CBC Television Network

Rita and Friends

Network: CBC Television Network

Broadcast Run: 1994 to 1997

Broadcast Medium: Television

Aired Friday nights from October 28, 1994 to January 31, 1997 [With repeats]

Rita MacNeil from Big Pond, Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, hosted this hour-long music/variety program. MacNeil was a contemporary folk singer whose style mixed gospel with folk tunes: pop songs with country music. She was very popular on radio and on television. In fact, her show was one of the last variety series to be fully produced by the network. It was cancelled after three seasons in spite of its audience appeal and relatively high ratings.

The show featured Rita in simple settings with special guests including Roch Voisine, Jann Arden, Michelle Wright, Jeff Healey, Charlie Major, Lori Yates, Ashley MacIsaac, Tom Jackson, Susan Aglukark, The Rankin Family, Bruce Cockburn, Shania Twain and George Fox.

Executive Producers: J. Lyman MacInnis and Sandra Faire
Directors: Michael Watt, David Storey

Written by John Corcelli – March, 2006