All posts by Shaw Direct

Shaw Direct is a leading Canadian provider of 100% digital satellite television. We offer our customers a huge selection of channels (currently over 500, and we’re always looking to add more), top-of-the line Motorola receivers offering crystal-clear HD, access to Instant Pay Per View movies and events, and our great new Video On Demand system with adaptive streaming!

Bagel-a-thon for a good cause!

Last September, the Montreal Shaw Direct Customer Care Centre decided to put their shoulder to the wheel and get involved with some very special fundraising.

Bagel-O-Thon 2014

St-Viateur Bagel & Café on Monkland St. held an event called Back-to-school Bagel-O-Thon, in collaboration with the Generations Foundation organization. On September 18, donators could order one dozen bagels and pick them up between 6am and 10am. To help grow the success of the event, Montreal’s Shaw Direct team ordered a total of 175 dozen bagels! The organizers were delighted with their participation and all proceeds went to the charity.

Watch the interview below, courtesy of Global:

Bagel-O-Thon 2014

About Generations Foundation: They directly help young children in the community. Every day, thousands of students go to school with empty stomachs because their parents do not have sufficient resources to provide them with three meals a day. Experience shows us that when children are supported by balanced meals and snacks, they perform better in class and achieve better results. It is also a well-known fact that eating in the morning is essential, particularly for children and teenagers.

Bagel-O-Thon 2014

The Generations Foundation offers breakfasts, snacks and hot meals to more than 7,700 students in 96 schools and learning centers. It also introduced a feeding program to help children in becoming independent and autonomous regarding nutrition. Cooking classes and programs were set up so that older students could help younger ones. The difference Generations Foundation makes in the lives of these young people is remarkable and undeniable.

Generations Foundation receives no government aid and requires no cost from the children or their parents. Thanks to the generosity of caring people who support the Generations Foundation, they can continue to help these young people.

You can find more information about the Foundations Generations here.

Bagel-O-Thon 2014


A Weekend In The Woods

Photo Credit: D. Koch 2013

The weather in Calgary hasn’t been well-received this month. We were teased with two weeks of hot, humid, sticky days and chilly nights followed by constant rain and nights near zero. At the start of this past weekend it seemed the weather was going to behave so we hurriedly packed our weekend bags, the s’mores kit and a few other weekend essentials. We were off to the cabin about 40 minutes NE of Edmonton, Alberta.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the RDIO app on your phone, I highly recommend it. Streaming music based on what suits your mood and, if you have the paid version, instant access to thousands of albums, there’s never a boring moment when you’re driving down the road, sunroof open listening to exactly what you want to, no more annoying radio commercials. Of course this app uses some healthy data so it’s best to keep an eye on your consumption. No one likes data overage charges on their monthly mobile statement.

We had not visited the cabin since February for a Valentine’s Day getaway (our idea of celebrating is avoiding all the lovey-dovey and commercial pressure and enjoy each other’s company in the woods) and the lawn was overgrown, windows were covered in spider webs and I think a family of squirrels had moved into my hosta garden. No matter – we got to work! Arriving at 5pm on Friday we had the entire property trimmed and shiny by 8pm. I took to organizing the bedroom and kitchen as well as preparing dinner while the other half chopped some wood and readied what was to be a momentous fire seen from space. Steaks and Caesar salad in hand, we sat outside at the fire. At the ‘click’ of the lighter to begin a night of laughter, stories and reflection we heard a bigger sound: the boom of thunder rolling in. Literally ten seconds later the skies opened up and soaked about ten square kilometers with our cabin in the dead centre.

Photo Credit: D. Koch 2013

We ran inside and shook ourselves dry. Now I can handle most weather like a 5’6” warrior, but when it’s raining sideways the last thing I want is a second shower in freezing rain. The decision was made to hide inside, cowering from the rain with high hopes the storm would pass and we could enjoy that fire we had been craving for months.

Two hours passed. The storm was not letting up. Thankfully a few months back we had the smart idea to sign up for the Shaw Direct 2nd Home – a program provided by us that offers service at a second location for almost 50% off the retail price! We were shipped a satellite dish and receiver, booked the install with the local company and had the service up and running within a few weeks (it could have been sooner but our schedules were a bit tight). We picked a package smaller than what we had at home, no movies or sports, got a free month of service, a free HDPVR rental and some free movies, but it’s perfect for those rainy nights at the cabin when all the Monopoly money has been played and that DVD set of Star Wars is smoking from being watched so much.

You can find more information here: along with the program requirements and terms, and if you are ready to sign up, get in contact with one of our customer care agents – Chat now with a live agent.

What better way to celebrate Cottage season? Enjoy your weekends away in any weather with the 2nd Home program from Shaw Direct.


Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo 2014 – Part 2

Missed Part One? Check it out here!

Photo Credit: D. Koch 2014

Our Four Days:

Wow. I don’t know how else I can put the four days of running, panels, photos, transcripts, tweets and meet and greets. By Sunday night I was exhausted and twitching with geek-like excitement. If I could unscrew my legs and put a fresh pair on, I could have done another week of the Calgary Expo.

The majority of our time was spent in panels although we did a bunch of floor walking, checking out the cool costumes and vendors. We did transcripts of a bunch of panels and I was considering writing details on all of them. Instead, I’m going to take the best pick from each – short and sweet.

  • Barry Bostwick, when asked if he has noticed changes in acting for television shows:

You make less money now… it’s harder to actually get a job, because everybody wants to do TV… Burt Reynolds and David Hasslehof are who I am up against. I’ve been trying to convince actors in my age range to move away from California so it makes it easier for me to get their roles.

  • Anthony Daniels, on the reception of Star Wars:

When we made Star Wars, nobody knew what would happen. All the cast thought it was a silly film, but they were dedicated to their work… nobody really understood George’s vision.

 Then the film opened, and a few people went to see it, and they ran out – they got their friends and they ran in, they ran out and grabbed more friends and, not that the word existed, but it became “viral” to where it is today. And the reason became viral, aside from it being easier to watch it on multiple media types, the story of Star Wars carried the audience up, up and up, and brought us to today and the future was the audience, and then it was your children, and now it’s your children’s children. And the love and affection and devotion you have shown everybody in the film, everybody in the crew that you may not even recognize when you see their name on the roll… but you contributed to the whole thing, the saga… and who knows where we’re going next. I will end with a really heartfelt thank you to all of you. You’ve been there for me.

  •  Matt Smith, on how he sees the world after playing Doctor Who:

It categorically changed how I see the world. As an actor you try to experience things that your character does, if you’re running a bath, run a bath as the Doctor would run a bath – and it’s just a far more interesting bath. Go for a walk in the park as the Doctor would go for a walk in the park, I recommend everybody try this.

  •  Karen Gillan, on what would be in her perfect burrito:

Diced chicken breast, avocado, pepper, maybe a cheeky sauce.

  •  Vivica A. Fox, on the filming of her legendary fight scene in Kill Bill:

It looked and felt incredibly realistic… It took four days to film… There weren’t a lot of tricks; other scenes used wires, Uma’s and mine fight was the most brutal because there were no tricks. We performed 95% of the fight. The only part I didn’t do was when Vernita Green crashed over couch and into coffee table. I wanted wanted to do it, but everybody said no.

 After the last day of filming, I counted my bruises, I had over thirty on my legs and arms, I was so proud! We went through a little house in Pasadena and destroyed it. The fight went through the entry, hallway, front room, fireplace, into a dining room set, kitchen, through another dining room set, back into the front room and we just destroyed the whole place… it was so cool.

  •  Michael Rooker and Laurie Holden, on their character’s deaths on The Walking Dead:

MR: I wanted to go out the way I came in… Fighting, none of that emotional stuff. If Merle could have jumped up from the grave and smacked Daryl in the head, he would have.

LH: I’m glad Andrea went out the way she did. It came full circle. She needed to go out on her terms – it was her choice to take her own self out with her gun. I loved that she was with Michonne and they healed that. I loved that she was able to relate with Rick and Daryl and didn’t want anyone else to die – I felt like if there was any confusion about her intention or motivation, that in that one particular scene you saw her heart and who she was. It was the perfect death for me.

  •  Sigourney Weaver, on putting her stamp on pop culture through her role in the Alien franchise:

When the decision was made to make Ripley a woman, it was made not because they were feminists, but because no one would ever think this young woman would be a survivor. It expressed something in our culture, and continues to express something in our culture all around the world about the underdog and our ability to find reserves and resources in ourselves. It touched on a cord about who we are.

  • If we saw a reboot of the Alien movies, who would Sigourney want to play her character?

I’m gonna play my character.

Photo Credit: D. Koch 2014

The Venue:

The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (casually called the Calgary Expo) dominated a good portion of the Calgary Stampede grounds; the majority of events were held within the BMO Centre – a 300,000 sq. ft exhibit complex, Boyce Theatre and Corral – 25,100 sq. ft of space offering 8,000 seats and the Big Four – 118,000 sq. ft used for more exhibitors, guest signatures and photo-ops.

Last year, this was the entire event. I was only slightly surprised to see the addition of a 95,000 sq. ft pavilion tent that housed additional panels and a children’s area full of… kids.

Last but not least, Calgary Food Trucks. Two words: Oh my. The lineups were so insanely long, but the food was worth it. I ended up putting my big glutton shoes on, and tried a dish from every truck. But it’s okay because we were there for four whole days, right?

You can check out our interactive map of the venue here.

Tourist Tips:

If you’re planning on visiting the Calgary Expo next year, here are a few things to remember:

  • Exchange your tickets for wristbands early! Calgary Expo offers an exchange day prior to the event which is clearly publicized. This is the best time to do your exchange so you’re not waiting in the line day-of while your favourite panel is starting.
  • You’re going to be walking on hard concrete for hours on end, with little to no seating unless you hang out in the panels (and expect plastic chairs), so bring super-comfy shoes, or a few pairs.
  • BMO Centre is kind enough to offer lockers with in/out privileges. The price was $5 a day while we were there. They’re big enough for a standard-size backpack or ten pairs of shoes, for the stylish.
  • If you are planning on doing it up right and wearing your best costume, Calgary Expo has weapon and prop storage. I left my oversized sword and foam handguns at home so I’m not sure the price or time limits for this service.
  • There are a few food options on site. Inside the BMO Centre and Big Four the options are the same (same foodservice contract, I would assume). Burgers are decent, but the lineups and mashed-up crowds of people are pretty crazy. Also, expect to eat on the floor. We ventured outside to the YYC Food Trucks and tried each of them. As I said prior, these queues are also long – but you’re outside with a good view for people watching and you quickly move up the line. One thing I noticed was the lack of vegetarian options. Don’t expect much other than a kid’s cheese pizza and some cold veggies.
  • Be prepared to get close. Calgary Expo had a record attendance of almost 100,000 people this year. That gets a bit intense in close-quarters, but if you keep eyes-forward and remain polite you won’t have any problem.
  • If you want to go to a panel, line up early. As press we were able to fly in and out of all the panels without having to stand in lines. Whether you have a regular or VIP pass, line up at least a half-hour before your panel begins. They usually open the doors ten minutes before the event and it is rush seating. VIP tickets have their own section but if the panel is popular (like the Dr. Who panel), the sections will fill up fast. Better be safe than sorry.
  • Get the four-day pass. I know it seems like a super-long time to be at the grounds, but if you can get off of work for all the days, do it. You may not be on site for the entire time but at least then you will have access to the entire event and not just a few select days. There are so many panels and events every day and the last thing you want is to miss something because you only purchased a pass for one day and you want to participate in three days worth of content.


Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo 2014 – Part 1

Logo Credit – The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo 2014

The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo entered its ninth year with a nerdy four-day bang that still resonates through the halls of Calgary’s Stampede grounds.

This event is very unique compared to the others that come through the city – Sure we have the quirky steampunk, electro-junkies of “Beakerhead,” the sparkly Michelin Star “The Big Taste” that serves up crazy-good food endlessly for a few weeks downtown, and of course the Calgary Stampede, the greatest outdoor show on earth for over a century, but any expo that starts out with a parade of Stormtroopers, Zombies and Hobbits is a hands-down win in my book.

Photo Credit: D. Koch 2014

The Event:

The Calgary Expo is a unique four-day event that invites a diverse group of people to let loose and express what they love to the universe without judgement, haste or hurt-feelings. From media guests, artists, creators, horror guests, cartoon and animation stars, anime and manga enthusiasts, and even guests and content geared towards little ones makes its way to the Calgary Expo. We could not believe some of the dedication and hard work that was put into costumes and makeup – and one of the busiest booths in the main hall? The costume repair guys who had everything from glittery-gold duct tape to spare eyeballs.

Along with the attendees and halls packed with exhibitors, photographers, merchants, and LAN-Party tables, we opted to experience some of the many panels offered. We stuck with the headliners including Barry Bostwick, Vivica A. Fox, Anthony Daniels, as well as the marquee guests of Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, and Aliens. There was also opportunity to sign up for geek speed-dating, a costume contest, a quick Toastmasters session, or even a how-to-perfect-your-comic-book-drawing-skills course; the options were endless with always something to go check out. We packed our schedule each of the four days, and never found ourselves standing still or wondering what would be next.

Photo Credit: D. Koch 2014

The Parade Of Wonders (POW!):

Again. Stormtroopers. There were literally hundreds of parade participants from all different movies, comics, T.V. shows and games in full gear and character. We got to the starting point an hour early to wander through the groups and get some wicked pictures. Accosted by aliens? Check. A legendary picture of knights in practice? Double check. We were even in the right place at the right time and bumped into Anthony Daniels (yeah, I touched him), and Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary who was marshalling the parade.

You know when you think about meeting a celebrity and you tell yourself, “I can do this – cool as a cucumber,” and then you actually meet them, accidentally drool on yourself, and end up grunting in some alien language? That happened. Good thing my photographer was able to keep it together and both Anthony and Nenshi posed elegantly for pictures.

Taking off from the riverfront at 11 a.m., the parade snaked through the downtown core and shopping district, attracting thousands of spectators, eventually ending up at Olympic Plaza (just a few jumps to the Stampede Grounds) for the opening ceremonies. All of the special guests were introduced, and the ceremonies were concluded with a fairy-tale ending. Prince Charming proposed to his Cinderella right on stage – thankfully she said yes. Although we were lacking on little yellow birds and fairy dust, it still brought a tear to my eyeball.

Click here to go to Part Two


eBilling – Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Wait! Who said you didn’t have super powers?! Whoever it is, go tell them off!
I’ll wait here!


Seriously, though. You most definitely can do your part to make the world a better place. Heck! You’re probably already doing so! However, some of those many ways combine the useful with the pleasant. Take electronic billing for instance. Not only you get a notification through email as soon as your invoice is issued, but you also contribute to reduce the amount of paper in circulation. It’s somewhat like planting a tree with every electronic invoice you get. A green environment is a healthy environment! Hey! Put down that paintbrush and that green paint bucket! That’s not what I meant.

If we want to successfully make the world a greener place, we need to take the little details into account. After you sign up for electronic billing, you might want to have a personal account on our website. When we send your monthly billing summary via email, it is good practice for you to click the link to the detailed bill. That way you will be kept in the loop if we make any announcement. Besides, there are tons of things you will be able to do once you create an account online. Things like changing your programming, making a payment, viewing PDF versions of your invoices (those are very printer friendly), etc.

You can top it all off with an automatic withdrawal. The ways you can do this are literally endless. You can contact us to have it set up or… take a wild guess… Yup! You can also set up preauthorized payments through your personal account online. With instant invoice delivery via email, automatic payments through credit card or your bank account, the ability to manage your account online, all the power is yours.

Now you can simply sit back, relax, and let it all flow smoothly on its own. You can see more details here.  We thank you for your efforts towards a healthier environment.

By Rykselson H. A.

The 86th Academy Awards


The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

The 86th Academy Awards aired Sunday, March 2nd on ABC and CTV (for us Canadians!). Getting nominated is simply an honor; receiving a coveted gold statuette is considered one of the greatest achievements in the industry! The 2014 Oscars were hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, known for her fabulous sense of humour and entertainment qualities – She broke Twitter for a short while with that selfie and ordered pizza for everyone. The night went on smoothly with performances, among others, from Pharrell Williams, Karen O and Idina Menzel (aka Adele Dazim, if you’re a slightly-off John Travolta).

The Oscars are organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Movies, actors and actresses, music scores, directors and other behind-the-scenes components are nominated into different categories and voted on by over 6,000 Academy members. You can learn more about the Oscars’ history right here.

Bottom line: What we care the most about these events are the winners, those who should have won (we’re looking at you, Leo), and how good-looking everyone was in their outfits! Take a look at the gentlemen here and the beautiful ladies here. They looked ever-so-glamorous during the ceremony, but also at the after party – Pictures galore here!

The complete list of nominees and winners can be found on the Oscars Site. Many of the nominated and winning movies are already available on Shaw Direct Pay-Per-View (channels 951-983) or Shaw Direct Video On Demand:

  • 12 Years a Slave: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o).
  • Dallas Buyers Club: Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey), Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto).
  • Blue Jasmine: Best Actress (Cate Blanchett).
  • Frozen: Best Animated Feature.

If you wish to get more information on our Pay Per View or Video On Demand services, don’t hesitate to chat with a member of our eCare team via our Contact Us page, available 7 AM to 9 PM MT Monday to Friday, or contact our Social media team on Facebook or Twitter.

*Marie-Eve T.

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Meet an Olympian – Steve Mesler

stevemesler-3Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an Olympian? Standing on that podium for a full 10 minutes with everything you have worked for flashing before your eyes? Steve Mesler knows exactly how this feels. After meeting with Mesler, you can tell he’ll remember the event forever. He offers vivid details as if it had happened yesterday.

Steve Mesler won the gold medal at the Four-Man Bobsleigh Competition during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Mesler stood as the right-hand push athlete for Team USA. Although he calls the United States home, Canada is very close to his heart. He lived in Calgary for all of 11 years, has an undeniable ‘thing’ for Vancouver, and is currently very active in Canada by helping children from all around the country set goals and get involved in their community with the Classroom Champions Foundation.

So how does it feel? Even after four years, Mesler says he still has trouble explaining ‘it’. The best way is with an analogy – remember how you felt during Christmas when you were a kid? He describes receiving the medal as Christmas, Hanukkah and a birthday, crammed into one very short 10 minute period. He remembers how much pressure the athletes are put through: It  feels like you’re holding an entire country on your back. Once the athletes finish their course, they exit through the media area which is why we often see very raw emotions broadcast on TV. What you see on there is literally seconds after their performance. Mesler shared that he always takes into consideration the athletes go through a lot, and the bulk of what just happened is unknown by the public. He confesses that one of the main thoughts he had, in an extreme focus at the top of the course, was his team had not won gold in 62 years in his category.

stevemesler-1Now, Mesler says it feels more like Christmas as an adult. We all love giving gifts, seeing the look on people’s faces. He now dedicates his time to giving back to the community with Classroom Champions, inspiring children from kindergarten to 8th grade to set goals, to get involved in community services and have a fair-play mindset, and also spends time as a TED-Ed Educator and Speaker.

*Marie Michelle P.