Film crew here for an episode of ‘The Stats of Life’

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

One of the reasons Tahza Cardinal says he feels comfortable with the idea of being in a TV show is he’s yet to talk to anybody who has heard of ‘The Stats of Life.’

Maybe they won’t read this story either….

On the other hand, word gets around and by the time the CBC series gets going again, people who know Tahza and Jessi Cardinal of Slave Lake are bound to be tuning in.

Each episode of the show features three families from somewhere in Canada, dealing with or involved in something. The one the Cardinals are in will be about family finances. Other episodes may be about food, or fitness or whatever.

Jessi says when she applied to be on the show (she saw the call for applications online last spring), she decided to give it a try.

“We have watched the show,” she says. “I thought it was interesting.”

After getting her husband’s approval (“I signed off because I was certain it would never happen,” he says.), an audition process took place, beginning with a conference call and proceeding to a two-hour interview with the producer. Jessi says money management was not the topic she had in mind when she applied, but the producers thought that’s where they should be.

“We had lots of debt and no savings,” she says.

Helping them to deal with that situation has been Mike Parsons, the manager of the Servus Credit Union in Slave Lake. He’s in the picture as well and will be (or already was) filmed giving financial advice to the Cardinals. Jessi says contractor Everett Samuelson will be in the program too, advising them on the cost of renovations at their home in Slave Lake and rental property in Kinuso.

“And we’ll probably be talking about how we don’t have the money to do them,” Jessi says.

“There’ll be shots of us looking overwhelmed,” Tahza predicts.

The typical format for The Stats of Life intersperses ‘pop-up’ tidbits of information during these scenes with families, showing national statistics on the topic under discussion.

The blurb on the show on the CBC website says: “We explore how households across the country compare to one another while allowing the viewer to discover where they themselves fit into the bigger picture. Each fascinating, light-hearted episode focuses on one important aspect of our lives to reveal both our similarities and our differences.”

The film crew was expected to be in town this past Saturday and working for four days.

Jessi Cardinal is the vice principal in charge of the Lakeside Outreach School in Slave Lake.

Tahza Cardinal is an Indigenous success coach with the High Prairie School Division.

Tahza and Jessi Cardinal: a bit nervous, but also looking forward to it.

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