Sean Kravetsky's Big Picture

New show on Joy TV brings its audience into the discussion.

Published: April 11th 2011
in Culture » Television

Sean Kravetsky



Most of what's on TV these days isn't worth the muscles your fingers need to press buttons on your remote. But Sean Kravetsky, host of a new talk show that airs on Joy TV called The Big Picture is intent on changing that by providing audience-driven educational programming.


“There's some good stuff on TV but the intentions aren't as lovely or as encouraging. The Big Picture is unique in its own way because it actually delivers -- through a talk show environment -- tools and resources about current affairs for our community to go out and make the mental shift to ultimately make a difference,” Kravetsky said.


The show, which first aired on March 17, uses social media as a forum to generate discussion and fuel audience participation. Collaborators rely heavily on viewers' feedback and content suggestions for their 52-week series about hard-hitting issues of concern and challenges that Canadians face.


“We interact with our viewers about the types of topics they want to see and then we make sure our guests are really vibrant so people are going to want to tune in to watch. So you can keep watching CSI but I think it's an outlet for audiences to watch quality TV with some great guests.”


The goal isn't to sedate the audience with a feel-good message but to motivate “the indigo children” to take action, if not to change the world, then to consider that the possibility for change is within reach. The show's website claims to address any topic without fear and leave no question unanswered.


“It brings real questions to the table that people should be asking generation-wide. The marketplace is ready for it. There is no time. I say that not to put fear into the communities, it's just that it's our turn to lead a new type of life and to create a shift so timing is everything.” Kravetsky himself is a testament to having made the mental shift toward change. He came from a marketing background and made the switch to television. If you asked him several years ago whether he would ever find himself sitting in front of a camera on a national show, he would have said you were out of your mind.  “I thrive because I love it and I want to reach out to the community and I feel like I've got this message I've got to get out of me,” he said. 


But Kravetsky recognizes the general public might be cynical or apathetic about his message as most don't believe that their individual efforts make a difference in the world, let alone their local neighbourhoods. This is why his focus is for  people to turn off the TV – after they have finished watching, of course – and go out and do what they've always wanted to do.


“A lot of this show, you could say, 'Hey it's a lot of fluff. You're just telling us things'. So we have to be results-oriented. Even with the criticism that's out there - 'It's too late', or 'People aren't ready for this change' - there's only one way to find out. We're just going to try,” he said. 


One of the topics Kravetsky introduced was religion. His first episode, called Losing My Religion, centred around the understanding that religions should do away with the us-versus-them stance and embrace “all being in this thing together,” he said. “You say the word religion and people will almost cringe and say, 'I don't want to talk about that'. Even in schools now they can hardly talk about religion in classrooms. I mean, they have to say Happy Holidays not Merry Christmas. People are afraid of it, there's no question."


Kravetsky, who spoke highly of his Jewish upbringing, said that the messages behind the world's religions have become tainted by what is done in the supposed name of God and this needs to be collectively addressed. The subject is a touchy but important one, he said.


“It's tough. We do get a lot of kickback about it. But these are things we need to speak of. I was always so open to other religions. Not because I wanted to convert, but because they have wonderful stories and the meaning behind religion is incredible and that's what needs to shine through and that's why we need to do this."


Upcoming guests include Aleksandra Nasteska of The Canadian Earth Summit Coalition, Severn and David Suzuki and Sherry Strong of The World Wellness Project.


The Big Picture airs at 10:00 p.m. PST in Vancouver, Victoria, Fraser Valley, Winnipeg and Toronto.

Related articles: (The Big Picture, Joy Television, Sean Kravetsky)
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