- 1982 - 2009 (Creation)
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The Insight Production Company Ltd. is an independent production company based in Toronto. It was established in 1970 by Penray "Pen" Densham and John Kingsley Watson. In 1973, the company gained recognition for the documentary film Life Times Nine, which received two Academy Award nominations. In December 1978 John McLeod Brunton, Jr., assistant editor and director with Insight, bought the rights to the company from Densham and Watson, becoming President.
Born in Toronto (ca. 1954), Brunton was the youngest of three children and attended the Ridley School in St. Catharines, ON. Upon graduating, Brunton attended York University, Guelph University and Ryerson University. After being impressed by a short film produced by Insight in the mid1970s (Dazzled), Brunton called the company and expressed interest in their work. He began working for them in 1976. Working with Executive Vice President Barbara Bowlby (who joined the company in the mid 1980s), Brunton established a company that has fostered Canada’s domestic star system. Insight has created programs in several genres (documentary, drama, sports, variety, comedy, music, reality), and has adapted to shifting tastes, technology and formats. Canadian Idol, an Insight-produced iteration of the successful international format, aired between 2004 and 2008 to record-breaking audiences. Insight is also credited with revamping Canada’s national music awards, the JUNO Awards. By moving the show from a theatre to an arena setting, Insight was ultimately able to take the show on the road to cities across the country. The company has produced a number of award-winning programs for youth, including The Truth About Alex and the dramatic series Ready or Not. Insight is also recognized for producing Canada’s first successful late-night talk show, Open Mike with Mike Bullard, for six years.
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