Epitome Pictures Inc. (Riverdale accrual)

Epitome Pictures logo

  For close to thirty years, Epitome Pictures and related companies have been producing award-winning television and educational programs. CEO Linda Schuyler co-created and executive produced the multi-award-winning original Degrassi series, including The Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, and Degrassi High. These series have won two international Emmys, 9 Gemini Awards, two Prix Jeunesse and countless other honours from festivals around the world.  The Degrassi series was continued in the telefeature School’s Out! and in a series of six documentaries called Degrassi Talks. Schuyler was awarded the Order of Canada in 1994 for her contributions to Canadian television.
  President Stephen Stohn has worked in the entertainment industry for over 30 years as a performing artist, songwriter, executive producer and as an entertainment and copyright lawyer. He is a founding member in the entertainment law firm, Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond LLP.
  In 1993, Epitome Pictures produced the movie of the week X-Rated, which later inspired creation of 26 episodes of the dramatic series Liberty Street. The program, about young twenty-somethings struggling to establish grownup lives, was broadcast on CBC and in more than 40 countries around the world. In 1996 Epitome Pictures bought a 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse, converting it into a digital single-purpose studio. The studio is used as a home for the company’s productions as well as a rental property. From 1997 to 2000 the studio was home to Riverdale, Canada’s first English primetime soap opera. Created by Schuyler and her longtime collaborator, writer Yan Moore, Riverdale was broadcast on the CBC and followed the lives of four families, separate in temperament, background, values, generation and social standing but united by the neighbourhood they share. The studio is now home to the youth oriented, multi-platform series Degrassi: The Next Generation. The series has received numerous accolades including 11 Gemini Awards, 7 DGC Awards, 2 Teen Choice Awards and the Television Critics Award.
  Building on its strength in youth programming, Epitome launched the half-hour teen drama Instant Star in 2004. Now wrapped after four seasons, Instant Star followed the story of a teenaged girl who went from high school obscurity to a life as a notorious singer. The program is currently airing in over 150 countries around the world .
  In 2011 Epitome started another half-hour drama called The L.A. Complex which follows a group of young people living in an apartment style motel in Los Angeles with dreams of making it big in Hollywood. The L.A. Complex wrapped in 2012.  In 2014 Epitome Pictures Inc. was acquired by DHX Media for $33 million Canadian. Later in 2014 Epitome announced the beginning of production on a show called Open Heart for YTV in Canada and Teennick in the U.S. Open Heart is described as “a gripping mystery series, folded into a sprawling family saga, set against the high-stakes workplace and relationship drama of a hospital.”   

Accession No.
Dates of creation
1996 - 2000
Physical description

12.64 m of textual records

12, 550 photographs
· 8,290 35mm slides
· 2,663 medium format transparencies
· 83 Polaroid prints
· 606 negatives
· 890 prints (col. and b&w)
· 18 contact sheets

2,982 video recordings
· 40 Betacam SP cassettes (ca10 hrs.)
· 2, 265 Digital Betacam cassettes (ca.1, 485 hrs.)
· 534 Hi8 cassettes (ca. 357 hrs.)
· 22 ¾ in. cassettes (ca. 7 hrs.)
· 115 VHS cassettes (ca. 7 hrs.)
· 1 MiniDV cassette (ca.1 hr.)
· 5 optical discs (ca. 4 hrs)

649 audio recordings
· 404 DA88 cassettes (ca. 66 hrs.)
· 72 DAT cassettes (ca. 38 hrs.)
· 103 audio multitrack reels (ca. 55 hrs.)
· 19 audiocassettes (ca. 21 hrs.)
· 2 ¼ in. reel to reel tapes (ca. 1 hrs.)
· 36 8mm data discs (ca. 67 hrs.)
· 13 CDR discs (ca. 13 hrs.)

53 electronic materials
· 53 diskettes

281 graphic materials
· 68 posters
· 213 blueprints

Scope and content

Fonds consists of material pertaining to three seasons of production of the 1hour television series Riverdale. The show ran from 1997 – 2000, and all 47 episodes were broadcast on CBC television. The collection consists of 207 boxes of material spanning all three seasons of the show. The fonds is divided into two series: Corporate Records and Post-Production Records.
  The first series, Corporate Records, consists of 49 boxes. These include correspondence/memos, fan mail, budgets, scripts, promotional materials, financial and banking records, sponsor files, production and continuity stills, character files, legal documents, insurance documents, music cue sheets, and architectural drawings.
  The second series, Post-Production Records, consists of 158 boxes. These include raw shoot tapes, raw audio tapes, audio stems, voiceovers, music, master mix audio, edits, various masters, interview tapes and promo reels. There is also a complete set of both VHS and DVD screening copies of each episode. Textual documents include sound notes/charts, editing/mix notes and credits.
The material has retained its original arrangement.

This fonds includes textual material relating to the following productions:

  • Riverdale (Television, 1997 – 2000)

This fonds also includes audiovisual material relating to the following productions:

  • Riverdale (Television, 1997 – 2000)
Rights and access

A) No access restriction.
B) Material is subject to copyright restrictions; please consult an archivist.


DHX Media. “Epitome Pictures Starts Production on Open Heart For YTV in Canada and Teennick in the U.S.”  CNW (August 5, 2014)  http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1394376/epitome-pictures-starts-production-on-open-heart-for-ytv-in-canada-and-teennick-in-the-u-s

Epitome Pictures Inc (DHX Media) website  http://www.epitomepictures.com/

Vlessing, Etan. “'Degrassi' Producer Epitome Pictures Bought by DHX Media.” The Hollywood Reporter (April 3, 2014)  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/degrassi-producer-epitome-pictures-bought-693371