The proverb says, ‘From humble beginnings can come great things.’
Case in point is a Vernon man named Case.
Joey Case has gone from being a behind-the-scenes volunteer for Vernon’s Shaw Cable to a Canadian Screen Award (CSA) television series winner.
Currently the vice president of factual content and executive producer for a company called Attraction, which creates and produces unscripted series for networks throughout North America, Case was nominated with colleagues Nicole Hamilton and Margot Daley in the CSA TV’s Best History Documentary Program or Series.
The trio’s series Underground Railroad: The Secret History, won the Canadian Screen Award, beating out four other nominations.
“Underground Railroad: The Secret History, is a four-part limited series that used science and technology to uncover the forgotten history of Black freedom seekers who escaped enslavement or helped those trying to escape,” said Case, who was the series’ creator and executive producer.
The series was named as one of the top to watch in 2022 by the Wall Street Journal, and aired in February 2022 on Discovery Canada, as well as Science Channel and Discovery+ in the United States.
Case’s documentary series used archaeology and modern technology to unlock some of the biggest mysteries surrounding this secret network that helped enslaved people escape to freedom.
“Along with being a very unique way of telling these stories (using science and technology to make discoveries about Black history), the production of the series was done in a way that was respectful of the Black community and Black history by ensuring that Black producers, directors, and editors were heavily involved in the creative and planning process, and had equal say in the production of the series,” said Case.
Born in Quesnel, Case grew up mostly in Vernon. He graduated from W.L. Seaton Secondary in 1996.
Case got his start in TV volunteering for Shaw Cable’s community programming while in high school.
”My first position was as a volunteer camera operator on a series called Manfred’s Guitar,” said Case. “Dawne Novakowski and Rennie Sirianni were my initial mentors there.”
He worked at radio station CJIB as a reporter for Vernon Vipers’ hockey games, as well as a weekend announcer.
Case went on to work as a reporter for the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets, then as a producer at MTV Canada and MuchMusic, a writer for comedians Howie Mandel and Saturday Night Live alum Tracy Morgan, a director for DreamWorks, Peacock Kids, Discovery, and many others in the United States and Canada.