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Insight Production Company Ltd.

Insight Productions has ensured that representative work from nearly 40 years of Canadian popular culture is available for current and future researchers through a donation of valuable archival material to University of Toronto Libraries.

Insight Production Company Ltd. is an independent, Toronto-based company that gained international recognition in the 1970s. Led by John Brunton and Barbara Bowlby (DPOT 1969), Insight has become one of Canada’s most influential television production companies, creating award-winning programming across genres that include documentary, drama, sports, variety, comedy, music and reality television.

Among its many popular and critical successes, Insight has produced The Amazing Race Canada, The JUNO Awards, Big Brother Canada and The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration, as well as award-winning programs for young people, including The Truth About Alex and the dramatic series Ready or Not and Falcon Beach.

In 2006, Insight Productions made a gift-in-kind donation of archival material to University of Toronto Libraries. The donation comprises 42 linear metres of text, 84,664 photographs, 147 posters and storyboards, 4,552 audio recordings, 20,474 video recordings, 1,931 cinefilms in 8mm, 16mm and 35mm formats, 283 digital recordings, and 18 artifacts from various productions, all of which were created by Insight Productions between 1970 and 2007. The University is safeguarding this rich archive of popular media at the U of T Libraries Media Commons, where archivists with the appropriate expertise are working to preserve and organize the material.

Insight Productions’ far-sighted donation will allow future generations of students and researchers to consult these archives, so that they can better understand Canada’s domestic television industry and gain insight into Canadian popular culture in the 20th century.