A former Transcona resident could soon be honoured for some of his accomplishments in the wilderness.
Bradford How, who grew up in Transcona but now lives in New York, was recently nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Host in a Pre-School, Children’s or Youth Program or Series for his work for Disney XD program The Grizzly Cup. This is his first nomination. The awards will be handed out as part of a live broadcast gala on March 9.
The show featured three pairs of best friends competing to become the best camper in the nation. The show, which was broadcast as two half-hour episodes in August, was shot in Ontario’s Muskoka region. How, who co-hosted with Disney XD personality Kelli Berglund, also played his grandfather — a legendary camper named Tommy How — in vignettes to give young viewers a sense of each challenge.
In a phone interview on Jan. 24, How said he jumped at the opportunity to get involved with the project, as his family often went camping in the summers in the Whiteshell and Lake of the Woods. There were some close brushes with nature during some of those trips, he recalled, telling the story of how a bear gained access to his family’s add-a-room (screened-in porch) attached to their trailer.
"We were asleep one night, and we heard this noise outside. There was this bear that, using its claw, had swiped an opening in the screen," he recalled. "It started to bat around our garbage can. Our garbage can had clasps on it, and it had, I think, one banana peel."
How said there was another bear in the area, so when the first bear gave up trying to open the trash bin, it swiped another hole in the screen and left through the other side.
In addition to having a camping background, How explained his work on the show came fairly naturally, as plenty of his previous work had been directed at a young audience. How first shot to fame after winning MuchMusic’s VJ Search in 2000, working at the station for about four years before moving to VH1 in the United States. He also hosted the game show Bet The House on Nickelodeon.
He hopes the show had a positive effect on children and their families.
"There are so many opportunities right across the country to go camping in all seasons," he said. "It encourages kids to be active and also to enjoy the outdoors, and I think that’s a great thing, especially in Canada."
How said there are talks to do another round of the show this summer, and he is auditioning for parts in American and Canadian television shows as pilot season is approaching. He has also done commercial work for major companies such as Geico, Toys "R" Us, ESPN, and Samsung.