Fenelon Falls ‘Still Standing’ as popular CBC show sets up in village

By Geoff Coleman

Show star Jonny Harris seen in downtown Fenelon Falls on Monday outside the Butterfly Boutique. Photo: Geoff Coleman.

Fenelon Falls ticked all the right boxes for CBC’s long-running “Still Standing” television show to film an episode in the village this week. 

Entering its seventh season, the show is part human interest, part travelogue, part standup routine, wherein comedian Jonny Harris visits small-town Canada to shine a light on the attractions and characters he encounters. 

Executive Producer, Anne Francis, who calls it a “love letter to Canada” says the village was chosen for a number of reasons. 

“Fenelon Falls had been on our radar for a long time. This year, with various restrictions that arose from the pandemic, we did more Ontario-based shows than usual. Plus, Jonny Harris likes the area, he spends recreational time here, and has done a public service announcement for a local ATV club.” 

With countless potential small towns to profile, “Still Standing” tries to highlight towns that are undergoing a struggle or a change. She saw the emergence of Fenelon Falls as a tourism destination as being noteworthy, and the village also ticked boxes relating to scheduling, logistics, and population. 

“We want to be able to air a show that residents, when they watch it, actually recognize by name the people we profile,” said Francis, who herself has a modest Sturgeon Point cottage. 

She has high praise for Harris – who also stars on “Murdoch Mysteries” – and the entire crew, most of which have stayed with the show since its inception. The crew starts working on each episode months in advance. The producers weed out a laundry list of potential destinations, and once the initial cuts are made, a researcher creates a package of information about the chosen towns. If it still has potential, a story producer takes over the file, and does further research, writing another package with specific details about potential interviewees, and points of interest. This package is then pitched to Jonny Harris and his writing team for final approval. 

Filming occurs typically over five days, and only three are spent interviewing locals. This leaves three nights and part of a fourth day for Harris and comedians Fraser Young, Steve Dylan, and Graham Schittenden to create, refine, and then memorize, the material for a live comedy show that is filmed locally for inclusion in the TV show, a task Francis describes as “Herculean.” 

The episode is scheduled to be aired in the spring of 2022.

1 Comment

  1. Jim Herrington says:

    I missed the show on Fenelon will there be a rerun or can I find it on line? Thanks

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