We’re certainly living in uncertain times, as times are a changing. Look no further than south of the border to see a western culture that’s at it’s brink and not going to take it anymore. It’s eerily reminiscent of the 1960s race riots for social justice, and the LGBT riots for equal rights that ignited during that same decade. We also must not forget the fight for recognition by our indigenous population that has been going on for years, decades, and centuries. So while June is known to many as Pride month, going forward all humans should unite under the umbrella of Human Rights. Let’s officially start a movement to proclaim June as Human Rights Month, a time for all to expose the many injustices and atrocities that still exist globally today in 2020.

CBC (Canada Broadcasting Corporation) is celebrating Pride and National Indigenous History Months with a broadcast and streaming lineup of new original series, special programming, and Canadian film debuts, showcasing stories, perspectives and voices from across the LGBTQ2+ and Indigenous communities. This storytelling complements an extensive range of content across the national public broadcaster’s platforms throughout the month of June, including CBC Arts, CBC Books, CBC Docs, CBC Kids, CBC Music, CBC Podcasts and CBC Sports.

Enjoy with Pride for all humans. Keep the fight alive!

Highlights from CBC’s Pride Month broadcast and streaming programming include the following
(listed in chronological order by date):

  • Exclusive Canadian Premiere of TAKE MY WIFE (Comedy, Seasons 1 and 2, 12×30, Young and Sharp Productions, Comedy Bang! Bang! Productions)
    Called “warm and funny” by Vox and “sweet, funny and politically sharp” by Vanity Fair, TAKE MY WIFE follows a young lesbian couple (real-life partners and series creators/showrunners Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher) as elements of their domestic life intersect with the underground standup showcase they co-host. 

Season 1 begins streaming Friday, June 5, Season 2 begins streaming Friday, June 26 on CBC Gem

  • World Premiere of MERB’YS (CBC Short Doc, 1×20, directed by Jamie Miller)
    MERB’YS follows the creation of the 3rd annual Merb’ys photography project – a cultural phenomenon in Newfoundland featuring male people of varying bodies, sexualities, age, race, abilities and gender identities, all in custom sparkly mermaid outfits against the glorious rocky landscape, and in the name of charity and breaking down barriers.

Begins streaming Friday, June 12 on CBC Gem

  • World Premiere of QUEENS (CBC Gem Original Series – Comedy/Mystery, 6×10, Harlow Creative)
    QUEENS is a look into the drag scene through the eyes of an eclectic cast of Toronto drag queens, building up to the manic night of the “Miss Church Street Pageant.” After the sacred Miss Church Street crown goes missing, each queen has their preparation for the pageant interrupted in a strange and unfortunate way. QUEENS is produced by Harlow Creative, created by Justin Gray, with executive producer Caitlin Brown and directed by Pat Mills. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual and Sports; Gave Lindo is Executive Director, OTT Programming; and Paige Murray, Mélanie Lê Phan and Zach Feldberg are Executives in Charge of Production, Digital Originals.

Begins streaming Friday, June 19 on CBC Gem


To celebrate the launch of QUEENS, Pride Toronto has added the premiere to their virtual Pride Month ‘Feature Friday’ screenings lineup. The cast of QUEENS will take part in a Q&A panel to discuss the making of the show and all things Pride before and after the virtual  screening.

Streaming live on CBC Gem Friday, June 19 at 9pm ET, with an intro panel at 8:30pm and Q&A session at 10pm ET via PrideToronto.com

  • SEAHORSE (Documentary, 1×90, directed by Jeanie Finlay)
    ★★★★ ”A tender – and rather wonderful – documentary about love, family, raging hormones and the complexities of identity.” — The Guardian

One trans man’s quest to start his own family. As a gay transgender man, deciding to carry his own baby took Freddy years of soul searching, but nothing could prepare him for the reality of pregnancy.

Begins streaming Friday, June 19 on CBC Gem

  • Canadian Premiere of STANDING ON THE LINE (Documentary, 1×80, directed by Paul Émile d’Entremont)
    In both amateur and professional sports, being gay remains taboo. For some athletes, the pressure to perform is compounded by the further strain of deciding whether or not to come out of the closet. They set out to overcome prejudice in the hopes of changing things for the athletes of tomorrow. The documentary features candid interviews with Canadian LGBTQ2+ athletes, including Olympic speed skater and host of CBC Sports’ signature podcast Player’s Own Voice, Anastasia Bucsis.
    Begins streaming Friday, June 19 on CBC Gem


Hosted live by comedian Elvira Kurt, the cabaret event from Buddies in Bad Times Theatre will feature performances by Teiya Kasahara, Alexis O’Hara, Ivan Coyote, Les Femmes Fatales, and more.

Streaming live on Saturday, June 20 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on CBC Gem

  • CBC Premiere of GIANT LITTLE ONES (Drama, 1×90, directed by Keith Behrman) 

Franky Winter (Josh Wiggins, Light from Light) and Ballas Kohl (Darren Mann, Fortunate Son) have been best friends since childhood. They are high school royalty: handsome, stars of the swim team and popular with girls. They live a perfect teenage life – until the night of Franky’s epic 17th birthday party, when Franky and Ballas are involved in an unexpected incident that changes their lives forever.

Broadcast and streaming on Saturday, June 20 at 9 p.m. (10 AT, 10:30 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem


The 19th annual WE’RE FUNNY THAT WAY festival with host Maggie Cassella is adapted into a virtual special due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The one-hour event celebrating the LGBTQ2+ community includes a lineup of comedy and music from Martha Chaves, Gavin Crawford, Lea DeLaria, Andrea Martin, Deb McGrath, Colin Mochrie, Katie Rigg, Carolyn Taylor, Shawnee, Karen Williams and more.    
Begins streaming Friday, June 26 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBC Gem


  • Additional programming across CBC platforms includes: CBC Podcasts’ special episodes of CHOSEN FAMILY: PRIDE AT HOME (June 15) and INAPPROPRIATE QUESTIONS: HOW DID YOU GET PREGNANT? (June 16), available on CBC Listen and everywhere podcasts are available; CBC Music’s PRIDE PLAYLIST featuring classic hits and new tracks by some of the best-loved LGBTQ2+ artists from around the world, available now on CBC Listen; and CBC Sports’ weekly digital series REWIND WEDNESDAY checks in with Dr. Veronica Ivy (formerly known as Dr. Rachel McKinnon, until changing her name in December of 2019) about the issues surrounding transgender athletes and inclusion in sport. 

Highlights from CBC’s National Indigenous History Month broadcast and streaming programming include:

  • FUTURE HISTORY (Documentary, 13×30, Redcloud Studios) 

In this Canadian Screen Award-winning documentary series, Kris Narghang, an archeologist who is reclaiming his Indigenous identity, and Sarain Fox, an Indigenous activist and artist, partner to explore their own identity biases and beliefs.They journey into the Indigenous community and meet innovators who are harnessing Indigenous Knowledge as a way to rewrite history and transform the future.

Season 2 begins streaming Thursday, June 11

  • SPIRIT TO SOAR [Amimiiki Wijiw] (Documentary, 1×60, directed by Michelle Derosier) 

Inspired by Tanya Talaga’s award-winning book Seven Fallen Feathers, director Michelle Derosier will track the journey of three First Nations students for one school year attending Thunder Bay’s Dennis Franklin Cromarty high school.

Begins streaming Friday, June 12

  • MOHAWK GIRLS (Dramatic Comedy, 7×30, Rezolution Pictures International)

What does it mean to be a modern day Mohawk woman? MOHAWK GIRLS is a half-hour dramatic comedy about four young women trying to figure out the answer. But with their parents, friends, community, and even their garbage man having an opinion, it’s an impossible task.

Season 1 airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC beginning June 16; available now to stream on CBC Gem

  • KUESSIPAN (Drama, 1×117, directed by Myriam Verreault)

Two childhood friends from the same Quebec Innu community begin to realize that they face very different futures, in Myriam Verreault’s bittersweet adaptation of Naomi Fontaine’s acclaimed novel about the ties that bind people, places, and possibilities.

Begins streaming Friday, June 19 on CBC Gem 

  • The 27th Annual INDSPIRE AWARDS

The 2020 Indspire Awards honour First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals from across the

country who have made significant contributions to Indigenous education, art, culture, business, health, law, sports and public service in Canada. Taped in front of 2000 guests in Ottawa’s National Arts Centre this March and hosted by Tiffany Ayalik and Craig Lauzon, the show explores the uniqueness of Indigenous people, nations, and communities while also celebrating shared wisdom, lived experiences and connection to the natural world. Musical performances by Adrian Sutherland & Midnight Shine, Genevieve Fisher, Tom Wilson, iskwē, Chuck Copenace and Leela Gilday.

Broadcast and streaming Sunday, June 21 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One and the CBC Listen app

  • OshKiKiShiKaw: A NEW DAY (CBC Short Doc, 1×25, directed by Jules Koostachin)

Twelve-year-old twins cut their hair for the very first time in a Cree coming-of-age ceremony.

Jules Koostachin – the twins’ mother and the film’s director – learned of a sacred coming-of-age ceremony when she was in her early 20s: an Elder told her that when boys hit puberty, a ceremony around the cutting of hair is a right of passage that supports and uplifts youth as they transition into the next phase of their lives.

Broadcast Sunday, June 21 at 9:30 p.m. (10 NT) on CBC and available now on CBC Gem

  • Canadian Streaming Premiere of THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN (Drama, 1×105, directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn) 

In this Canadian Screen Award-winning drama, two Indigenous women from vastly different backgrounds find their worlds colliding as one of them, Rosie, is fleeing a violent domestic attack. What begins as an urgent and terrifying escape, tentatively expands as the women weave a fragile bond in their short time together while navigating the complexities of motherhood and the ongoing legacy of colonialism. THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN also received the 2019 Best Canadian Film Award from the Toronto Film Critics Association. 

Begins streaming Friday, June 26 on CBC Gem

  • KaYaMenTa: SHARING TRUTHS ABOUT MENOPAUSE (CBC Short Doc, directed by Jules Koostachin)  

A raw, funny, and intimate documentary that weaves together personal stories of Indigenous aunties, as we delve into the mysteries of menopause. Featuring educator and filmmaker Doreen Manuel, actor Michelle Thrush, actor Rena Owen, director and actor Renae Morrisseau, comedian Sharon Shorty and filmmaker Jules Koostachin.

Begins streaming Friday, June 26 on CBC Gem

  • CBC Premiere of THE GRIZZLIES (Drama, 1×104, directed by Miranda de Pencier)

THE GRIZZLIES is based on the inspiring true story of a group of Inuit students in a small Arctic town suffering from one of the highest teen suicide rates in the world. The classmates are initially resistant when the naive and culturally ignorant white teacher from the south introduces them to lacrosse—but gradually, as they begin to connect with each other as teammates, the students find inspiration to make profound shifts in their lives. Together as “The Grizzlies,” the players learn to lead each other, gain the support of a deeply divided town, and look to compete in the National Lacrosse Championships.

Broadcast and streaming on Saturday, June 27 at 10 p.m. ET and PT/ 11 AT and MT/ 11:30 NT/ 9 p.m. CT on CBC and CBC Gem


About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.