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Locally produced and filmed series to encourage upcycling

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 12:03 pm

Airdrie's Janie Fontaine wrote, produced and stars in a new series called JJ & DD SuperHeroes Reduce Reuse Recycle or Run, to be aired on Shaw TV in the new year. Fontaine plays the role of JJ, a superhero who teaches about upcycling waste materials to something useful.
Airdrie's Janie Fontaine wrote, produced and stars in a new series called JJ & DD SuperHeroes Reduce Reuse Recycle or Run, to be aired on Shaw TV in the new year. Fontaine plays the role of JJ, a superhero who teaches about upcycling waste materials to something useful.
Lucas Punkari/Rocky View Publishing

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Local upcycling jewelry designer, Janie Fontaine, is expanding on her passion for creating something useful out of waste and is producing a new television and web series about reducing, reusing and recycling.

“It’s really about trying to get people to think further than just throwing things out,” she said.

The JJ and DD Superheroes series follows Fontaine as JJ and Airdrie resident, Diane Freeman as DD, superheroes who use comedy to show people how to create something from the things they might normally throw away.

“Every episode is about a different upcycling item,” Fontaine said. “Items are usually made using just scissors so everyone can do it.”

In episode two of the series the super-duo uses a pop bottle to make a box, the same type of box Fontaine uses to ship her upcycled jewelry line in.

The original pilot episode for the series was filmed in 2012 and can be found on YouTube at www.youtube.com/jjddsuperheroes

The second episode was filmed in April of this year and submitted to Shaw TV in the hopes it would be picked up for the fall. The series hit the right notes with Shaw and was accepted for six episodes to air in the new year.

The remaining four episodes were filmed entirely in Airdrie in one weekend in October.

“It was really fun,” Fontaine said, adding the weekend of work was extremely efficient and they were able to finish filming ahead of schedule.

Fontaine wrote and produced the series and came up with the idea for JJ and DD through a mix of friendship and mutual passion for upcycling.

“Diane is a very good friend of mine and we’re just really silly together and it just came up one day,” she said.

The series, which consists of about six, two-minute episodes, is completely self-funded with Fontaine and Freeman hitting the streets to do door-to-door canvassing, bottle drives and a fundraising party prior to filming.

“Worst-case scenario is it’s just fun,” Fontaine said of the series. “Best case is people actually end up learning something. We’re hoping people will try (the projects) at home.”

She said the series is for people of all ages because it is fun and entertaining while still being educational.

Fontaine said once the episodes air on Shaw TV they will all be uploaded onto YouTube and she hopes to show them to schools to get students excited about and involved in recycling and upcyling.

A firm airdate has yet to be set from Shaw TV, but Fontaine suspects it will be early 2014.


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