News Local

Portals of power shot at Emerson crossing

Greg Vandermeulen

Portals of Power, a three part series profiling the movers and shakers of the Red River Valley is in production.

Richard Edwards, general manager of Bridges International Television Inc. was on site at the Emerson border crossing to shoot scenes for the special series.

The executive producer of the piece is Bill McCaughey, of Emerson.

Edwards said the show deals with issues surrounding crossing the border.

"If you're looking at traveling across the border it kind of demystifies the process," he said.

Another segment will revolve around the University of Manitoba's Asper School of Business.

"We'll look at some of the amazing kinds of entrepreneurship ideas," he said.

They will also talk about the mid continental trade corridor, a priority governments of several levels have made.

"It certainly has business people very excited about the future," he said.

Edwards said the idea first came about in 1993. Lots has changed since then, and he said that makes it even better.

"There's a lot of substance that makes this interesting," he said.

He admitted border issues might not sound all that captivating at first even to him.

"This is a lot more of an exciting topic than I first thought," he said.

The show also includes a little star power.

Jim Carr, president and CEO of the Business Council of Manitoba, is the host. He will be assisted by co-host Matt Olien of Prairie Public Television.

He was in Emerson braving a chilly wind and rain to record many of the shots that will be used in the final production.

He said it was worth taking time from his usual work to lend a hand to this project.

"I am delighted to be the host of this new exciting show on Prairie Public Television," he said. "Bringing trade, commerce and business news from both sides of the border, we will provide the prairie region with insights to current affairs and important information that affects our communities."

Carr said the issues touched on by the three part series, is of great interest to businesses he represents in his job.

"There's a vast amount of trade between Canada and the U.S.," he said. "Many Manitoba businesses depend on easy access to that market."

"Therefore a border that facilitates the movement of goods and people is essential to the economic wellbeing of Canadians and Americans."

In his role with the business council, Carr said they are in communication with those who make the laws.

"We encourage our leaders in their relationships with American decision makers to show the importance of this trade relationship," he said.

The show will be coming to television in the fall, and will also be made available to both sides of the border in a radio format as well.

Portals of Power episode one will preview in August. The series premiere will air in October/November 2009 and will repeat in January/February/March 2010 on Prairie Public Television, USA and Canada.

Portals of Power will also be marketed and made available to PBS stations in Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri.