The Haliburton Highlands is being spotlighted on international streaming services through the docuseries “For Heaven’s Sake,” launching March 4.
The series chronicles an adventure for filmmakers, Jackson Rowe and Mike Mildon, who unravel the mysterious disappearance of Mildon’s great, great-uncle Harold Heaven in Minden in 1934. The eight-episode series – filmed predominantly in the township in 2019 and 2020 – will launch in its entirety on CBC Gem and Paramount+.
“It feels very, very strange, but good,” Mildon said about releasing the series. “It’s been a long journey that’s come to the end. We’re so excited to show Minden and the rest of the world the journey we went on.”
The series tracks the two as they travel around the community, speaking with people to investigate the family mystery. Heaven’s body was never recovered after he disappeared from his Horseshoe Lake cabin; it was ruled a suicide by authorities at the time, but the filmmakers pursue alternate theories, including murder.
Although they had considered a movie, Mildon said the amount of content they got made it better for a series.
“We felt the different leads we got, we could explore one per episode,” Rowe said.
Those who followed along with the production locally might have an idea of how the series will unfold. But the duo said the series has many aspects people likely missed, including the ups and downs of being detectives and the moral challenges they faced.
“We just wanted to make sure any moral wrongdoing fell on the shoulders of Mike and myself,” Rowe said. “It was hard to find a proper perspective where we gave respect to all the faces along the way. It’s all in there. It’s something we didn’t want to shy away from – warts and all.”
The pair – who previously did short-form skit comedy – said what comes next for them is up in the air. For now, they are focused on promoting the series.
Mildon said the series will have lots to see for locals. The two expressed their appreciation for the area.
“Minden was such an important character in the story. The community and the town were so wonderful to us,” Mildon said. “Just seeing familiar faces and seeing how this town came together to help these unlikely detectives try to solve this way-too-old of a case. It’s a very, very heartwarming, interesting story.”
“It’s exciting,” Rowe said. “It’s hard to do something unique nowadays and I feel we actually have, so we’re proud of that.”
The series premiers March 4 on Paramount+ and CBC Gem. CBC Gem is available for free online at cbcgem.ca, as an app for iOS and Android devices, or on a television via Apple TV and Google Chromecast.