What’s the The Big Woof?

Canine Culture stands alone for its singular and passionate focus on dogs. No doggie bone will be left unturned, as we look deep inside the issues pertaining to health, lifestyle, business and entertainment. Canine Culture’s mandate is to be the authority on all these disciplines. If it barks, we’ll print it, and we’ll air it. We’ll be dog-on it!

Canine Culture is also a TV show. Outside-the-box of traditional TV formats, the series offers the viewer a virtually limitless roam through territories of facts, news, tidbits, and humour, in a creative context. From the serious to the frivolous, it will shed light on an endless amount of canine topics, such as the pit-bull laws;the latest in homemade doggy snacks; visiting “the dog” from classic literature and pop culture; evaluating the scientific interpretations of canine-human relationships; to dramatized vignettes of human interaction in “dog parks.“

It is the sum of all things canine–the places, the subject matter and the lifestyles that embody our complex relationship with dogs.

Meet our creative team:

BIANCA KAPTEYN

Creator/Producer

Producing a television series that focuses on the complex relationship between humans and canines is a natural progression in the dog-loving life of Bianca Kapteyn. Her journey has taken her from the dogs of New York jazz legends to the canine-friendly streets of Toronto.

The Canadian-born Kapteyn grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where fate delivered Judy, her first adopted dog, sealed in a box and abandoned in a trashcan. This rescue effort was followed by another. She found her second adoptee, Lassie, in Coney Island, cowering in an alley between an amusement arcade and a subway entrance. And when the late, legendary jazz composer and bassist Charles Mingus took ill, Bianca’s father, jazz arranger and tenor sax player Paul Jeffrey adopted Brunhelda, Mingus’s German Sheppard.

A former fashion buyer, and freelance marketer, Bianca Kapteyn is the co-creator of Woofstock, the largest dog event in the city of Toronto. From its inception, tens of thousands of dog owners and their pet have converged annually at the event in the city’s historic Distillery district, to sample products, participate in doggie fashion events and talent shows and sniff. A mother of two boys, she’s also the ” human” of Otis, a two year old Wheaten Terrier.

ELLIE ROSS

Ellie Ross is the host of CTV SWO’s popular ‘Pup Talk’ segment for four years running now. Ellie is also a regular guest on Rogers Televion ‘Daytime’ and has also been on City TV’s ‘Breakfast Televion’, CH ‘Morning Live’, ‘Good Morning Canada’ and was a regular spokesperson on Global TV during the proposed BSL. She is now the KOOL FM ‘Pet Expert on Call’ and was formerly a weekly regular on 570 News Morning Show.

Ellie is the owner/operator of Wag and Train in Kitchener, Ontario, which is a well established dog daycare, training, grooming and retail center in the heart of the city. In addition to operating Wag and Train, Ellie can be found at Field/Hunt Trials, CKC Shows/Trials as well as Dock Dog Events with her Golden Retrievers that she breeds and rescues.

Her education includes a degree in Animal Science as well as ongoing education courses in behavior, pyscholgy and nutrition.

Her past accomplishments include; establishing the region’s first leash free park in Waterloo; the development of behavior and assesment programs for the local SPCA; Disaster Animal Response with United Animal Nations & ASPCA post-Katrina as well as hosting a number of fundraising events. Most recently, Ellie was acknowledged by the Dean of OVC (University of Guelph) for her fundraising efforts for the Animal Cancer Center, the Agility Association of Canada for her participation in hosting the Provincial Championship and obtaining major sponsorship and was voted ‘Best Kennel’ by the readers of ‘The Record’ newspaper.

Ellie has travelled extensively all over the world thanks to her animal related occupations.

Her experience in animal training ranges from Elephants to Dogs. Having shown her first dog at age eight and progressing towards a busy equestrian career no one could doubt that this would be a lifelong affair.

Ellie Ross resides on a farm with her husband Steve, their four children, six rescued horses and four dogs near Ayr, Ontario.

JIM SLOTEK
Writer

The Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia says “Jim Slotek is considered by many Canadian comedians to be one of the most influential comedy and film reviewers in Canada.”

An award-winning newspaper columnist, movie critic and comedy script-writer, Jim Slotek has interviewed literally thousands of celebrities for the Toronto Sun and various entertainment magazines. His script work runs the gamut from an acclaimed documentary on Mexico’s Day Of The Dead (El Dia, La Noche y los Muertos), to CBC variety specials (the Gemini Awards, the NHL Awards, CBC Canada Day Special).

For more than a decade, readers of the Toronto Sun have followed Jim’s domestic adventures with his family, wife Bianca Kapteyn, two sons and dog Otis weekly in his popular syndicated Sunday column.

INGRID HAMILTON
Publicity/ Consultant

Ingrid Hamilton is Toronto’s original Gal About Town, and since 1992, as owner of GAT Productions Inc., much notable attention has been garnered with a bright reputation to match.

In 1997, Ingrid temporarily closed GAT and worked at the CTV network handling national publicity for all entertainment programming, specials and documentaries. After a two-year stint there, Ingrid switched gears and moved back into the world of independent PR, re-opening the doors of GAT.

Before CTV and GAT, Hamilton worked as a columnist at the Toronto Sun (1982 – 1992) establishing herself as a key figure in the city’s social and entertainment community. She wrote Celebrity Closet, a syndicated weekly column interviewing high profile celebrities. A veteran writer/photographer she wrote another column, People I.D., a weekly profile on local and international luminaries. With her readership growing she established a must read page with Scene & Heard, a weekly look at the local social spectacles including launches, openings, parties, and gossip.

In 1993, Ingrid was one of eight people in Canada nominated by her peers as publicist-of-the-year, during Canada Music Week’s Music Industry Awards, prior to the Junos. She was nominated again in 1994 and 1995.

In 1995, Ingrid was honoured with an inclusion in Who’s Who of Canadian Women, a prestigious biographical reference book of Canada’s women achievers.

JOSEPH TITO
Film Director

Joseph Tito, the embodiment of an artist. Soaring through life on such drive, that everyone who meets the man is inspired, opened to new possibilities and, in love. During Joseph’s early years, he learned and excelled at any creative field he ventured into, from dancing and modeling, to writing and acting. His string of credits from these times is impressive. He has acted in independent films and television, and completed his first novel, Random Thoughts (2001). But as many working actors in Toronto may feel, there are never enough roles available for a leading man. Joseph shines in film, his acting embodying the passion, the drive and the confusion of the characters he plays. Joseph began to turn his concepts and ideas into film scripts, having completed seven screenplays to date, Random Thoughts (2002), Fidelity (2003), Windows (2004), Immortal (2003), Nothing Ever Changes (2003) Balla Che Ti Passa (2005) and The Globe (2006).

In 2002, Joseph integrated all of his creative talents into a production company, Jeo Productions (www.jeoproductions.com). “My goal with Jeo Productions is that I can produce the highest quality films with the utmost creativity in order to constantly challenge the values, beliefs and thought processes of the audience.” Joseph continues by illustrating his dream of collaborating with artists in all different media, film and photography to name a few, which will continue to provoke thoughts and change society at large. Joseph’s films question society’s views, tearing apart preconceived notions on religion, family, love, friendship and sexuality.

Joseph starred as the lead in Immortal and Nothing Ever Changes in 2003, projects on which he stretched to accommodate the many roles of screenwriter, director and actor. Immortal celebrated it’s world premiere at the Toronto’s Inside Out 2004 Film Festival. It has also been screened at various film festivals worldwide, including Washington D.C., Sydney and Madrid. In 2003, Joseph moved to Rome, Italy, broadening JEO Productions’ reach from Toronto to Europe. In Italy, Joseph completed a short film, Windows (2004), his adaptation of Kellerman’s Windows, a short story by the late Timothy Findley, the great Canadian author. It is a beautiful tale of life and love, and Joseph gained the help of the Findley estate in producing this picture. Windows has been selected for various film festivals and won the 2005 Giuseppe Dessi Literary Film Festival for Best Director.

Also in 2005, Joseph completed his first feature film, Balla Che Ti Passa (Dance Like No One is Watching) A surreal picture, a medley of choreographed dance sequences and intriguing characters, whose trials and tribulations may remind you of our own. Balla Che Ti Passa premiered at the Rome Film Festival, The Toronto Italian Film Festival, The Marbella International Film Festival and was in theatres March 2006 in Bologna, Italy. Also in Italy, Joseph shot a television pilot, Telepass, showcasing a dancer’s reality in Italy.

In 2006, Joseph brings his production company to Jamaica shooting another Television series Mr. Caribbean International. Joseph presently is working on a sexually-charged psychological thriller, with the working title The Inspiration Of Caravaggio, which is set to come out in 2007. Joseph is truly a force to be reckoned with, a man to be admired. Joseph Tito is the epitome of an artist, a rising Canadian-Italian star who we should all watch out for and applaud.

www.josephtito.com