Project Concept

Off The Grid will follow Alberta host Sheldon Smithens (Canadian Pickers) as he converts a historic school near Pincher Creek Alberta into a modern eco-friendly, vacation property that exists Off The Grid.

When Alberta was settled there was no such thing as “The Grid”. Living in this beautiful but often inhospitable climate necessitated a lot of ingenuity. From the First Nations people’s understanding of prairie resources, to the settlers who brought traditions and wisdom from all over Europe, there is a long prairie history of living off the grid. But when the grid arrived there were thousands of structures (homes, schools, farmhouses, churches, etc.) that were simply too far from the grid to be connected. Those historic properties became obsolete, and their abandoned structures still dot the landscape.

Then something unexpected happened.

Sheldon looks out towards The Rocky Mountains

Sheldon looks out towards The Rocky Mountains

In the new millennium “off the grid” no longer means obsolete, abandoned, or worthless. “Off the grid” means modern, high tech, and eco friendly. These beautiful historic structures stand ready to be converted into modern homes for a new generation of eco-conscious Albertans. Host Sheldon Smithens, an expert on historic prairie living, owns one such property. Sheldon will be our guide as we re-learn the forgotten tricks of the pioneers as he converts a historic schoolhouse near Pincher Creek Alberta. He will meet with historic experts on prairie life and modern experts in sustainability , as he incorporates the best solutions, old and new, for living Off The Grid.

The result is a new take on the proven lifestyle / home renovation genre. The new take is sustainability. The proven personality behind the show is host Sheldon Smithens. Sheldon will remind us that this is not only a voyage of discovery, but of rediscovery, combining the practical solutions of the past with modern eco-technology. And, of course, the finished home will be rich in the historic country charm that has made Sheldon a known and respected antiques dealer and appraiser.