It’s time to put on your finest aprons and brandish those whisks, because The Great Canadian Baking Show is back for its second season. The reality competition series, inspired by its overseas predecessor The Great British Bake Off, premieres Wednesday, September 19 at 8 p.m. on CBC with ten new home bakers vying for the title of Canada’s best baker.
Returning judges Rochelle Adonis and Bruno Feldeisen will be putting the bakers to the test, alongside hosts Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek) and Julia Chan (Saving Hope), who introduce each challenge and provide moral support for the bakers. “The bakers this year have different talents, different approach, and different kinds of chemistry,” Chan tells The TV Junkies. “It’s everything from last year, but souped up.”
Season 2 brings bakers literally from coast to coast, ranging from Vancouver, B.C., to Cornwall, P.E.I., along with all the baking traditions that come from the east and west coasts. “The bakers are bringing not only the different sides of Canada but international flavors and influences into their baking,” says Chan. “They’re people from all different ages and backgrounds and cultures. I think that’s why the show is as rich as it is.”
Part of Chan and Levy’s duty as hosts is to introduce each episode, and each new challenge to the bakers. All scripted aspects of the series are written by writer Amy Segal, who collaborates with Chan and Levy so they can add their own natural flair to each episode. After that, it’s all about getting to know the bakers and trying to cheer them up when things go wrong. “It doesn’t take long to become invested as a host or as a human,” says Chan. “When somebody’s in peril with their burning donuts I can’t help but go in there and give them some moral support.”
While Chan can’t give away any of the challenges coming up in Season 2, she says one challenge in particular will “turns things on its head.”
“It made me laugh so much, because of how absurd it was,” she teases. “I was worried that I was not going to be able to do the script at the beginning of the challenge because it was so ridiculous and imaginative.”
Of course, what really makes The Great Canadian Baking Show stand out is its positivity, which Chan attributes to the format of the show and the energy the bakers get once they step into the tent. “It’s pretty special in there,” she says. “It’s quite invigorating.”
Above all else, however, Chan notes that the positive nature of the show comes from the bakers themselves, through their immediate connection to one another and the “infectious” joy that comes from their baking. “It can be very moving to see someone’s commitment to something at that level and what they can make under that much pressure,” says Chan. “That’s why the show is so joyful, because the commitment there is very genuine and real.
“If you need a little light in your life, or a little joy, tune in.”
Are you excited to see what the bakers will create this season? Sound off in the comments below.
The Great Canadian Baking Show premieres Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. ET on CBC. The series is available to stream live and on-demand on CBC’s streaming platforms.
Associate Editor Kelly Townsend always had strong opinions on TV growing up, so it was only natural to evolve from couch musings to online journalism. She can't ever choose a favorite series, so please don't ask. Her writing has also appeared on IndieWire and Tribute.ca. You can find her on Twitter at @kellybtownsend.