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Record-breaking documentary series ER: Life + Death at VGH returns to B.C.’s Knowledge Network with second season


Meet the next generation of life-saving care providers at one of Western Canada’s largest and busiest emergency departments

VANCOUVER, March 15, 2016 – The highly-anticipated season two of Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH delves deeper into the province’s most pressing health and social issues. The new season premieres on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 9 p.m. PT on British Columbia’s Knowledge Network. Episodes will be simulcast on the series’ interactive companion website at, which will also feature 49 web shorts, and interactive surveys to spark debate and conversation around critical health topics impacting our province today.
Filmed at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH)’s emergency department, Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH gives viewers a look into one of British Columbia’s busiest emergency departments and the only accredited Level 1 Trauma Centre in the province. Season one broke viewership records with more than 1.2 million TV and online viewers. It was also critically acclaimed as Best Television Show and Best Documentary at the 2014 Leo Awards and earned two Canadian Screen Award nominations.
The second season of Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH continues to examine the high-intensity, life-and-death stakes of emergency medicine, and the important issues that arise. It also takes a closer look at the patient’s medical journey, at times following their story with medical specialists beyond the walls of the emergency room.
“As British Columbia’s public broadcaster, we are committed to presenting important documentary stories that encourage debate and discussion about the hot button issues of our time,” says Rudy Buttignol, President and CEO of Knowledge Network. “The first season of Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH was a complex and risky project for us. But its record-breaking success showed that British Columbians care deeply about these stories and these issues. We were not contemplating a second season so soon, but the public kept asking for more. We are fortunate that our partners, Vancouver Coastal Health and Lark Productions, fully embraced the opportunity.”
To create the new season, Knowledge Network again partnered with Vancouver Coastal Health and B.C.-based Lark Productions for almost 80 days of shooting, with unrestricted access to all areas of the VGH emergency department. The second season features returning familiar faces and introduces viewers to new staff and care providers. Among the timely and thought-provoking issues explored in the six-episode second season are the unique problems created by an aging population, the impact of common accidents, and the life-saving role of new technology. There will also be an entire episode dedicated to nurses and the vital role they play in the emergency department. With registered nurses representing the majority of VGH’s emergency department staff (81 per cent), and often the frontline of care, it’s a tribute that will engage audiences across the province. In watching the series as well as the web shorts, viewers will come to know the patient stories, as well as the established faces of emergency medicine professionals at VGH, and the next generation who are being trained and mentored in saving lives and in providing critical health support in the most difficult of circumstances.
“The feedback we have received both from the public and staff and physicians encouraged us to take part in a second series,” says Mary Ackenhusen, President and Chief Executive Officer for Vancouver Coastal Health. “Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH  goes a long way to showing people what really happens in an emergency department so we’re happy to promote an even greater understanding of this daunting, fast-paced part of our health care system. I know that we have some of the most skilled and dedicated staff working across VCH, and now millions of people will get to see what I see -- the world-class care delivered daily at Vancouver General Hospital.” 
The VGH Emergency Department is staffed with 245 doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, and administrative staff who work together to care for more than 93,000 patient visits every year. It is where patients are often the sickest and at their most vulnerable. Granting access to film in the emergency department is not a typical situation, even for the second time around.
“Filming in the emergency department is unlike any other environment; it's intense, overwhelming and inspiring," says Louise Clark, President of Lark Productions. "We have intimate access to staff, patients and families, and in season two, we examined social and health issues that hadn't been explored before, so just when you think you've seen it all, we meet new characters and situations that brought us a wealth of new stories." 
Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH premieres Tuesday, April 12 at 9 p.m. PT on the Knowledge Network and on Viewers can get a sneak peak of what takes place by watching 49 web shorts, featuring staff and behind-the-scenes stories, launching online Tuesday, March 15.   
For more information on Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH, please visit

About Knowledge Network

British Columbia’s Knowledge Network offers programs of direct relevance to British Columbians to inform and inspire dialogue around pertinent issues.
The viewer-supported public broadcaster delivers commercial-free creative documentaries, arts and culture, drama and children’s programs from British Columbia, Canada and around the world. Knowledge Network also plays a vital role in supporting the independent production community in B.C. through the commissioning of broadcast and digital interactive content.
Through its broadcast channels, websites and apps, Knowledge Network informs, educates and broadens awareness by exploring the world from provincial and global perspectives. This includes all original programming such as Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH.

About Vancouver Coast Health

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is responsible for the delivery of $3.4 billion in community, hospital and residential care to more than one million people in communities including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.

About Lark Productions

Vancouver-based Lark Productions produces exceptional television that partners and travels internationally. Productions include CSA-nominated Motive (CTV, USA Network), Crash Gallery (CBC), Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH (Knowledge Network, Discovery Fit), The Real Housewives of Vancouver (SHAW/Slice), and High Moon (Syfy). Lark enjoys an excellent partnership with NBCUniversal International. 


Edelman (on behalf of Knowledge Network)
Phone: 604-623-3007
SOURCE: Record-breaking documentary series ER: Life + Death at VGH returns to B.C.’s Knowledge Network with second season ( )
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