Doug meets Polkaroo

Back in November I had the pleasure of attending the opening of TVO‘s (some may know it by its old name of TV Ontario) new state-of-the-art digital production facility. Honoured at the party was TVO’s founder, the Honourable William G. Davis. In fact the overhauled studio was named after him.

It was a great party and I got the full tour of their new capabilities. While it was definitely fun watching The Honourable Dalton McGuinty (Premier of Ontario) get grilled virtually by 10 year-old kids on on his environmental record, the highlight for me was definitely meeting an old childhood friend Polkaroo (pictured above).

The part that really interested me is how much the folks at TVO are embracing social media. Not only have they enlisted us at SMG to develop their social media strategy and we are already beginning to implement some projects, but the technology of the new studio itself speaks of their commitment. TVO is already doing some great work in integrated web and TV distribution, real-time interactivity with the audience and pushing the boundaries of the TV medium to be more accountable and inclusive with the audience.

I must admit the bulk of my experience with watching TVO was about 30 years ago watching episodes of Jeremy the Bear, Fables of the Green Forest and their killer Doctor Who marathons (and yes, I did donate). However, TVO has changed a lot over the years and has some really excellent kids content now that I am a parent and thought-provoking content relevant to me now. Thankfully I can still catch most of it online, since I now live in Alberta and don’t get the TVO broadcast signal.

TVO is in an excellent position to take advantage of future social media opportunities and we at SMG are proud to be working with them.


  1. I love Bill Davis – the Ontario Premier and MPP for Brampton was responsible for my hometown getting the highest number of hockey arenas, playgrounds and parks anywhere. Ah the Beautiful Bramalea of my youth.

    Congrats to TVO for honouring such a great guy (don’t burst my nostalgic bubble, anyone) and for moving into the social media age with such verve.

    I’ll be following online from my new hometown, Montreal.



  2. p.s. I notice TVO hasn’t claimed the .com and .ca domain names … might want to consider it while they’re still available.

  3. So, uh, Polkaroo will have a Twitter account soon, right? Please? 😉

  4. maggiefox Author

    I am incredibly jealous of that picture.

  5. Doug Walker

    @Colin: I don’t think Polkaroo can say anything, but the word “polkaroo”, so I guess that would certainly make Polkaroo a better twitterer than some of the ones I subscribe too… 😉

    @maggie you should be jealous. Sadly, getting pictures with #2 and #3 on my childhood hero list (Mr Dressup and Friendly Giant) are not possible as they are both up in the great Tickle Trunk in the sky…

  6. What a great photo, Doug! Looking forward to hearing more about SMG’s work with TVO. (Hint: If my daughter knew she could tweet directly to Peppa Pig, I’d have my laptop hijacked!)

  7. Who’s the guy in the douchebaggy-looking costume? I mean the one standing beside Polkaroo.

    Should be interesting work in an interesting time for public broadcasters. Without a commercial imperative, it’s been really interesting to see how CBC, NPR and now TVO are using social media to deliver on their public broadcasting mandates.

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