Family Channel Supports Bullying Awareness Week with New Original Programming and Song

BULLYING AWARENESS WEEK RUNS FROM NOVEMBER 12 - 18

TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Astral's Family Channel is marking Bullying Awareness Week with a slate of new original programming airing from November 12 - 18. This year, the network's 10th annual Stand UP! campaign features a special programming line-up stocked with original content including a new music video, new bullying-themed celebrity interview segments and a half-hour special presentation of the 2012 Stand UP! Rally featuring Canadian popstar Victoria Duffield and YouTube sensation Mike Tompkins.

On Friday, November 16 beginning at 5 p.m. ET/PT, Family will host a Stand UP! programming event. The night will kick off with a half-hour presentation of the 2012 Stand UP! Rally. Filmed in Toronto with approximately 500 students in attendance, the special features musical performances by Victoria Duffield and Mike Tompkins, plus appearances by anti-bullying activists such as Travis Price and Jacques St. Pierre. Following the half-hour presentation, Family has five back-to-back bullying prevention-themed episodes leading up to the network premiere of Let It Shine: In The Spotlight edition at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Bullying-themed episodes will also be available on Family.ca and Family OnDemand.

"For the past 10 years, Family Channel has been advocating that bullying prevention and awareness is everyone's responsibility," said Joe Tedesco, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Astral Kids. "After seeing the enthusiasm of students who attended our rally this year, it is clear that we are getting the message across. While bullying is something many kids have to deal with, it isn't something they have to face alone and with our network of Family stars, dedicated partners and musical guests, we're continuing to spread that message successfully."

Debuting today on Family.ca is the audio track for this year's Bullying Awareness Week anthem titled "Stand UP! Make Some Noise!" Written by local artists Creighton Doane and Daniel LeBlanc, the song promotes taking action against bullying and was recorded by Canadian musicians and network stars, along with Canadian kids. The music video for the song officially kicks off Bullying Awareness Week activities on the network and will be launched on-air November 12.

Contributing to Family's original anthem are performers R5 featuring Ross Lynch, Victoria Duffield, Tyler Medeiros, Veronica and Anastasia A, as well as Family Channel actors Dylan Everett, Demetrius Joyette, Ana Golja, Sydney Imbeau, Brittany Adams and host Lindsay Hamilton.

Family is also unveiling an exclusive version of Mike Tompkins' "Stand Up" music video. Originally released in March 2012, the video has been edited to highlight Family Channel rally footage from the past decade, in celebration of the campaign's tenth anniversary. Following the same schedule as Family's original song, the audio version is available now at Family.ca, with the video being released on Monday, November 12.

To enhance the week, Family is also debuting new interstitial content starting November 12 that has celebrities opening up about their experiences with bullying and offering advice to viewers. Among the new slate of interviews are: Disney star Bridgit Mendler, Brit boy band One Direction, Australian popstar Cody Simpson, International superstar Conor Maynard and more.

Viewers wishing to learn more about Family's Bullying Awareness Week campaign or wanting to download student, teacher and parent resources can visit family.ca/standup.

Family Channel co-founded Bullying Awareness Week in 2003 and developed the Stand UP! campaign in association with PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network), a national network of Canadian researchers, community organizations and governments committed to ending bullying and promoting positive relationships.

Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet) is a national network comprised of 64 leading Canadian research scientists and their students from 25 universities, and 52 national youth-serving organizations. Launched in 2006 with the Networks of Centres of Excellence, PREVNet's mission is to stop bullying in Canada and to promote safe and healthy relationships for all Canadian children and youth. Led by Scientific Co-Directors, Dr. Debra Pepler of York University and Dr. Wendy Craig of Queen's University, this national knowledge mobilization network is the first of its kind in Canada, providing an unprecedented opportunity for social-cultural change. For more information, please visit www.prevnet.ca.

Family Channel is a premium, commercial-free network offering the best in family television entertainment in over 6 million homes across Canada. Dedicated to celebrating family life and providing a fun experience for all, Family airs a unique mix of series, movies and specials, with a large portion of programming supplied by Disney. Family Channel also offers Family OnDemand, a television-based Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) service and Family OnLine, an Internet-based, broadband service. Both of these services offer hit Disney movies and series, top-rated Canadian series to subscribers when they want it, where they want it. Visit us at Family.ca.

Family Channel is a member of the Astral family. Astral Media Inc. (TSX : ACM.A/ACM.B) is one of Canada's largest media companies. It operates several of the country's most popular pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and interactive media properties. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers. To learn more about Astral, visit astral.com.

SOURCE: FAMILY CHANNEL

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Ginger Bertrand at 416-956-8547 or gbertrand@astral.com
Jaime Werby at 416-956-8584 or jwerby@astral.com

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