Tuesday, 09 February 2016 10:28

Toronto's First Family of Theatre

Premieres on WNED-TV on March 4 at 8:00 p.m.

(Repeats on March 13 at 11:30 p.m., March 15 at 12:00 a.m., and March 26 at 11:00 p.m.)

WNED-TV examines Toronto’s vibrant theatre community in the documentary, “Toronto’s First Family of Theatre.” The city is a world class theatre destination and much of its success over the last 50 years can be owed to the Mirvish family.

In the early 1960s successful Toronto business owner Ed Mirvish purchased the aging Royal Alexandra Theatre, one of the most revered theatre houses in North America. Few expected the theatre novice to make a success of the Royal Alex. Without the natural business instincts of Ed Mirvish, the theatre empire which resulted would not have been possible.

In 1948 Ed Mirvish opened Honest Ed’s, a retail store unlike anything that had been seen before. It quickly became a success with its no-frills style, bright lights, colorful signs, and a wide variety of clothes and household goods for sale at bargain prices.

Honest Ed’s grew to take over a full city block at Bloor and Bathurst in Toronto. It attracted waves of new arrivals to Canada and serviced the post war boom as the people of Toronto furnished their households. The success of Honest Ed’s provided the financial security to move into new business ventures. With his wife’s encouragement, Ed took a chance on the Royal Alex.

Ed was not prepared for the attention brought on by the purchase of the Royal Alexandra. “The North American media attention I got dwarfed any publicity I’d ever received as a storekeeper,” he wrote. “I knew nothing about theatre. But I thought it was a bargain, so I bought it. And suddenly I was a patron of the arts.”

As the Royal Alex prospered it became a family operation. Ed’s son, David, began working with his father to build the theatre business. David was an established art collector and ran the David Mirvish Gallery in Toronto. The father and son team worked quickly in making financial and artistic decisions. “We have our board meetings when we walk together,” David recalled.

In 1987, David created Mirvish Productions to accommodate more elaborate productions. Within a few years the Mirvish family built the state-of-the-art Princess of Wales Theatre, further elevating Toronto’s place in the theatre world. Its premiere production of Miss Saigon took theatre to a new level in the city.

When Ed passed away in 2007 at age 92, he was remembered as the man who helped create the most successful theatrical company in Canada as well as being a true man of the people. Theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh said of Ed, “He ran an extraordinary empire as if it was a corner store. He will be hugely missed and never forgotten.”



In 2012, David Mirvish announced plans to redefine the Toronto theatre district. Working with internationally known architect Frank Gehry, David is building a multi-use project to expand and revitalize the Toronto neighborhood that is home to the Mirvish theatre empire. The ambitious plan is emblematic of a family who continues to look to the future and how to take Toronto in new directions.




Toronto’s First Family of Theatre is made possible by

the Central Canadian Public Television Association and the members of WNED-TV.  Thank you.




Published in Regional Productions

Premieres on WNED-TV on March 9 at 8:00 p.m.

(Repeats March 18 at 11:30 p.m., March 19 at 9:30 a.m., and March 26 at 4:30 p.m.)

Ah, Spring! The most anticipated season in Western New York and Southern Ontario. After our long winters, we look forward to the warmth of the sun, and clear days. We shed our layers; feel active, and light hearted. With Spring comes revival, rejuvenation, romanticism, growth, hope, beauty, color and a new pledge program on gardening from WNED-TV.

Gardening, this most ancient of hobbies is incredibly popular across Western New York and Southern Ontario —from the smallest spaces to expansive backyard escapes. By the time summer officially arrives there will be glorious gardens in full bloom—urban gardens, flower beds, vegetable gardens, balcony gardens— it’s all a labor of love. Gardeners certainly face some challenges in our region where the growing season last only 6-7 months. Plant hardiness zones in our area range from zone 4-6b with microclimates created by the proximity of the lakes, location on the Niagara Escarpment or by the protection brought about by a densely built urban block.

Traditionally gardening skills were passed down from one generation to the next. Today that chain of knowledge has been broken and some skills have been lost over time. Without that garden wisdom the grass may indeed always look greener, and the gardens more spectacular on the other side of the fence. Garden Wisdom for Western New York & Southern Ontario will blend the art and science of gardening and help viewers rediscover simple, green, sustainable tips and techniques from growing their own organic vegetables and creating compost, to adding low maintenance pollinator-friendly native plants to ornamental beds. Experts will not only share the how-to, but help viewers understand the why-to. There is no such thing as a black thumb-everyone can grow a garden with the proper knowledge.

Hosted by Susan Hunt and geared toward the specific needs of gardeners in Western New York and Southern Ontario, this program will offer secrets to planning, cultivating and nurturing your own great gardens and landscapes using time-proven solutions and sustainable practices as well as tips and shortcuts for gardeners of all levels of experience that will save time, money and resources.

The production approach of the program will focus on practical, useful information that viewers can easily put to use. It is about getting our hands into the dirt and demonstrating time-tested gardening techniques. Gardening experts from Western New York and Southern Ontario will have you cultivating your own great garden in no time.  


 On Garden Wisdom for Western New York & Southern Ontario, you will see:




with expert David Clark (Hamburg, NY)

Learn how to create fertile nutrient-rich soil from the compacted clay that is found in most yards in our region.





with expert Charlie Dobbin (Richmond Hill, ON)

Everyone knows that plants need water, but understanding how to water will give you better results and save time and water too.





with expert Tara Nolan (Dundas, ON)

A properly planned and planted organic garden will naturally resist disease, deter pests and be healthy and hardy.





with expert David Clark (Hamburg, NY)

Learn the three keys to creating a beautiful organic lawn that will be the envy of the neighborhood.





with experts Ken Parker (Irving, NY) and Lyn Chimera (East Aurora, NY)

If you’re looking for beautiful, hardy and low-maintenance plants for your garden, look no further than pollinator-friendly native plants.





with expert Charlie Dobbin (Richmond Hill, ON)

Everybody loves the beauty of an ornamental garden, but creating and maintaining an ornamental garden can take a lot of work--but it doesn’t have to.



Funding for Garden Wisdom for Western New York & Southern Ontario is provided by

HSBC Bank USA and the members of WNED-TV.


Published in Regional Productions
Monday, 28 September 2015 16:40

Focus on Education

There is perhaps no issue more important to the future of Buffalo and Western New York than education.

WNED|WBFO’s Focus on Education initiative is a reporting and outreach project that examines the many challenges facing schools today. From the poor graduation rate in Buffalo to the controversy over Common Core Learning Standards, our comprehensive coverage informs and engages the community as it looks for solutions for students.

WBFO’s newsroom has produced hundreds of stories featuring a cross-section of topics and diversity in education in the Western New York community. Recognized by community stakeholders, WBFO’s Focus on Education has been a participant in educational panels and events to inform the public about what students need to graduate.

We also examine the many efforts underway to improve education in Buffalo and Western New York, including programs such as Promise Neighborhood and Say Yes to Education.

This exciting initiative is funded by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and is part of American Graduate – Let’s Make It Happen! – a public media initiative to address the dropout crisis.

Published in Programming Highlights

“The Klondike Gold Rush” to air Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. EST on PBS

WNED-TV Buffalo-Toronto presents a new historical documentary, “The Klondike Gold Rush coming to PBS Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. EST (check local listings). The film explores the history, hope and hardship in search of fortune in Canada’s Yukon Territory.

Published in Individual Shows
Monday, 24 November 2014 08:37

Target Prevention

Watch Target Prevention now


Western New York’s statistics for health and wellness tell a troubling story. Ours is a community in which many individuals and families struggle with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. What makes this issue even more troubling is that even with the wealth of health information and services available – many do not ask the vital questions or get the critical preventive medical services.

Health researchers identify many screening and maintenance procedures that can be used to prevent future health challenges. These range from cholesterol screenings, routine lab work for annual physical exams to specific cancer screenings. There is also a tendency to overlook the role that lifestyle plays in our overall health. We are all dealt a genetic hand of cards, a predisposition to certain diseases we cannot control. For most people, health behaviors trump inherited risk—70-80% of disease is determined by lifestyle.

We each hold a lot of power when it comes to our health. We have the unique opportunity to prevent, stall or lessen the impact of many diseases. Target Prevention, a WNED-TV original production, will show you the most effective things you can do to take control of your health.

Host Susan Hunt is joined by Dr. Fuad Sheriff of Amherst Medical Associates and Dr. Joseph Corigliano from Buffalo Medical Group to discuss the significant role individuals play in their health and wellness. Personal stories featuring individuals and health professionals are woven throughout the program to emphasize the major themes.

Research demonstrates the positive impact of exercise and good nutrition. Small choices we make everyday really do impact our health. We also need to make certain that we take advantage of screening tests that lead to early detection, better treatment and even prevention. Our “targets” with this program are cardiovascular disease and cancer focusing on high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer.


From the program:


Funding for  provided by


Published in Individual Shows
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