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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
All in the family: NOTL farmers try out for Family Feud Canada

Gaio family from Niagara-on-the-Lake need support via social media for chance at starring role


A Niagara-on-the-Lake family has passed the first few hurdles as they audition to be contestants on the next season of “Family Feud Canada.” 

The Gaio family is hoping to represent farming families in NOTL on the show. Their tender fruit farm is on Concession 1. 

Walter Gaio is a second-generation farmer, born and raised in town. The hopeful contestants also include his wife Katherine and children Ryan, Danielle and Hailey. 

Ryan said Danielle got the ball rolling by submitting an application describing her family but didn’t tell them about it until the call came in for the first audition. 

“I think she just saw a commercial or something that was like, 'Family Feud, we’re looking for people for season two, you should apply,' ” he said. 

“A few weeks later she got an email and it was the CBC producers and they said we want to get to know more about our family.” 

At this point Danielle had to let her family know about the application because the producers requested a meeting with them.  

Ryan said the family was shocked and excited about the opportunity.  

The Gaios were asked to prepare an introduction for each family member and they also came up with a song to the tune of Old MacDonald to talk about themselves and being a farming family in Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

The first round of auditions involved a video chat with producers asking the Gaios questions about their habits and personalities. 

“Things like, who in your family would be the most likely to, I don’t know like, get in trouble at the bar or something like that,” Ryan said. “So we each had to answer who we thought and why.” 

He said the family had a lot of fun with the experience. “It was so surreal, but it was very cool.” 

A few weeks later, the family received another email congratulating them because the producers enjoyed their first chat and wanted to see them play a practice game. 

The Gaio family played their practice game on Friday, June 12, against a family from Saint John, N.B. 

In this second round of auditions, the family was asked to come up with a more elaborate family introduction, said Hailey.  

She said they had a lot of fun using the tune of the song “YMCA,” changing the lyrics to “GAIO” and adding lines about her family members. 

Now, the support turns to social media. Ryan said the producers encouraged the family to share their journey on social media as they want to see what kind of support they would get. 

“I don’t believe they’ve ever had a family from Niagara-on-the-Lake on “Family Feud Canada” so we thought it would be really exciting that we would be the first to represent farming and people born and raised in this small town,” Ryan said. “Hopefully we get the chance to represent NOTL.” 

“We’re getting so much love on Facebook,” Hailey said. “It’s nice to see all these people sharing and liking (our posts) and thinking it’s so cool.” 

“It just shows how close the community of Niagara is and how much people actually know us and feel that we would be a good fit. It’s just nice to feel the love,” she said. 

“I remember growing up, how cool it was to kind of know everybody that you lived around, just from being in Niagara-on-the-Lake and also farming.” 

Hailey said it means a lot to her and her family to “show that we respect our family, we respect our community and especially the farmers who allow us to be able to eat fresh all the time and the hard work they put into it.” 

“So often farms are a family-run, all-hands-on-deck kind of operation. Of course, none of us does as much as my dad does, but we do like to kind of think of it as a family venture,” Ryan said. 

“Everyone chips in in their own sort of way. So, it would be nice to represent that aspect of farming as well, that kind of community that surrounds it,” he said. “It’s not just not just the person in the fields, but that whole network of family that goes into running it. 

Ryan said NOTL residents looking to show their support can post on Family Feud Canada’s social media pages that they would like to see the Gaio family represent Niagara-on-the-Lake.