Big Brother Canada season cancelled, P.G. contestant already voted off

Global and Insight Productions have cancelled production of Big Brother Canada season 8 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The companies say they have no plans to resume production at a later date for this season, which was scheduled to end May 21. The final episodes are expected to air on Wednesday and on April 1.

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The cancellation will have little impact for Prince George contestant Micheal Stubley. The 25-year-old infantryman was voted out on week 2 of the show. Fellow northerner Rianne Swanson, 29, an operating room nurse from Chetwynd was still active on the show prior to the airing of Wednesday's episode.

The move to end the show came after Ontario ordered a mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces in the province starting Tuesday night.

Last week the companies said the Toronto-shot series had eliminated its live studio audience and heightened on-site sanitation and other precautionary safety measures.

They also noted the sequestered contestants had been given "a thorough update" about the outbreak situation and chose to remain on the show.

The eighth season of Big Brother Canada debuted with 16 Canadian contestants March 4 on Global — before the virus outbreak was declared a pandemic.

The series unfolds in real-time and sees contestants living together in a house while cameras follow their every move, with no exposure to the outside world.

They compete in mental/physical challenges for a chance to win a grand prize of $100,000.

Since there will be no winner this season, plans for the prize money will be revealed in the final episode, a publicist said.

Insight Productions said last week that the production had a resident doctor who had assessed and determined no houseguests had exhibited any signs or symptoms related to COVID-19.

The production company said the houseguests were also each provided a letter from home.

"Even though it hurts to say goodbye to the season, it's the right thing to do," Big Brother Canada host Arisa Cox said in a statement Tuesday. "On behalf of the incredible people who put this show together, thank you to everyone who started this journey with us. Please take care and be safe!"

— With files from the Prince George Citizen

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