Aarrow Productions, Inc. is a 100% Aboriginal-owned communications company that was established in 1999. In 2002, the company entered the television and video production field, and since then has grown into one of Canada’s leading Aboriginal-owned production companies. The Victoria-based company specializes in Indigenous documentaries and television series. The company has produced close to 150 television episodes and three one-hour documentaries including:
• 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus: (8 X one hour) – Produced with Animiki See Digital Production Inc. (Winnipeg), this docu-drama series explores the history of the Americas from an Indigenous perspective over a 20,000 year timeline. The series is broadcast on APTN, ZDF (Germany) and NITV (Australia).
• Truth Dance & Reconciliation: (one-hour documentary) – This documentary follows the making of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s “Going Home Star” ballet about Indian Residential Schools. The documentary was commissioned by APTN and CBC.
• Down2Earth: (26 X half hour) – Aboriginal environmental documentary series (26 X 30) that is broadcast on APTN (Canada) and SBS (Australia). The series won an Environmental Media Award for Best Environmental Documentary Series in Canada in 2011.
• The New Canoe: (91 X 30 minutes) Aboriginal arts and culture series focusing on BC, Canadian and international artists, writers, performers and cultural tourism operators. Broadcast on CHUM, Bravo, CTV’s A channels and APTN.
• From Bella Coola to Berlin: one-hour historical documentary about nine First Nations men from Canada who took part in the German volkerschau, or human zoos, of the 19th century. This documentary aired on CHUM’s A-Channels, Bravo!, Knowledge and Discovery Germany. The documentary was translated into Nuxalk with support from Telefilm and the Canadian Television Fund’s Aboriginal Language Program.
• Sounds Like Motown: one-hour documentary on the relationship between Motown superstar Martha Reeves and a Canadian high school R&B Band. The documentary is licensed to Bravo, APTN and SCN. The feature version, Motown High, opened the 2008 Victoria Film Festival and won the Best Family Feature at the 2008 Garden State Film Festival.
Aarrow Productions also produces educational videos for non-profit organizations and government agencies. Recent productions include Journey of Discovery (3 X 30 minutes) Indigenous cultural safety videos for Vancouver Island Health Authority; Healthy Elders: Wisdom of Healthy Living (30 minutes) for the BC Aboriginal Network on Disabilities; Moving Forward (12 minutes) for the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs; and Wired for Fitness (30 minutes) for the Ministry of Healthy Livings and Sport.
Training / Mentoring
Aarrow Productions provides training opportunities for Aboriginal individuals interested in pursing careers in camera, editing, directing and on-camera performance.
Aarrow supports the professional development of Aboriginal youth who have completed training in film studies. Aarrow Productions hired four Capilano University film students for a three-month training program on Down2Earth (Season 2).
Producer Barbara Hager has mentored nine Indigenous Telus Storyhive teams in the 100K, Indigenous and Webseries Editions (2018-2020).