"2017 STARTS NOW" - CBC/Radio-Canada Announces Initiative to Connect and Engage Canadians in Canada's 150th Birthday Celebrations

OTTAWA, Aug. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, CBC/Radio-Canada announces an important initiative to spark a national conversation about Canada's upcoming 150th anniversary. The goal: inform, inspire and incubate local, regional and national projects to mark the occasion.

The national public broadcaster, in partnership with other leading Canadian organizations, will host a series of regional "2017 STARTS NOW" conferences in soon-to-be-announced cities across the country, commencing in January 2013 and culminating with a national conference in Ottawa in June 2013. The events will be held in both official languages and will bring together citizens and leaders from communities across every region of the country, representing every facet of our diverse society. The Corporation will also launch a website that will allow all Canadians, irrespective of where they live, to join the conversation. The site will launch this fall, concurrent with the announcement of the host cities.

These conferences are an important part of CBC/Radio-Canada's initiatives related to Canada's 150th anniversary that will bring together people from across the country, tap the deep reservoir of public interest and spark ideas for further 2017 initiatives and celebrations. CBC/Radio-Canada played an integral role in the celebration of the country's Centennial back in 1967. Forty-five years later, the Corporation is committed to building on that legacy. This is an opportunity to reflect on how the country has evolved -not only since Confederation, but in the 50 years since the Centennial - and to imagine what the next 50 years may hold.

"We are committed to interacting and engaging with Canadians and to providing a public space where Canadians can meet and exchange with each other and with the country," says Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada. "At a time when discussion and anticipation about Canada's upcoming 150thanniversary is gaining momentum, we are pleased to announce an initiative that will help Canadians connect, plan and celebrate in 2017. We look forward to being at the forefront of helping Canadians mark this very significant year. We believe this to be at the core of our mandate as Canada's public broadcaster."

The conferences and related initiatives will be produced in partnership with Canadian organizations already at work on planning 2017 celebrations, including: YMCA Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, the Institute for the Public Administration of Canada, The Historica-Dominion Institute, imagiNation 150, Prince Edward Island 2014 Inc., the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, and the TransCanada Trail.

Following the final conference, CBC/Radio-Canada will work with partners to promote and support the best ideas for celebrating the occasion, outlining opportunities to showcase the best in Canadian arts and culture, business, sport, science, community, and youth culture. We will also announce our own programming strategy for the 2017 celebrations.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages.

SOURCE: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

For further information:

Angus McKinnon
CBC/Radio-Canada
(613) 288-6235
angus.mckinnon@cbc.ca
http://cbc.radio-canada.ca/