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New Canadian Station Seeking Caribbean TV/film content

New Canadian Station Seeking Caribbean TV/film content

Posted by Shanelle Weir on February 09, 2015

Farley Flex, in the decades he’s been in the entertainment industry, has taken on and overcome many challenges. He may currently be in the midst of his biggest challenge yet. 

Flex was born Farley Fridal to Trinidadian parents in England. They moved back to Trinidad shortly after, and then moved to Canada when he was six. His uncle was Austin Fridal, the engineer known for his work on the first airport at Piarco and other historic buildings in T&T.

Flex may be best known for being a judge on Canadian Idol, which—like its American counterpart—was hugely successful from its inception in 2003 until its final show in 2008. 

But it was behind the scenes in entertainment that Flex really made his mark. “One could recall every single milestone made by the urban music industry in Canada, and Flex was probably a part of it,” wrote one journalist.

Flex managed the career of Maestro Fresh-Wes, Canada’s first successful solo rapper. At the time, the late 80s- early 90s, success as a Canadian rapper didn’t seem possible. 

Flex was also part of the team behind the launch of Canada’s first black-owned and -operated radio station in 2000. It took 12 years to get the license for FLOW 93.5 FM. 

“The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission), the governing body for communications, has historically licensed on language not culture. Unfortunately, because the lion’s share of people of African descent speak English, we fell into a larger group of [English-speakers],” Flex explained. 

He and his partners thought differently.

“The governing body should license by culture, because our culture is distinctly different than other English-speaking communities,” he said.

It took three attempts, led by Flex, to convince the CRTC. 

Now Flex is promoting a new venture, a television network called FEVA TV (First Entertainment Voice of Africa Television). Like FLOW 93.5, FEVA is a first for Canada. FEVA shows black television programming and films from Africa, the US, the UK, Canada and the Caribbean.

Now it’s on cable reaching audiences in select regions of Canada. 

The team plans to extend their reach to other parts of Canada, the US, the UK, Africa and the Caribbean. This is why Flex was in T&T recently. He’s in talks with cable provider Columbus Communications and is pushing to have FEVA TV available to Caribbean audiences by April. He’s hoping to get some T&T content. 

Right now T&T representation on FEVA is in the form of music videos from Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin and other soca stars. But FEVA TV is looking for more television shows and films from the Caribbean. They’re currently showing the Jamaican comedy-drama series Me and Mi Kru. But much of their content is from Africa, particularly the prodigiously productive Nigeria. 

FEVA TV presents a rare opportunity for Caribbean television and film producers.

More info and to pitch ideas: 

E-mail Farley Flex at flex@fevatv.com

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