Demi Lovato, OneRepublic, Hedley, Jennifer Hudson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Al Gore set to inspire thousands of youth at Free The Children's We Day Toronto and Vancouver

TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - International children's charity and educational partner, Free The Children, in partnership with MuchMusic, has announced this year's lineup of world-renowned speakers and performers from Academy® and Grammy® Award winner Jennifer Hudson, to Archbishop Desmond Tutu - to inspire and empower more than 40,000 students who have earned their way through service to attend We Day Toronto (Air Canada Centre, September 28) and We Day Vancouver (Rogers Arena, October 18).

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, singer-songwriter Demi Lovato, Basketball Hall-of-Fame legend Magic Johnson, and Grammy and Juno® Award Winner Nelly Furtado, among others, are scheduled to speak and perform. International activists and founders of Free The Children, Craig and Marc Kielburger, will lead the energetic crowd. Both cities will also see a special surprise guest to further excite the crowd of young people

According to the recent Canada's Youth: The 2012 Power to Change survey, commissioned by We Day National Co-Title Sponsors RBC and TELUS, and Free The Children, among Canadian parents/guardians of 13-17 year olds, as well as 13-17 year olds themselves, almost half of both samples polled feel that today's youth generation has more of an ability to help others and the world than today's adult generation. Free The Children's We Day provides a platform for students to learn about today's pressing social issues, inspiring youth to become leaders and global citizens and take action on the issues most important to them.

Toronto - Friday, September 28, 2012 at the Air Canada Centre

  • A performance by ONE DROP, a Cirque du Soleil Founder's initiative
  • The Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire - Lieutenant-General and author
  • Shawn Desman - Platinum selling and Juno Award winning recording artist
  • Nelly Furtado - Grammy and Juno Award winner
  • Al Gore - Former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Laureate
  • Hedley - Performance by multi-platinum, Juno and MMVA Award-winning recording artists
  • Jennifer Hudson - Academy and Grammy Award winner
  • Tyler Shaw - 2012 Coca Cola COVERS MuchMusic Video Award winner
  • Martin Sheen - Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning actor and activist
  • The Canadian Tenors - Canadian multi-platinum vocal group
  • Justin Trudeau - Canadian politician and activist
  • Spencer West - Me to We motivational speaker and Free The Children ambassador

Vancouver - Thursday, October 18, 2012 at the Rogers Arena

  • Dr. Holly Branson - Free The Children ambassador and daughter of Sir Richard Branson
  • A performance by ONE DROP, a Cirque du Soleil Founder's initiative
  • Premier Christy Clark - Premier of British Columbia
  • Shawn Desman - Platinum selling and Juno Award winning recording artist
  • Magic Johnson - Basketball Hall of Fame legend
  • My name is Kay - Canadian singer and songwriter
  • Demi Lovato - Singer-songwriter and X Factor judge
  • OneRepublic - Platinum selling, Grammy nominated, American pop/rock band
  • Tyler Shaw - 2012 Coca Cola COVERS MuchMusic Video Award winner
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu - Nobel Peace Laureate
  • Spencer West - Me to We motivational speaker and Free The Children ambassador

According to the survey conducted, the local issue Canadian youth interviewed are most passionate about is bullying (25 per cent), following by the environment (21 per cent).  We Day aims to shine a spotlight on a wide spectrum of today's critical issues, from bullying and the environment, to domestic and international poverty, and healthcare.

"The energy at a We Day is indescribable," said Shawn Desman, Platinum selling and Juno Award winning recording artist. "Similar to last year, I've committed to perform in all eight We Day cities.  By far, my most favourite part of We Day is the kids, and seeing how excited and motivated they are to get involved and make the world a better place.  It's infectious, and makes me want to do everything I can to help."

In the first of a five year partnership, RBC and TELUS, National Co-Title Sponsors of We Day, will elevate the event to new heights with eight stops in cities across Canada. The largest season to date, the 2012/2013 We Day season will see more than 100,000 in attendance, and millions more watching online at www.muchmusic.com/weday and through the MuchMusic broadcast special premiering on Sunday, November 11 at 7 p.m. ET on MuchMusic and Saturday, November 24 at 7 p.m. ET on CTV.

We Day is free of charge to the thousands of students and educators in attendance, thanks to the generous support of sponsors led by National Co-Title Sponsors RBC and TELUS. However, young people in attendance earn their way into the event by committing to take action on at least one local and one global issue through Free The Children's year long engagement programs.

Click to Tweet: @FreeTheChildren announces #WeDay #Toronto, #Vancouver. Lineup incl. @NellyFurtado @ddlovato @IAMJHUD www.weday.com

Follow Free The Children and We Day on Twitter, @FreeTheChildren, and on Facebook www.facebook.com/weday

About MuchMusic
As the No. 1 Canadian brand for young adults, MuchMusic is the go-to channel for all things pop-culture, delivering excitement through exclusive live events, interviews with leading musicians and celebrities, and the biggest scripted series. From the MUCHMUSIC VIDEO AWARDS to its industry-leading online and social media outreach, including online at MuchMusic.com, on Twitter @MuchMusic and on Facebook - with more than 1.25 million likes and counting, MuchMusic continues to deliver on its promise of bringing fans that Much closer to their idols. Much spotlights homegrown talent through original productions including DEGRASSI, THE L.A. COMPLEX, NEW.MUSIC.LIVE. and VIDEO ON TRIAL and supports the Canadian music video production industry with its annual, multi-million dollar contribution to MuchFACT. Much is available in 9.2 million households across Canada via cable, satellite, and mobile. Much is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company.

About Free The Children
Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner that has more than 1.7 million young people involved in its programs in 45 countries. Founded in 1995 by international activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children believes in a world where young people are free to achieve their fullest potential, and empowers youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens. The organization's domestic programs—which includes We Day (www.weday.com), Free The Children's signature youth empowerment event—educate, engage and empower hundreds of thousands of youth in North America, the UK and around the world to become engaged global citizens. Its international projects have brought more than 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided clean water and sanitation, health care and food security to one million people around the world, freeing children and their families from the cycle of poverty.

The organization has received the World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child (also known as the Children's Nobel Prize), the Human Rights Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships with leading school boards and Oprah's Angel Network.  For more information, visit www.freethechildren.com.

About the survey
From August 3 to August 10, 2012 an online survey was conducted among a randomly selected sample of 2437 Canadians - among both parents/guardians as well as youth. Respondents surveyed included: 1206 parents/guardians, who are parents/guardians of 13-17 year olds and who are Angus Reid Forum panelists and 1231 youth, aged 13-17 years old, comprised of children of Angus Reid Forum panelists and sample provided using a sample network.

SOURCE: MuchMusic

For further information:

For more information on We Day or to request an interview with a We Day Speaker, please contact: 
Lauren Stasila
Manager, PR & Publicity
416-558-9310
lauren.stasila@freethechildren.com

For more information on MuchMusic, please contact:
Mary Costa
Manager Communications, Much MTV
416-384-7702
mary.costa@bellmedia.ca

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