Former Kwalikum Secondary student Harrison Houde directed and produced a new series, Stories of Kindness. (Submitted photo)

Former Kwalikum Secondary student Harrison Houde directed and produced a new series, Stories of Kindness. (Submitted photo)

Vancouver Island actor/director debuts new online series ‘Stories of Kindness’

Harrison Houde: ‘How can you say no to such a wholesome concept?’

Actor/director Harrison Houde is set to debut a new show, Stories of Kindness, produced and directed by the former Qualicum Beach resident.

It’s an interview series (which began on March 27) from Canada’s ‘kindness champions’, the WITS ProgramsFoundation. The show focuses on spreading kindness, connection and storytelling through children and is hosted by bullying prevention advocate and Pink Shirt Day co-founder Travis Price.

Houde, a product of Kwalikum Secondary, is best known for his acting roles in Some Assembly Required and other popular children’s shows and movies such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the live-action Fairly Odd Parents. He said when he was approached by the WITS foundation to do the series, he didn’t think twice.

“It was an easy yes,” said Houde. “A series about positivity, and spreading kindness? How can you say no to such a wholesome concept?”

“I also have experience hosting a kids series and working on kids content so it was in my skillset to develop something like this. Although it was a super quick turnaround to develop a web series completely from just a short synopsis — I think we pulled something pretty cool together.”

Inspiring youth from across Canada were selected to co-host the series and were paired for important conversations with celebrity guests including Sarah Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Dylan Playfair (Disney’s Descendents, Letterkenny), Andrea Bang (Kim’s Convenience), the B.C. Lions’ Emmanuel Arceneaux and more.

Stories of Kindness was created to be a positive outlet for children to find creativity and kindness through embracing the oral traditions of storytelling. It aims to create a safe and positive form of entertainment and education for children during COVID-19. Houde said they are excited to represent a series with such an important mission.

Episodes focus on conversations and themes including simple acts of kindness, cyberbullying and online learning.

The series was produced remotely in Vancouver with several units across Canada, in several time zones, and with strict COVID-19 safe protocols in place. This made planning, booking guests and filming the show a rewarding challenge, one Houde said he was more than willing to face head-on. Choosing to film virtually as much as possible, all of the guests and co-hosts were filmed through Zoom interviews.

“Virtually connecting kids with celebrity guests during the COVID-19 pandemic, the message is simple; to share stories of kindness,” said Houde. “Everyone can use kindness in their lives to create a domino effect of kindness. Bringing more happiness and positivity to our world can be easy.”

The series will feature an episode airing weekly on the Stories of Kindness website at https://storiesofkindness.ca/ and YouTube channel.

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