7th annual Canadian Screen Awards held on March 31, 2019, to honour achievements in Canadian film, television, and digital media production in 2018. Photo courtesy of Tom Hastings.

Award-winning Canadian television series has ties to 100 Mile House

“There is a lot of pressure to find the next big thing and make it work,” said 100 Mile Native, Tom Hastings, who now lives in Toronto and works in the television industry.

Hastings is the director of drama in Bell Media’s Independent Production Unit. The Canadian crime drama television series, Cardinal, just won Best Limited at the Canadian Screen Awards last week.

Cardinal is one of the series Hastings oversees.

The series first broadcasted on Jan. 25, 2017. The show was adapted from the novels of crime writer Giles Blunt – focusing on detective John Cardinal, played by Billy Campbell and Cardinal’s partner Lise Delorme, played by Karine Vanasse. The two investigate crimes in the fictional city of Algonquin Bay.

“We were thinking if anybody owns the North, it’s us. Let’s find a show that we can celebrate Canada [with], its landscapes and its people,” he said. “The show has been very successful. At the (2019) Canadian Screen Awards, the show won Best Limited, Best Actor and Actress, Director. It is airing in 103 countries around the world.”

“We are beyond thrilled,” he added.

The show is in its fourth season and has been filmed in locations around Ontario such as Sudbury, North Bay and Toronto. Hastings oversees most of the original Canadian drama programs for Bell Media’s channels such as CTV, Bravo, Space and Crave. Other series he’s known for include Killjoys, Orphan Black, Motive and Being Erica.

“A big part of my job is to be out there on the hunt. Looking for new shows, meeting with producers and writers,” he said. “I am out there signalling to the creative community what it is we are specifically looking for.”

Hastings was born and raised in 100 Mile House. When he was in Grade 12 at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School, the idea of a career in television was nonexistent.

Almost immediately after graduating, he left 100 Mile and moved to Vancouver – earning his master’s degree in English at the University of British Columbia.

“I started teaching at UBC during my graduate year, I was only 21 at the time,” he said.

After a few years of teaching in Vancouver, Hastings moved to Toronto to obtain a PhD in English Literature at York University.

“I wrote my dissertation on Canadian fiction of the first World War, which kind of turned me into an expert on Canada’s role in WWI,” he said. “I had some friends who were filmmakers in Toronto, I began doing research for a production company on a documentary about WWI – that was my introduction to television.”

That introduction led him to other jobs in the industry, including National Geographic, CBC and more. Though Hastings earned his doctorate he never ended up pursuing a career in the educational field.

“I didn’t end up doing what I wanted to do. I knew nothing about television, but I knew I had to work hard,” he said. “I think coming from my mom and being raised in a small town like 100 Mile, helped shape me that way.”

Hasting’s mother, Darlene Hastings and step-father, Al Smith still live in the Cariboo, meaning he is no stranger to 100 Mile House – often visiting once a year during the summer months.


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Canim Lake Band native discovers passion for pow wow regalia

‘It’s a spiritual gift and every child should have the opportunity to dance’

Easter Egg Hunt returns to 100 Mile House

The 100 Mile Free Press and Canlan Sports team up for chocolate egg hunt

Historic building in Alexis Creek destroyed by fire overnight

“If it hadn’t been a heavy rain last night we could have lost many houses in the area”

Mile 108 Elementary myth busters take home awards at Cariboo Mainline Regional Science Fair

Kaitlyn Piccolo won awards for her project, which tested how music affects the plant growing process

Annual Festival of the Arts wraps up with showcase evening

Students performed award-winning instrumental and piano compositions, songs, and poetry

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Most Read