Nova Scotia is my favourite Canadian province; you’d know that if you regularly read my blog, since I love to talk at length about it whenever I talk about Canada (which is nearly all the time), and even got the chance to realize my dream by visiting it last year (along with Newfoundland). In fact, it’s so much of my favourite province that I just had to create a TV show all about it.
The big idea behind A Nova Scotian Way of Life – or ANSWOL, as it’s often abbreviated to – is the ‘scripted reality’ TV series in the real world which once dominated the TV schedules. Think of it as the Canadian – or more specifically, Nova Scotian – version of your The Only Way is Essex, Made in Chelsea or The Real Housewives of…
A somewhat popular show within the entertainment world of Canadian Boys, ANSWOL‘s producers insist that it stars ‘real people’ from around the Eastern Canadian province, and that it presents a realistic image of how Nova Scotians live, work and party. The show is actually a closely-disguised blend of documentary-style filming and scripted ‘reality’, much like the real-world TV shows mentioned above, making it appear at first glance to be an educational series about the lives of Nova Scotians. Veteran TV viewers and those in the know can see through this disguise, however…
The show’s vast cast is ever-growing, with more and more Nova Scotians gathering to represent their home province. At the rate it is going, it just might represent almost the entire province, with the cast members coming from all four corners – from the South Shore to the capital region and Cape Breton Island.
Above are just a select four of the members of the ANSWOL cast. Unlike in later artworks, I didn’t really draw them according to their geographical location – I simply drew them in this order on a whim. With Peggy’s Cove being the exception, everybody here wears skirts – and the skirt-wearers are all boys!
- New Glasgow is the resident ladies’ – and gentlemen’s – man. A Highland dancer, he is a regular at ceilidhs, Highland Games and other Celtic-flavoured festivals around the city. He has a bit of his own way with anybody he meets – he just can’t help falling in and out of love! He also has a pretty high opinion of himself and his looks.
- Peggy’s Cove is a lighthouse girl, loving to dress up in a costume of the famous lighthouse of her hometown. While she’s normally a cheerful and chirpy kind, she can easily get shocked or disgusted by things which pique her. She’s also a girl with a fighting spirit, supporting gender equality and ‘natural beauty’. Her current romantic interest appears to be Wolfville.
- Presqu’ile is a dancer who lives a traditional Acadian lifestyle. He wears a golden cross necklace and Acadian apparel in red, white and blue. He reveres the distant history and memories of old Acadia, and strives to keep its unique culture alive through his dancing. His speech blends a curious dialect of old French, modern French and English.
- James River loves to fiddle about. He often performs with his fellow fiddlers around the city, sometimes out in open air, like on top of a cliff overlooking the sea, for more romance. For some reason, he regularly has to avoid Antigonish because of a perceived grudge against him, though this could be just the producers trying to inject some tensions and drama into the show.
Character bios for the rest of the ANSWOL crew, including the four above, can be found either at this post on the blog, or this article on the Canadian Boys wiki. Some of the characters have their own individual articles to delve deeper into their biological make-up and personalities.