Canwest Raise-A-Reader Day: Wednesday, September 24

    Give the gift of reading for only the price of a newspaper

    WINNIPEG, Sept. 23 /CNW/ - Tomorrow morning, thousands of volunteers will
flood Canadian street corners, bus stops and coffee shops in support of
Canwest Raise-a-Reader Day, raising money for local literacy programs and
increasing awareness about the importance of encouraging family literacy.
    In 28 cities from coast-to-coast - including Ucluelet, B.C. where
Westerly News employees will be out on the streets for the first time, and
St. John's, NL where volunteers will exchange special edition copies of The
Telegram for donations to Raise-a-Reader - Canadians are asked to give
generously in support of this meaningful initiative.
    Since its inception in 2002, Raise-a-Reader has generated over
$10 million dollars in support of family literacy programs. Canwest, Global
Television and the participating newspapers provide the time and resources to
fulfill the national campaign - meaning every dollar donated on Raise-a-Reader
Day will be used to support literacy beneficiaries in the communities where
the funds are raised.
    "Canwest Raise-a-Reader has made great strides in educating Canadians
about literacy issues in their communities, and just as importantly it has
helped us understand how improved literacy levels make a positive impact on
our country's economy, employment and social welfare," said Leonard Asper,
President and CEO of Canwest Global Communications Corp. "As the
Raise-a-Reader program continues to grow and develop on a national scale, it
is my hope that all Canadians will get involved to make a positive difference
in the national rate of literacy and ensure that all Canadian citizens are
given the opportunity to achieve their full potential."
    In addition to funds raised on Raise-a-Reader Day, the Canwest
Raise-a-Reader Concert Series sets the stage for year-round awareness as
participating artists donate a portion of proceeds from ticket sales on their
Canadian tours. Launched last September, when international singing sensation
Michael Bublé announced his involvement as the first performer to lend his
voice to the literacy cause, the series has a growing set-list of
participating artists that includes Grammy award-winning songstress Anne
Murray and musical legend, James Taylor.
    Canwest Raise-a-Reader gets a fundraising kick-start from national
sponsors Assante Wealth Management and 7-Eleven Canada Inc., and in-kind
support from Scholastic Canada. In addition, numerous local sponsors in
markets across the country contribute to the program with funding and
goods-in-kind services.
    Reading is a gift. You can give it.

    The following newspapers, in 28 communities from coast-to-coast, will be
taking part in Canwest Raise-a-Reader Day on Wednesday, September 24th:

    Vancouver Island                        BC Mainland
    ----------------                        -----------
    Victoria Times  Colonist                Vancouver      The Vancouver Sun
    Port Alberni    Alberni Valley Times    Kelowna        Kelowna Daily
    Nanaimo         Nanaimo Daily News                     Courier
    Ucluelet        Westerly News           Penticton      Penticton Herald
                                            Prince George  Prince George
                                            Kamloops       Kamloops Daily

    Alberta                                 Saskatchewan
    -------                                 ------------
    Calgary         Calgary Herald          Regina         Leader-Post
    Edmonton        Edmonton Journal        Saskatoon      The StarPhoenix
    Lethbridge      Lethbridge Herald

    Winnipeg        Winnipeg Free Press

    Ontario                                 Quebec
    -------                                 ------
    Windsor         The Windsor Star        Montreal       The Gazette/Le
    Hamilton        Hamilton Spectator                     Devoir
    Toronto         National Post
    Ottawa          Ottawa Citizen

    Nova Scotia                             Newfoundland
    -----------                             ------------
    Halifax         The Chronicle Herald    St. John's     The Telegram
    Sydney          Cape Breton Post

    New Brunswick                           Prince Edward Island
    -------------                           --------------------
    Saint John      Telegraph-Journal       Charlottetown  The Guardian
    Moncton         Times & Transcript      Summerside     Journal Pioneer
    Fredericton     Daily Gleaner


    -   Canwest Raise-a-Reader (RAR) is an award-winning national program
        designed to increase awareness and collect funds/resources to support
        family literacy programs. All of the money raised through Raise-a-
        Reader is donated to local literacy and educational organizations and
        stays in the community where it is collected.

    -   The campaign is a year-round initiative with important fundraising
        events taking place throughout the year in 28 cities across Canada,
        highlighted by an annual fundraising event in the early Fall: Canwest
        Raise-a-Reader Day which happens on Wednesday, September 24 this

    -   Thousands of volunteers, including sports and entertainment
        personalities, newspaper and television employees, sponsors and
        beneficiaries take to the city streets and high-traffic locations to
        exchange special-edition newspapers for donations to the Raise-a-
        Reader cause.

    -   Since its national launch in 2002, the Canwest Raise-a-Reader
        campaign has raised over $10 million for family literacy programs
        across Canada. The program was initiated by The Vancouver Sun and
        originally ran as an isolated fundraiser in British Columbia. Today,
        the campaign is TRULY national - with representation by newspapers in
        all ten (10) provinces and the celebration of RAR Day in cities from
        Ucluelet, BC to St. John's, NL.

    -   Nearly all of the newspaper partners also support Canwest Canspell, a
        national grassroots initiative designed to celebrate and reward
        literacy skills by encouraging academic excellence and positive study
        habits through school-level, regional and national spelling bees
        across the country.

    -   Raise-A-Reader and Canwest Canspell are complementary literacy
        programs: RAR engages and fosters reading for children in their
        formative pre-school and early-school years, while Canspell takes the
        power of words and literacy a step further by rewarding academic
        achievement for youth in Grades 4-8. Both programs focus on families
        and children and encourage reading skills.

    -   Funds raised to support literacy initiatives in each participating
        market for the Raise-a-Reader program come from several sources
        including national and local sponsorships, ongoing fundraising such
        as coin-box retail placement, book drives, the new Raise-a-Reader
        Concert Series and other local events and campaigns, and of course
        the one-day exchange of special-edition newspapers for donations on
        RAR Day.

    -   Generous support for RAR nationally includes: Assante Wealth
        Management, 7-Eleven Canada Inc., and Scholastic Canada Ltd. Numerous
        local sponsors in every market enhance the program with funding and
        goods-in-kind services.

    -   Last fall, Canadian music superstar, Michael Bublé, launched the
        Canwest Raise-a-Reader Concert Series with the announcement of his
        sixteen-city tour. Bublé's Concert Series dates sold out across the
        country in record time, with partial ticket proceeds donated to the
        Raise-a-Reader national fundraising program.

    -   Since then, Grammy award-winning songstress Anne Murray and musical
        legend James Taylor followed Bublé's lead, donating partial ticket
        sales of their latest concert tours through the Canwest Raise-a-
        Reader Concert Series.

For further information:

For further information: Lynne Munro, VP, Community & Public Relations,
Canwest Global Communications Corp., T: (204) 953-7765,

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