Islanders’ outdoor adventure TV series live next week

MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin-made outdoors show ‘Fuel the Fire TV’ featuring hosts Rob Seifried and Neil Debassige will be airing on Wild TV starting next Tuesday, June 28.

“Episode 1 of our 13 episode show (each 30 minutes in length) will be airing next Tuesday, June 28 at 3 pm (Eastern) on Wild TV, channel 389 on Bell,” Mr. Debassige told The Expositor. “Each episode will air four times a week, with episode 1 also airing at 5 am on Thursday (June 30), Saturday (July 2) at 7 am and Sunday (July 3) at 12:30 pm, our anchor spot.”

Mr. Debassige and Mr. Seifriend have been friends since high school, attending Manitoulin Secondary School together.

The dream of having their own outdoor television show became a reality two years ago after sending Wild TV a video clip of Fuel the Fire TV, leading to an offer from the Wild TV Network last year.

After signing a deal with the network, the pair took their pilot to sponsors, with several supporting the show, including Ramakko’s of Sudbury, Wikwemikong Tourism, The Great Spirit Circle Trail and North Meridian Enterprises.

The show’s main focus is showcasing Manitoulin and to help build the tourism market on the Island as an outdoor destination, Mr. Debassige explained.

Though most of the episodes are focused around hunting and fishing on Manitoulin and in Northern Ontario, the show also includes footage from northern Quebec, southern Ontario and Florida.

“They have started playing the promo on Wild TV,” said Mr. Debassige. “I knew it was playing, but didn’t see it for the first time until last night during Father’s Day dinner with my family. It was pretty neat seeing it on TV.”

“The first episode is called ‘Chasing the Dream’ and introduces a couple of segments such as ‘learning curve tips’,” Mr. Debassige continued. “Rob and his wife Tanya and son Landon go on a fishing trip to a Quebec outfitter and in the second part, I go on a deep sea fishing trip in Florida with my wife Dianne and daughters Darcy and Aspen, as well, it highlights a trip my wife and I take to Cape Croker to go turkey hunting.”

Episode two is themed ‘Success by Design’ and focuses on deer hunting, both archery and bow. Episode 3 highlights salmon fishing on Manitoulin, while episode 4 is called ‘Fish and Fowl.’

Episode 5 is on moose hunting and episode 6 is focused on turkey hunting.

“Episode 7 is on white tail deer hunting and themed ‘deserving’,” said Mr. Debassige. “We talk about how hunters often feel that they are deserving of a big buck, but in truth what is deserving is the respect we should be giving to the outdoors and the animals.”

In episode 8, ‘New Friendships,’ Mr. Debassige and Mr. Seifried travel to Quebec on a hunting and fishing trip, while episode 9, Like Father, Like Son, is on deer hunting.

Episode 10 is an ice fishing episode, episode 11 is on moose hunting, episode 12, bear hunting and episode 13 is a review/highlight of the season.

“It has been a ton of work,” said Mr. Debassige of making the show. “We knew it would be a lot, but it has been more than we expected with full time jobs—a lot of evenings and weekends. It’s taken us about 30 hours of editing per episode, and that doesn’t include filming.”

“Nano Debassige and Weengushk (Film Institute) have been big helps with post editing,” Mr. Debassige said, “and Patrick Kiley with social media and IT, as well as Evan Farquhar.”

The Fuel the Fire TV hosts also worked hard at including their families and highlighting conservation efforts from the Little Current and District Fish and Game Club, Gore Bay Fish and Game Club and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.

For more information about Fuel the Fire TV visit www.fuelthefiretv.ca or tune in to Wild TV next Tuesday, June 28 at 3 pm.