From left: Charlie Gillis-Archibald, Richard Faria, Kelsey Townend, Holly Tybring and Heather Tybring at a taping of Family Feud. Photo supplied by Kelsey Townend
Three years after a Yellowknife family appeared on CBC show Family Feud Canada, Hay River is getting its shot at glory.
Town residents Kelsey Townend, Holly Tybring and Heather Tybring are joined by family members Charlie Gillis-Archibald and Richard Faria for an appearance on the show’s fourth season.
Filming has already taken place and the Townend-Tybring team expects to appear on the air some time in March 2023.
“Without giving too much away, it was an amazing experience,” said Townend. (Producers ask contestants to remain tight-lipped about each show’s outcome until it airs.)
“I was so nervous. I was not expecting it to be that hard. When you’re watching from home, and you’re watching people on the TV and screaming your answers at them, you think it’s so easy,” she said.
“I felt like I had just chewed on a bunch of chalk. I couldn’t even speak. I used to watch this show with my grandma so to have the experience was really, really neat.”
Townend, a cancer survivor, first connected with one of the show’s producers over a shared interest in life after cancer. When the show went looking for northern families to take part, the team auditioned and was eventually selected.
The five-person team unites Townend with her stepfather, her little brother (also a former Hay River resident), her son’s stepmother and her former sister-in-law. Townend called it a “blended family.”
She said younger brother Gillis-Archibald, who in her words had been “really dry and kind-of lame” in the audition, turned out to be the star of the show once the cameras rolled. For more detail than that, you’ll have to wait till the broadcast airs.
“Don’t be afraid to do it. Just put yourself out there. Even the audition process is really fun to do,” said Townend, asked what advice she would give to other northern families who want to apply.
“When you do get selected, even for myself – being as nervous as I was – I would do it 10 times over. It was so much fun.
“And they’re always looking for people from the North. When I was there, one of the other producers actually came up to me and said, ‘Tell everyone back home to apply.’ So definitely apply.”